Haslam, Harwell hesitant on drug-testing proposal - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Haslam, Harwell hesitant on drug-testing proposal

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By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he expects lawmakers will pass a bill requiring drug tests for Tennesseans who get government assistance or workers' compensation. Other high-ranking Republicans aren't so confident.

Ramsey recently told the Nashville Chamber of Commerce that a similar proposal last legislative session carried a $12 million price tag but didn't take into account the savings from cutting off benefits to drug users.

House Speaker Beth Harwell says that while she agrees with the aim of the drug-testing proposal, the state's top priority is balancing its budget.

Gov. Bill Haslam has raised questions about whether the federal government's rules for the benefits programs give the state enough flexibility to start drug-testing recipients.

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