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updated: 1/28/2014 6:45 PM

Controversial welfare legislation advances in Indiana

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Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- A contentious bill to screen welfare recipients for drug abuse and limit residents to buy only "nutritional" foods with food stamps is moving forward.

State representatives voted 71-22 in favor of the bill Tuesday.

The bill would require residents who receive money from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to take a questionnaire screening for substance abuse and possibly face drug testing.

The bill also would restrict what can be bought through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Recipients only would be able to purchase foods deemed "nutritional" by the state, which state Rep. Jud McMillin of Brookville says likely would prohibit using benefits to buy candy and soda.

Both the full Senate and governor also must approve the bill before it becomes law.

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