Business advocates defend Corbett’s comments

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Business advocates are defending Gov. Tom Corbett’s comments about too many Pennsylvanians being unemployed because they cannot pass a drug test.

Democrats are lining up to criticize the Republican since he made the remarks Monday.

The partisan clash over drug testing echoed the furor over Corbett’s suggestion during his 2010 campaign that some Pennsylvanians would rather collect unemployment checks than go to work.

David Taylor of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association estimated Wednesday that 6,000 to 7,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled for reasons that include applicants who walk away once they learn they have to pass a drug test.

State Labor Secretary Julia Hearthway says no statistics exist on the relationship between drug testing and unemployment. She says Corbett, her boss, was simply pointing out a problem employers have cited repeatedly.

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