Unemployment Drug Testing Bill Moves Forward In State Legislature

Sep 18, 2013

A state House panel has approved a set of bills meant to crack down on unemployment fraud in Michigan.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, the measures have strong bi-partisan support – except for one.

That bill would cut off unemployment benefits from people who fail a drug test as part of a job search. It would treat them as if they had turned down a suitable job while receiving unemployment checks.

Jon Switalski is the top Democrat on the House Commerce Committee. He says the bill is unenforceable and only meant to score political points for Republicans.

“It is a bill that is aimed at the elections in 2014 and nothing else,” he says.

Supporters of the bill say people who are not fit for work because of drug use should also not be considered fit for government assistance.

Many of the other bills in the package are required by the federal government. But the bills are written so that all of them need to be approved for any of them to take effect.