A bill that would require drug testing of some Texas welfare recipients was unanimously approved by a senate panel last night. Lawmakers are moving forward with this bill that most Laredoans see as a step forward towards responsibility. It effects thousands of people in Texas and in an attempt to prevent individuals from abusing government welfare benefits, a bill that would require applicants to the temporary assistance to needy families program to undergo screening by the Texas Health and Human services commission. Applicants who appear to use drugs or have been convicted for drug use will be subjected to testing. Applicants who test positive for drugs would be barred from receiving T.A.N.F. funds for twelve months. The original version of the bill said children would have lost cash assistance after a parent failed a drug test for a second time and a third failed drug test triggered a permanent ban but under compromise under second failed drug test by designating a “protective payee” who would receive the cash benefits for the children. The average family benefit was about one hundred and seventy four dollars a month says a spokes person for T.A.N.F.