A Georgia bill signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal in March which would require some food stamp recipients to undergo random drug testing is illegal and can’t be implemented according to a letter sent to the state by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Under the bill signed into law in March, a state worker would be authorized to require a food stamp recipient to take a random drug test if they have “a reasonable suspicion” that they consume illegal substances. Although other states have passed laws requiring drug testing for certain federal benefits, Georgia’s law is the first to allow random testing of food stamp recipients.
According to the USDA, Georgia’s law is illegal based on USDA policy. That policy “prohibits states from mandating drug testing of (food stamp) applicants and recipients,” according to Robin Bailey, Regional Administrator of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
The USDA shooting down Georgia’s new law will almost surely prevent other states from attempting a similar policy.