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Unemployment Drug Testing Bill Clears State Senate

People who fail or refuse to take a drug test as part of a job search could see their unemployment benefits revoked.

The state Senate approved the measure Thursday.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, the proposal is part of a package of bills meant to crack down on fraud and abuse in the unemployment system.

The other unemployment changes have overwhelming bi-partisan support in the Legislature. Most of them are meant to bring the state in line with new federal unemployment rules.

But Democrats like state Senator Coleman Young take issue with tying drug testing to unemployment benefits.

“It’s about demonizing a group of Michigan citizens and starting a witch-hunt to score political points,” he says.

Some supporters of the legislation say it’s a work in progress. Among other things, they want to make sure there’s an adequate appeals process for people who lose their benefits.

Jake Neher is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He covers the State Legislature and other political events in Lansing.
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