The Texas Senate voted unanimously today to move forward with a bill that would require some welfare recipients to pass a drug test. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), would cover all adults applying to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. TANF provides poor people with money for food, clothing, and housing.

If passed into law, applicants who test positive for drug use would be temporarily banned from receiving assistance. They’d be cut off permanetly after three failed drug tests. There is a provision in the bill to provide assistance to the applicant’s children, through a third party.

The legislation will now have to pass in the House of Representatives.

Senators will also also consider a companion bill, filed by Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands). That legislation would require workers, who already have to undergo a pre-employment drug screening, to undergo a second screening before receiving unemployment benefits. That bill passed out of committee earlier this week and will soon be taken up by the full Senate.