The Michigan House approved legislation that would allow suspicion-based drug testing of welfare recipients to protect at-risk families and make better use of taxpayer dollars. State Rep. Dan Lauwers voted in favor of the House Bill which establishes a one-year pilot program for welfare drug testing in three counties across the state, to be determined by the state Department of Human Services. After the first year, the DHS would report its findings to the Legislature. Drug testing welfare recipients was one of the ideas suggested in Lauwers’ local legislative contest. ”Michigan residents who are receiving state welfare benefits should use these taxpayer dollars on food and other basic necessities, not illegal drugs,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “This legislation makes welfare recipients more accountable while protecting Michigan’s at-risk children, who would be negatively impacted if their parents are using drugs.” Under the legislation, first-time offenders would be referred to a regional substance abuse coordinating agency for treatment. Recipients who follow the treatment program would continue to receive benefits, while those refusing treatment would lose their welfare benefits.The bill also specifies that individuals who test positive must pay for the cost of the drug test. HB 4118 now goes to the Senate for consideration.