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Committee hears Kan. drug testing proposal

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Supporters say a bill to require some Kansas recipients of state benefits to be tested for drug use is intended to help people improve their lives, not to punish them.

Senate Vice President Jeff King told a committee Wednesday the proposals will help those receiving assistance payments or unemployment benefits to receive the treatment they need and find employment.

The requirement would apply to applicants for and participants in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program. Also, prospective employers would be required to tell the state when a job seeker who's receiving unemployment benefits fails a company drug test or refuses to take one. That would allow the state to cut off the benefits.

Opponents said the proposal targets women and minorities.