By MICHAEL STRATFORD
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas state lawmakers are weighing a proposal that would require people to submit to drug-testing in order to receive unemployment benefits.
Under the bill, new applicants for unemployment benefits would be required to submit to a drug screen while the state would randomly test people who are already receiving benefits.
The bill was filed by Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson. He says the drug testing encourages people receiving benefits to stay drug-free and therefore increase their chances of securing employment.
Another state lawmaker, Democratic Sen. Stephanie Flowers says that such drug-testing would be unconstitutional. She says there's no reason to assume that people receiving unemployment benefits are illegally using drugs.
Flowers has proposed an amendment to the bill that would require drug-testing for the state's elected officials and all public employees.
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