New bill enforces drug testing to obtain unemployment benefits - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

New bill enforces drug testing to obtain unemployment benefits

Matt Schaefer comments on SB 21 Matt Schaefer comments on SB 21

On Wednesday, the Texas Legislature passed a bill which will allow limited drug testing for people receiving unemployment benefits.

"This bill is going to require certain people who are seeking unemployment benefits and are going into a job field that already typically requires a drug test to be screened for drugs before they receive state benefits," said Representative Matt Schaefer.

Representative Matt Schaefer said he is in favor of Texas Senate Bill 21.

"I believe that the people that are out there working right now often have to pass a drug test to even have the jobs that pay the taxes that support unemployment benefits.

"I think it's a reasonably thing to ask people who are going to receive state benefits to play by the rules that everybody else has to play by, especially if you are going to work in an industry that already requires drug testing. It makes a lot of common sense that, before we give you tax money, for assistance, that we understand that you are playing by the rules and that you are actually going to be eligible to qualify for that job that is already going to ask you to a drug test anyway." Schaefer said.

Bill Hammond is the Texas Association of Business President and CEO and like Schaefer, is also in favor of this bill.

"A claimant qualifying for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits must have lost their job through no fault of their own and have to be available and ready for work. If claimants work in industries that drug test and cannot pass a drug test, they in essence are not ready and available for work. This legislation will not only put a new emphasis a drug free workplace, but also will ensure that UI benefits are truly utilized for those who truly are ready to work," Hammond said.

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