Senate passes welfare drug-testing pilot program

Michigan senators took another step toward requiring drug tests for certain welfare recipients Thursday, passing a Republican bill that Democrats oppose.
AP Wire
Mar 22, 2014

The House bill that passed the Senate 25-11 Thursday would establish a suspicion-based drug-testing pilot program for recipients of state cash assistance through the Family Independence Program. The legislation appropriates $500,000 in fiscal 2014 for the yearlong pilot program in at least three counties.

The bill is tied to a Senate bill still under consideration in the House. The legislation would require the Department of Human Services to screen FIP applicants and recipients for suspicion of substance abuse. Individuals whose screening results raised suspicions would have to take a drug test.

If a recipient's first test showed drug use in violation of state law, DHS would refer the person to a treatment program. Anyone who failed the test a second time or who refused to take the test would be disqualified for assistance. A recipient's children would remain eligible for assistance.

"When it comes to drug testing, individuals using taxpayer money for assistance need to be held accountable for abusing it — period," bill sponsor Sen. Joe Hune, R-Whitmore Lake, said in a statement.

Negotiations Wednesday and Thursday between DHS and lawmakers resulted in a change to the House bill clarifying that state-authorized medical marijuana use could not disqualify a recipient. DHS supports the latest version of the bill, spokesman Dave Akerly said.

Opponents of the legislation, including the Michigan League for Public Policy, say similar programs in other states haven't saved taxpayers money. The nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency estimates a statewide program would cost roughly $700,000 to $3.4 million while potentially saving $370,000 to $3.7 million in caseload reductions.

The American Civil Liberties Union has said the program would promote ugly stereotypes of poor people, discriminating against a group that doesn't use drugs at a rate significantly higher than the general population.

"We give out tax credits to schools, we give out tax credits to students, we give out tax credits to police and fire (departments)," Sen. Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield, said on the Senate floor. "And yet the only (group) that we are now saying is subject to drug screening are the poor — the poorest of the poor."

Michigan shouldn't "single them out" and make them prove they're "worthy," he said.

 

Comments

skyking007

This has proven a money loser in other states and shows the disregard Republicans have for the Poor. Republicans say they want smaller government and less regulation until it is about invading peoples personal lives. This State and Nation will never move forward until the Republicans are completely removed from power. Stop the Hate and remember this Country should be United and the Class warfare should stop.

Mystic Michael

Agreed. It's yet another GOP "solution" in search of a problem. Not unlike all the sudden hysteria to implement stringent new voter ID laws (although the motives and strategy are different) - ostensibly to combat rampant "voter fraud": a "problem" that statistically occurs less then one-tenth of one percent of the time nationwide.

A similar drug testing for welfare recipients program was recently implemented in Utah. After spending millions of dollars and many months of state employees' time & energy to launch it, want to know how many "druggy welfare bums" they eventually caught? Less than 100. In an entire state of nearly 3 million people. So much for saving the taxpayers' money.

Let's face it: This isn't really about good fiscal management. It's not about public finances or economics at all. It's all about politics...and ultimately, class. It's all about a sadistic desire to inflict as much shame and humiliation as possible on people who are not in a position to fight back. As if it wasn't humiliating enough to have to accept public assistance in order to survive, Republicans insist upon rubbing their noses in it even further. These are the kind of bullies whose sense of "justice" is so warped, that they would rather see 10 innocent people receive punishment, than allow one guilty guy to "get away with it".

Vladtheimp

"Data from Utah’s first year of screening welfare applicants for drug and alcohol abuse reveal that the Department of Workforce Services spent over $30,000 on surveys and drug tests but saved an estimated $369,000 in unpaid benefits because of the scores of applicants who walked away rather than submit to the scrutiny."

"Agency data show that 1,020 of 4,730 FEP applicants scored high on the SASSI, 466 were drug tested and 12 tested positive. Just four sought treatment.

Each SASSI costs $1.25 — totalling $5,912.50 for 4,730 applicants. The actual drug testing cost $25,654 for a combined total of $31,566.50.

Some 247 high-probability applicants failed to comply with requirements and were barred from reapplying for aid for 90 days, DWS Public Information Officer Nic Dunn said.

Because the average three-person household receives $498 per month in cash assistance, agency officials calculated that total cost savings for the 247 turned-away applicants and their dependent children was $123,006 a month, or $369,018 for the three-month period they were prohibited from reapplying." http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/mob...

