Legislation to require drug testing of Virginia welfare recipients is still alive, but just barely.
The House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee voted 14-6 Tuesday to send Sen. Steve Martin's bill to the Appropriations Committee, which has postponed a similar House measure until 2013. The same fate likely awaits Martin's bill.
The legislation would require an initial drug screening of applicants, followed by drug testing if officials suspect illegal drug use. Anyone testing positive could lose benefits for a year.
Martin, a Chesterfield County Republican, says the bill would ensure that welfare money is being spent to support families and children.
Opponents have argued that the bill offends the dignity of welfare recipients and incorrectly assumes they use drugs more than the general population.