Bill would yank benefits for failed drug tests

Someone collecting unemployment would lose their benefits if they fail or refuse to take an employer's drug test under a bill approved by the South Carolina House.

The House voted 70-24 Thursday on a bill allowing an employer to report such a failure to the state's unemployment agency.

The measure represents a back-door way of yanking unemployment benefits for failed drug tests. A Senate bill would require every applicant to pass a drug test to get benefits. But officials say such a mandate conflicts with federal law.

Democrats say the bill humiliates people down on their luck. But Rep. Eddie Tallon says people receiving jobless benefits are supposed to be ready and able to work, and if they lose a job offer because of drugs, they shouldn't continue to collect.