Wolverine49457

So "caring" for the poor should include turning a blind eye to the things that destroy families, bodies and minds but we still want to claim we love our brothers despite watching them poison themselves.
How can we claim to care for the poor but treat them as captive animals who are tossed a portion from our tables for sustenance but offer no real love, interaction or physical effort as they wipe out who they used to be with chemicals, where it is written that its ok to let someone die when life becomes such turmoil poisoning themselves is a better option because the guy who suggested an effort has an R instead of a D beside his name.
Why would it be so horrible to make an effort to identify addicts before they are senseless lots in some state of perpetual care or in prison for crimes they don’t remember? If your love is tempered by political winds that guide what you will do for your brother in crisis you are also dying inside and not the only one in turmoil.

Lanivan

Your concern for those addicted to drugs is admirable, but I am certain that is hardly the benign motivation behind the law. Studies have shown that, a.) Only a minimal percentage of government assistance recipients test positive for drugs - and the percentage of drug users among the poor is about the same or LESS than it is among the general population, b.) Michigan has already instituted serious welfare reform that has brought the numbers of recipients to the lowest levels in 40 years, plus has had jobs programs in place requiring community service as an option. The lifetime cap on welfare in MI is 48 month; c.) Is this a concern for a "brother in crisis"? If a person refused the test, their benefits are denied. If they fail the test, they are referred to a treatment program. If they test positive a 2nd time, they lose all benefits. Meanwhile, an amendment had to be added to the original, stating that children of the dropped recipient could still receive benefits - this was not included in the original.

Basically, the drug testing laws are simply more "feel-good" legislation during an election year of big right-wing government that transfers taxpayer money to private drug testing companies, when they should be focusing that money on other priorities, like road repair and education. Or Veteran Services - Michigan spends the least on Veteran Services than any other state in the country. "The Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency projects that implementing a statewide program here could cost between $700,000 and $3.4 million, but also notes the state could reduce general fund and federal spending by between $370,000 and $3.7 million [depending on how many residents were removed from the welfare rolls]". If we go by what other states are experiencing, the "savings" will be minimal at best.

To quote a Michigan Democrat legislator: ""I'm continually frustrated by the priorities of this Legislature, in particular the ongoing attacks on low-income families," said Gregory. "Michigan gives businesses nearly 40 billion in tax handouts, yet those companies are not required to be drug tested, let alone to create the jobs they promised."

And did I mention? - These drug-testing laws are just pre-written legislation that lobbyists pay ALEC, a bill mill, to write and sell to right-wing-controlled states. http://www.alecexposed.org/w/ima...

Barry Soetoro

Sounds like a business opportunity. You're allegedly a pretty good writer.

Vladtheimp

Let's clear the fog of Lanivan:

1. The U.S. Department of Labor guidance on pre-employment drug testing:

While private employers are not required to follow these guidelines, doing so can help them stay on safe legal ground. Court decisions have supported following these guidelines, and as a result, many employers choose to follow them. These Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing (also called SAMHSA’s guidelines) include having a Medical Review Officer (MRO) evaluate tests. They also identify the five substances tested for in Federal drug-testing programs and require the use of drug labs certified by SAMHSA.

Pre-Employment: Pre-employment testing is conducted to prevent hiring individuals who illegally use drugs. It typically takes place after a conditional offer of employment has been made. Applicants agree to be tested as a condition of employment and are not hired if they fail to produce a negative test. However, it is possible for employees to prepare for a pre-employment test by stopping their drug use several days before they anticipate being tested. Therefore, some employers test probationary employees on an unannounced basis. Some states however, restrict this process. Furthermore, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 prohibits the use of pre-employment testing for alcohol use. (Note especially the federal gubmint PROHIBITS screening for alcohol) http://www.dol.gov/elaws/asp/dru...

2. ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is made up of elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels. It often prescribes model legislation to assist local governments that can benefit from the experience of other elected officials.

3. The LannyLink is to draft legislation to assist in standardizing the pre-testing regimens of PRIVATE EMPLOYERS - it has absolutely zero to do with government testing of welfare recipients, nothing to do with "right-wing controlled states" (whatever that means). It is to assist employer compliance with the requirements of the federal Drug Free Workplace Act.

It appears ALEC is sharing the rent free space in your head with the Koch Brothers, Bush, Cheney and Cruz - must be gettin danged crowded up there.

