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NC lawmakers approve drug testing for welfare

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Lawmakers want suspicious applicants for North Carolina's worker-training and welfare program to be drug-tested or fingerprinted.

The state Senate gave the bill final legislative approval Thursday. It now goes to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature.

The measure would allow county social services departments that suspect a recipient is using drugs to require a test before receiving benefits through the Work First program. Applicants would have to pay for the test, but could be repaid if they test negative.

Welfare and food stamps applicants also would see expanded background criminal history checks as agencies search for people with outstanding felony warrants, or probation or parole violations. Counties could collect fingerprints to check applicants

Lawmakers in nearly 30 states have introduced such bills.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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