Gov. Walker approves rule requiring those receiving unemployment benefits to pass drug test

MADISON -- Governor Scott Walker on Wednesday, May 4th approved a rule requiring certain Wisconsinites receiving unemployment insurance benefits to pass a drug test.

“This new rule brings us one step closer to moving Wisconsinites from government dependence to true independence,” Governor Walker said in a statement issued to FOX6 News. “We frequently hear from employers that they have good paying jobs, but they need their workers to be drug-free. This rule is a common-sense reform which strengthens our workforce by helping people find and keep a family supporting job.”

According to a statement from the Governor's Office, under the new rule, if someone receiving unemployment insurance benefits fails a drug test or refuses to take a drug test from an employer as part of an employment offer, he or she can be denied unemployment insurance benefits.

Those who fail the drug test must comply with substance abuse treatment and a job skills assessment to remain eligible for benefits, according to the Governor's Office.

According to Governor Walker's office, by being good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollar and fighting fraud and abuse, Wisconsin transformed its unemployment insurance trust fund from a $1.3 billion deficit in 2010 to a $743 million positive balance, and employers now pay less unemployment insurance tax as a result of these efforts.