New bill would suspend benefits for drug users

COLUMBIA (WACH/AP)-A House committee is scheduled to debate a measure that would suspend the unemployment benefits of anyone who fails a drug test as part of a job application.

State law already disqualifies workers fired for drug use from collecting unemployment benefits.

The proposal before the House Judiciary Committee addresses those who are receiving benefits. They would be suspended if a job seeker tests positive for illegal drugs while applying for a new job, and the employer reports the failure to the state.

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The benefits could be restored if the person successfully completes a drug treatment program and passes a drug test.

A Senate bill would require all jobless workers to pass a drug test to collect their benefits. But the U.S. Labor Department says that would conflict with federal law.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)