By Jean Ross

ATLANTA (AP) — People seeking welfare benefits in Georgia would face drug tests before getting cash under a bill backed by House lawmakers.

The House of Representatives voted 114-59 on Wednesday to require that people seeking welfare payments pass a drug test. If money allows, the law would require that welfare recipients pass a randomly scheduled drug test at least once every two years. The bill now heads to the state Senate.

Those who fail a first test could reapply. But additional drug tests could make them ineligible for benefits.

Republican Rep. Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City said lawmakers have a responsibility to make sure welfare money isn’t being spent on drugs.

Democratic Rep. Rashad Taylor of Atlanta said lawmakers were unfairly assuming that the poor are drug addicts.

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