Drug users may lose jobless benefits

LANSING (AP) – Michigan job seekers who use illegal drugs would be denied unemployment benefits under legislation that moved forward in the state Legislature on Thursday.

The Republican-led Senate voted 28-10, almost entirely along party lines, to disqualify people from receiving jobless benefits if they fail a drug test required by a prospective employer or refuse to take the test without good cause.

Businesses would not have to notify the state when job applicants fail a drug test or decline to take it. But if companies do pass along the information, applicants not hired because of a failed drug test would lose their checks and possibly have to pay back the state.

The proposed law introduced just six weeks ago would be on the books for one year, forcing lawmakers to renew it to keep the restrictions in place.

The legislation is expected to receive final approval from the House next week because it is tied to anti-unemployment fraud bills that must be enacted quickly to comply with federal law changes. The GOP-led House approved an earlier version of the package last month. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s office did not respond Thursday on whether he would sign it.