MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday approved scope statements related to entitlement reform, which marks the first step in implementing drug testing of able-bodied adults seeking welfare benefits in the state.

The scope statements were submitted by Wisconsin’s departments of Health Services (DHS), Workforce Development (DWD) and Children and Families (DCF).

“In speaking to employers across the state, I frequently hear there are jobs available in high-demand fields such as manufacturing, but they require their workers to be drug-free,” Walker said. “Our 2015-17 Budget puts in place drug screening, testing, and treatment mechanisms that strengthen Wisconsin’s workforce, so individuals seeking public assistance benefits in work-based programs are better prepared and qualified to work. This entitlement reform will help more people move from government dependence to true independence.”

The scope statements are the first step in the process that allows state agencies to begin the implementation of drug testing requirements for “certain applicants for unemployment benefits as well as for able-bodied adults seeking benefits and/or training through FoodShare, Transform Milwaukee, Transitional Jobs, noncustodial parents on the W-2 program, and Children First.”

Individuals who test positive for a controlled substance without a prescription will be eligible for a drug treatment plan.

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