Minnesota House members vote to drug test themselves

Published On: Apr 23 2013 06:21:29 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 23 2013 06:21:00 AM CDT
Minnesota State Capitol
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

Minnesota House members have voted to give themselves drug tests in order to be eligible for their pay and benefits.

The unusual move came amid a long, late debate on a health and human service budget Monday. After a Republican lawmaker moved that the bill require drug and alcohol screening in order to be eligible for welfare, a Democratic lawmaker moved to extend that requirement to legislators.

The debate led to a few moments of levity. Republican Rep. Duane Quam of Byron joked, "bring on the cup, I have nothing to fear."

A large majority of House members backed both provisions. A handful of Democrats voted drug tests for lawmakers, including House Speaker Paul Thissen.