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Politics & Government

State Senate to unemployed: Take a drug test as part of job search or lose your benefits

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State Sen. Mark Jansen chairs the Senate

A state Senate panel has approved a bill that would revoke unemployment benefits if a person fails a drug test as part of a job search.

State Sen. Mark Jansen (R- Gaines Township) chairs the committee. He says failing or refusing to take a drug test is the same as turning down suitable employment. 

“They know better, and they shouldn’t be able to collect that unemployment based on testing positive for drugs,” said Jansen. If you want to do drugs, guess what? A, it’s illegal, and B, there’s a lot of ramifications, societal and, now, in the job market.”

Opponents of the legislation call it a political ploy.

“We want the unemployment system to be fair, to be free of fraud, to be there for folks who need it. But we can’t penalize workers who are trying to do their best,” said state Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) voted against the measure. She says there should be an appeals process for people who lose their benefits.

The legislation now goes to the full state Senate.