SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Bill Mitchell is serious enough about how much Illinois is spending on public aid that he’s willing to prove he’s not on drugs.

Mitchell, a Republican lawmaker from Decatur, has failed for the past several years to pass a drug test requirement for anyone applying for public benefits in Illinois. He’s trying again this year, but with a new wrinkle.

“There are certain members of the General Assembly who would accuse me of hypocrisy, ‘You’re stereotyping poor people, saying they’re on drugs,’” Mitchell said. “So I fine-tuned the bill, I said ‘If Bill Mitchell is asking someone to be drug tested to get on public assistance, then when I am filing my re-election papers, I have to have a drug test too.’”