Lawmaker Pushes for Drug-Testing of Homeless
State lawmakers and service providers spent the morning debating the best ways to get homeless Texans off the streets. But the Texas House Committee on Urban Affairs hearing showed that the two groups have some major disagreements on the best solutions.
The hearing focused on homeless aid programs and how to best spend state dollars in the upcoming legislative session. Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Houston, says that any program must incorporate drug testing to succeed.
“Since the taxpayers are in fact supplementing these type of low-income housing project, which is apparently needed, for the safety and security of the children who reside there would it not seem reasonable to have some drug testing or that type of thing?” Riddle told the committee.
Service providers from many of the state’s metro areas agreed that testing is appropriate for rehabilitation programs, but they said it is impractical when applied at large. Each organization also made a point of saying they could not survive without private donations to supplement state and local tax dollars.