Federal judge tosses food stamp drug testing lawsuit

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit state attorneys filed this summer seeking a declaration that screening food stamp recipients for drugs is legal.

The 2013-15 state budget mandates such screening. Recipients who fail would have to go through drug testing and treatment to remain eligible for stamps.

According to the lawsuit, federal food stamp officials had warned that federal law bars state drug testing for stamp recipients. The lawsuit argued another section of federal law allows states to test welfare recipients for drugs.

U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert Jr. ruled on Sept. 28 that the question isn’t ripe since the federal government hasn’t taken final action on the state plan and the state hasn’t implemented the testing.

A state Justice Department spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a message.

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