Senator delays vote on drug-testing bill

Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.

— A vote on legislation requiring random drug testing for unemployment recipients in Arkansas is being delayed over questions about how much it would cost the state.

Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson of Benton agreed Wednesday to pull down his proposal while the Department of Workforce Services studies the cost of drug testing. Members of the Senate Public Health Committee asked for more details on the estimated costs.

Hutchinson's proposal would require unemployment applicants and recipients to consent to random drug testing. His proposal would leave it up to Workforce Services to decide how to conduct the random testing. The head of that department said he did not know how much the program would cost but said he would prepare a fiscal impact statement by next week.