Mystic Michael

ALEC is comprised of approximately 2,000 elected officials at the federal, state and local levels...PLUS some 300 corporate members drawn from among the largest and most powerful corporations in the world, along with their lobbyists. ALEC is a secretive, pay-to-play organization, created largely to legislatively advance the special interests of those corporations - typically at the expense of the public interest.

More than 98% of ALEC's revenues come from sources other than legislative dues, such as corporations, corporate trade groups, and corporate foundations. Less than 2% of ALEC’s funding comes from “Membership Dues” of $50 per year paid by state legislators.

Want to know for whose benefit ALEC was created? Want to know who ultimately benefits? Just follow the money. As usual.

P.S. "Right-wing controlled states" refers to states dominated by conservative Republican governors, and conservative Republican majorities in the legislatures. Examples would include most of the usual Deep South states, i.e. Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, etc. Somewhat atypically, that list now also includes North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin, and alas, Michigan. At least for now.

It's really quite remarkable to realize just how little Vlad understands...whenever he's made a firm determination to not understand it.

Vladtheimp

Why am I unsurprised that our two resident leftists are once again adopting Alinsky Rule for Radicals #12 - Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy." in order to demonize and slander people and organizations with which they disagree - the latest smears directed at ALEC and the Koch Brothers.

Using code words like "secretive, pay-to-play organization, 300 corporate members drawn from among the largest and most powerful corporations in the world" they attempt to make people think there is something un-American about championing free market principles, while ignoring the many similar groups that support their leftist agenda, like the Progressive States Network, American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange (ALICE), George Soros, Move On, Media Matters, the Center for American Progress and myriad other groups that don't reveal their funding or their donors.

Of the "300 corporate members drawn from among the largest and most powerful corporations in the world" according to Bloomberg, 13 of the 22 companies and trade associations represented on ALEC’s private enterprise board also contributed at least $2 million to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

These leftist agitators ignore groups similar to ALEC like the Council of State Governments, which is also comprised of federal, state, and local legislators; both have corporate sponsors, and both prepare draft legislation, and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) . However, while ALEC is based on free market solutions to problems, NCSL often supports big government programs, such as internet taxation, the wasteful and ineffective $787 billion stimulus bill, and Obamacare. NCSL gets its funding from taxpayer dollars, corporations (AT&T, Astra Zeneca, Comcast Cable, the National Education Association, WalMart, Visa, Time Warner Cable, AARP, ExxonMobil, GM), public employee unions, and government sponsored enterprises like Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae. http://www.carolinajournal.com/e...

The only way to combat these leftists' socialist agenda is sunlight - they are great for slandering people who work for a strong America based on traditional values, a strong private sector, and smaller government but they obfuscate, ignore, and deny that they have successfully injected their socialist values into our society and government through truly shadowy organizations, like the Soros Tides Foundation which coordinates the activities of many of these groups in order to achieve a One World concept that diminishes American exceptionalism. Watch for the Alinsky tactics as you read their screeds!

Lanivan

Be very careful when referring to radicals. Paul Weyrich, a co-founder of ALEC, the Heritage Foundation among others, once said this: "In 1984, he said: "We are different from previous generations of conservatives... We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure of this country." Thus did the word "radical" get tainted by an extremist.

Key to the success of the extremist conservative movement is suppression of the vote alluded to by Weyrich that Republicans have worked so diligently to implement in myriad forms, finding new pathways when any particular measure is blocked."

Seems you have at least one of your very own radical propagandists on your side. Let's face it, Vlad....Alinsky was a genius at understanding and manipulating human nature, with lessons fraught with rich and universal tactics and strategies to gain power and control, that can be used and abused by all political points in the spectrum, or even some screed-riddled writings of a centrist.

Vladtheimp

Cool - do you really believe that I or other conservatives are driven by one sentence spoken by one individual, 30 years ago? If that's the best argument you have, Democrats will most definitely lose the Senate this year. (1984 - LOL)

Lanivan

"Does Big Brother even exist? Of course he exists. No, I mean....does he exist like you or me? You do not exist".

I'm rather shocked you downplay Paul - widely known as the founding father of the conservative movement....hardly one sentence spoken by one individual. I find this interesting -from the Free Congress Foundation: Paul Weyrich's "Training Manual - Conquering by Stealth & Deception":

1) Falsehoods are not only acceptable, they are a necessity. The corollary is: The masses will accept any lie if it is spoken with vigor, energy and dedication.

