ATLANTA - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says legislation requiring certain food stamp recipients in Georgia to submit to drug testing violates federal regulations. <br />
USDA regional administrator Robin Bailey said in a letter Tuesday to state officials that federal rules block states from imposing additional eligibility standards like drug tests for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit recipients. <br />
The drug testing law called for recipients suspected of drug abuse by Department of Human Services officials to undergo testing. <br />
USDA officials say the agency will continue working with the state to make sure food stamp benefits are administered according to federal guidelines. <br />
A similar proposal requiring drug tests for food stamp recipients in Florida was declared unconstitutional by federal courts.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.