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North Carolina governor vetoes bill requiring drug testing for public benefits

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory [official website] vetoed a bill [press release] on Thursday that would have mandated drug testing for some public benefit applicants in the state. North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis [official website], a supporter of the bill [HB 392, materials], released a statement [press release] expressing disappointment in the governor's veto. In the press release accompanying his veto of the bill, McCrory explained that he found the bill fiscally expensive for taxpayers and largely ineffective in fighting drug addiction. The North Carolina legislature can still try to override McCrory's veto.

Other states have also recently considered the issue of whether drug testing should be required for public benefit applicants. In February the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that a lower court was correct in blocking a Florida law requiring public benefit applicants to pass a drug test before receiving benefits. In March a JURIST Guest Columnist discussed drug testing welfare recipients [JURIST dateline] and argued that the Eleventh Circuit misapplied the doctrine of unconstitutional conditions. In April a Guest Columnist examined [JURIST report] how public policy affects the outcome of suspicionless drug testing of welfare applicants.

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