2) It is necessary to be cast under the cloak of "goodness" whereas all opponents and their ideas must be cast as "evil."

3) Complete destruction of every opponent must be accomplished through unrelenting personal attacks.

4) The creation of the appearance of overwhelming power and brutality is necessary in order to destroy the will of opponents to launch opposition of any kind.

"Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions..

"We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment's rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American. We will offer constant reminders that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have had enough of the sickness and decay of today's American culture, they will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement. The rejection of the existing society by the people will thus be accomplished by pushing them and pulling them simultaneously.

"We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the dominant regime."

From 1984: "If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself."

Vladtheimp

Just can't stop utilizing the Alinskying of people with whom you disagree, can you? I note you have provided no source for your wild accusations - perhaps because there is no document known as "Paul Weyrich's "Training Manual - Conquering by Stealth & Deception." There is an essay titled "The Integration of Theory and Practice" which the whacko group "Theocracy Watch" called the Weyrich training manual, which was not even written by Weyrich, but by some unknown named Eric Heubeck. At least you didn't put your four points in quotation marks, since they are actually quotations from leftist Katherine Yuerica of what SHE thinks the Heubeck essay says.

Now that we have gotten the lies and deceptions in your pitiful comment out of the way, neither I nor any conservative of whom I am aware knows about this essay much less follows it, unlike the Alinsky Rules for Radicals which is a kind of bible for leftists, and recommended as an aid for teachers on the website of the National Education Association. Barack Obama's ties with the Alinsky method and Alinsky organizations in Chicago have been well documented. Hillary Clinton as a student at Wellesly in 1969, interviewed Saul Alinsky and wrote her thesis on Alinsky’s theories and methods; upon her graduation, Alinsky offered her a job but she instead enrolled at Yale Law School.

Finally, if you find me utilizing one of the tactics from the fake Training Manual, please call me out on it, as I will continue to identify your use of the Alinsky tactics.

Lanivan

This is perhaps the most astonishing, and in many ways, the most disappointing reply from Vladtheimp I have read, thus far. You know, and I know, and you know I know you know, that Paul Weyrich is, in fact, considered a founding father of modern conservatism; that most of the success of the conservative movement since the 1970's flowed from structures, organizations, and coalitions Weyrich started; that Eric Heubeck is widely considered a protege of Weyrich, and wrote the Integration of Theory & Practice with Weyrich's guidance, from which the quotes above are pulled;, and that Paul Weyrich co-founded or was involved with many conservative groups, such as the Council for National Policy, the Free Congress Foundation, the Freedom Federation, the Heritage Foundation, and many others.

You know, and I know, that this multitude of conservative organizations forms a network, or cabal, of far-right groups that promote radical tactics to directly influence our politicians, public policy, and the subsequent erosion of freedom and democracy that is the consequence of those tactics.

I find absolutely no joy whatsoever in pointing out, that although I appreciate your offer to call you out if utilizing conservative agenda tactics as spelled out in the Integration of Theory and Practice, you are, in fact, a faithful servant of those tactics. The second paragraph of your comment is a case in point.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance". Thomas Jefferson.

Vladtheimp

Any reputable sources for all of these allegations?

Did you, or did you not state that Weyrich wrote something called ""Training Manual - Conquering by Stealth & Deception?"

He did not.

Did you or did you not claim your 4 numbered points were from the mythical and non-existent "Manual?"

They were not.

I suspect your "disappointment" is due to the fact that I took the trouble to research and disclose the untruths contained in your comment.

NEA promotion of Alinsky: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4...

Hillary and Obama history with Alinsky: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp...

Lanivan

What? No reputable sources to disprove the quotes were not from the words or teachings of Paul Weyrich or his many conservative alliances?

My disappointment is with the conflicting juxtaposition of your servitude to the hard right conservative teachings, theories, and tactics, and the depth of your effort, when exposed, to discount and navigate around it.

http://www.publiceye.org/ifas/cnp/

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/2...

https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of...

Just a smattering of what I've been reading. I await your reply insisting these articles are but a product of the leftist media. or I'm just a liar.

Vladtheimp

Words "or teachings?" Way to walk back what you initially stated. If you want to read about how your statements were wrong, research "Katherine Yurica" - I'm not going to link to her leftist rants about Dominionism.

