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Panel to approve drug tests for jobs programs

The state Legislature’s budget-writing committee is expected to approve requiring about 14,000 people who apply for Wisconsin Works jobs programs to be screened for drug use.

The co-chairs of the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee say the panel plans to approve the idea on Tuesday.

The proposal would require people to be screened for drugs before taking part 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 likely to be minimal.

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