State officials warn that legislation to require drug testing for all people applying for unemployment benefits conflicts with federal rules and law.
And the officials say that means enacting the proposed requirement could cost the state millions of dollars of federal funding and force a huge tax increase on Arizona employers.
The bill’s sponsor is Republican Sen. Steve Smith of Maricopa. Smith says he doesn’t think all that would come to pass and that the state should do what it can to make sure that people receiving taxpayer benefits are fit to work.
Other lawmakers aren’t so sure, and one plans to change Smith’s bill so that its requirement for blanket testing of applicants would only be implemented if the state and its employers wouldn’t be hit with federal penalties.