Plans to drug test welfare recipients get momentum

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- Conservatives who say welfare recipients should have to pass a drug test in order to receive government assistance have momentum on their side.

The issue has come up in the Republican presidential campaign, with front-runner Mitt Romney saying "it's an excellent idea."

Nearly two dozen states are considering plans this session that would make drug testing mandatory for welfare recipients, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And Wyoming lawmakers advanced such a proposal this week.

Driving the measures is a perception that people on public assistance are misusing the funds and that cutting off their benefits would save money for tight state budgets -- even as statistics have largely proved both notions untrue.