Lanivan

I appreciate that, at a certain point in the discussion, you turn to vacuous insults about my mental state in order to divert, divide, and confuse. Yaawwnnn!

1. So today you are in favor of US Department of Labor pre-employment drug testing - Key word here = Private employers are NOT required....Yesterday you called it unconstitutional on the grounds that (I presume) it infringes on the 14th Amendment. And what does the ADA of 1990 have to do with 2014 drug-testing of welfare recipients?

2. ALEC is not a new entity. " The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a right-wing public policy organization with strong ties to major corporations, trade associations and right-wing politicians.
ALEC's agenda includes rolling back civil rights, challenging government restrictions on polluters, infringing on workers’ rights, limiting government regulations of commerce, privatizing public services, and representing the interests of the corporations that make up its supporters". And I might add to add insult to injury, they specialize in Voter Suppression Laws designed to keep as many people from voting as possible. May I quote once again, from Paul Weyrich, a co-founder of ALEC: "Now many of our Christians have what I call the 'goo-goo syndrome.' Good government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." —Paul Weyrich, 1980
- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/co...

ALEC, like Rush Limbaugh, has seen an exodus of major corporate sponsors, especially after the debacle of the Stand Your Ground law in Florida, and as taxpayers come to understand that ALEC is an extreme right-wing organization controlled by corporate sponsors, and put pressure on members to let their memberships expire.

3. I simply spoke of 'drug testing' in a generic sense.

Yes - you are correct. ALEC, along with the Koch Bros, Bush/Cheney and Cruz, just to name a few, are of a major concern to me, as they should be to all people who value their individual rights and freedoms from corporate influences that are buying up America, our politicians, and public policy. But you are right - my mind is something of an outlier - I actually care enough to spend time and energy in writing about it as best I can. To think I could be watching Dr. Phil and texting up my friends all day, complaining about the weather!

Vladtheimp

1. I didn't say I was in favor of it, I simply quoted from the Department of Labor website - I don't have enough years left on this earth to quantify the deviations from the Constitution that have been legislated in the name of liberalism;

2. Hoo - now you quote one person from 34 years ago to attempt to define my political philosophy and that of conservatives. Why not go back further to explain the roots of Planned Parenthood and the Sanger Award Granny McBotox will soon accept? http://directorblue.blogspot.com... Or lets go back only a few years: "
“There are white n#ggers. I've seen a lot of white n#ggers in my time.” Robert Byrd, March 4, 2001 (Do you want Democrats to be tied to the words of their former Senator, Majority Leader, and Grand Kleagle forever?

3. Really?

4. If you are truly concerned about the diminution of individual rights and freedoms, you would focus your considerable intellect and energy on the left wing side of the equation (Soros, Steyer, Bloomberg) as you do with conservatives. If you are truly concerned about the diminution of individual rights and freedoms,you would oppose Obama's NSA, Obamacare, and the many other anti-individual rights and freedoms policies - but of course, that might cause you to drop the pom poms for Obama - you might as well be fixated on Dr. Phil, texting, and biotching about the weather (which is caused by industrialization, ya know).

Lanivan

1. What was your point in bringing it to the table?

2. Why do you people always bring up Robert Byrd? Can't you find someone else from the left for a change who is an outspoken racist? No?....

3. Really.

4. Again - Pom-poms be dammed! You shoot yourself in the foot when you direct your vituperation towards Obama, as if the loss of all civil liberties start and stop with him. Just when I start to take you seriously, you prove me wrong.

Mystic Michael

Wolverine, if we as a society were truly interested in dealing with drug addiction as the public health crisis that it is, then why is it that we routinely spend far more on prisons than we do on drug treatment facilities? Even though the majority of prisoners in state and federal prisons across the country are there for petty drug offenses - not for any kind of serious crimes - and when treatment & counseling has been proven to be a far more effective, and far more cost-effective remedy than incarceration? Could it have something to do with the ongoing privatization of the state prison system, in which every new prisoner represents an additional stream of new revenue for the corporations that owns the prisons - something that conservative politicians, and Republicans in particular - have been vigorously advocating for years?

