5-24-17 budget panel okays drug screen expansion

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget-writing committee has approved requiring about 14,000 people who apply for Wisconsin Works jobs programs to be screened for drugs. The proposal is part of Gov. Scott Walker’s state budget. The plan would require screening for drugs in order to participate in three W-2 work programs. Drug screening has been required for four other state-run work programs since 2015. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates that about 56 people would test positive for drugs under the expanded screening and be referred for treatment. Given the low numbers of people expected to be tested, the cost of expanding the screening, testing and treatment is expected to be minimal. The Joint Finance Committee approved the provision on a 12-4 vote Tuesday.