Perry, Dewhurst to discuss welfare reform

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are calling on the Texas Legislature to impose drug-testing for welfare and unemployment-benefits recipients.

The pair appeared at a rare joint event at an Austin glass company on Wednesday to cheer a bill pre-filed ahead of the upcoming 2013 legislative session.

The measure would tie welfare and unemployment benefits to drug-testing while banning using public funds to buy alcohol, tobacco and lottery tickets.

It would also strengthen job training requirements.

Perry said Texas can no longer afford to ignore "a behavior that would make it virtually impossible for someone to enter the workforce or finish school."

Dewhurst added that he had heard from a slew of businesses who had turned away people they would have otherwise hired because of failed drug tests.

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