But this time it was the more conservative House that made the decision, not the Senate, equally divided between the two parties.
The House, which has an historic two-to-one Republican majority, postponed considering its version of the bill until 2013. Late Monday, it did the same to the Senate version, which had narrowly made it out of the chamber, with a 21-20 vote thanks to the tie-breaking Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R).
At issue, delegates say, is the cost.
The House Appropriations Committee voted to study the bill after cost estimates came in at $1.3 million out of the general fund in the first year and about $1 million annually after that.
The bills were slightly different but essentially said that local social services departments would be required to screen people receiving benefits to determine if there was reason to believe the person was using illegal substances. If so, a formal drug test would be administered.