The Arkansas Senate has approved legislation that would subject some of the 85,000 Arkansas residents receiving unemployment benefits to random drug testing.
By a 25-5 vote, the Senate on Monday passed a proposal by Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson of Benton that would require unemployment recipients to agree to submit to random drug testing. Hutchinson has said the testing would cost the state less than $30,000 a year to administer.
Hutchinson's proposal would require unemployment applicants and recipients to consent to random drug testing in order to receive benefits. The measure leaves it up to the state Department of Workforce Services to decide how to set up the testing.
The proposal would also prohibit the drug test results from being released or used as evidence for criminal prosecution.