Given the fact that public assistance recipients have been proven to be no more likely to use drugs than any other segment of our population - as Lanny has pointed out more than once - how can your disingenuous remarks about "caring" for our poor, drug-addled welfare recipients be construed as anything other than patronizing and condescending in the extreme?

thecatsmom

Unless they conduct random and hair folicle testing it is a waste of time. If they continue to get money for their children they will just use it for their drugs.
These are the arm pits of society that know only how to use the system.
Why dont we have them do some snow shoveling for seniors if they gey welfare. Not a one knocked at my door to see if I would like to hire a shovelers.

retired DOC

This brings us to the question of: How do we stop paying money to the drug users and still keep the money going to the children? This program many need to be watched very closely and changed as facts come out.

Lanivan

In 1999, Michigan passed the country's first ever law that required welfare recipients to pass drug tests before receiving benefits. It was a pilot program similar to the one being passed now, with plans to expand it later across the state. It was struck down in 2003 by a US Court of Appeals as being unconstitutional. In the time period it was implemented before appeals, many studies came to the same conclusion - "the cost of the program was not warranted".

Meanwhile, many other states have either studied similar proposals, or have passed similar legislation. Almost entirely across the board, the conclusions are the same:

* Welfare recipients are no more likely to use drugs than the rest of the population.

* Drug testing is very expensive, resulting in some cases, exorbitant costs to the taxpayers.

* Drug testing of welfare recipients produces meager percentages of welfare recipients who test positive for drugs - an average is 2% of those tested. In Utah, in one year, out of 4,730 pre-screened applicants, 466 were determined to be likely users. Of those users, the drug test found 12 actual drug users. It cost the state $31,000.

* Most drug tests fail to detect the most powerful, addictive, and more dangerous drugs like meth and cocaine, nor do they detect alcohol, a far more wide-spread source of substance abuse. Many state studies have shown that drug testing programs are not cost-effective or efficient at actually helping fight drug addictions.

If the idea is that public benefits should not be given to those taking drugs, why stop at welfare recipients? Anybody receiving benefits from the state should undergo drug tests - recipients of public education grants, loans, subsidies, wages, including all public employees, students, and, of course, our Michigan state legislators, including Gov Snyder.

Or, if the idea really is to discriminate against poor people, how about this novel idea? Instead of wasting money on laws that have been proven time and again to be costly, ineffective, and discriminatory, not to mention unconstitutional, why don't our legislators focus on job-training programs to get people OFF welfare?

Barry Soetoro

Yeah, what's next? Making them do community service in exchange for free money? Barbaric!

Lanivan

You're a little late. Senate Bill 276 passed earlier this month that codifies existing policy that has been in place for some time (makes you wonder why add more regulation now - oh yeah!....it's an election year) that makes community service one of several work options an individual can complete as part of a required self-sufficiency plan.

There are certain conditions that exempt a recipient, such as age, medical condition, etc. And about 50% of welfare recipients chose community service as one of their work options last year.

I'm curious - and can't seem to find any information - about costs involved with this program. Who designs the program - at what cost? Who administers the program - at what cost? Who enforces the program - at what cost?

Maybe you have better sources than me to get this information. I'm also in favor of prisoners doing general road work - clean up, etc. Know anything about that?

Barry Soetoro

I'm a big fan of Sheriff Joe. Does that answer your question?

Lanivan

Shhh.....(does he know about the home brewing??)....

Vladtheimp

There's that old liberal double standard again - color me unsurprised.

Testing applicants for jobs is the norm in many industries (almost all of the Fortune 500 companies spend the money to do it), and the costs in the private sector are minimal. Companies apparently believe the costs are worth it since they spend their own money to test. So, it's o.k. to condition getting a job on drug testing, but heaven forfend that we subject the delicate snowflakes on welfare to the same testing to get paid from taxpayer dollars.

And why does the private sector test? Generally to avoid the decreased productivity related to drug use caused by premature death and absences related to illness, not to mention accidents, high turnover rates and theft.

So, let's see - liberals gladly embrace the trainwreck that is Obamacare, which resulted and will result if Obama ever follows the law in more people losing their health insurance than sign up for health insurance for the first time, but oppose a program that would limit illness and premature deaths from substance abuse in the first place.

And talk about a double standard, the federal gubmint under the Drug Free Workplace Act actually requires any business that receives money from the federal government to maintain a drug-free work environment. But a similar requirement can't be applied to the welfare kings and queens that receive money from the feds - I guess the money is different.http://smallbusiness.chron.com/a...

Is it any wonder that many of us fight for smaller government?

skyking007

You fight for smaller government? When has the Republican party ever downsized the Government? Republicans want to control every aspect of peoples lives, telling them who they can love and even want to control their medical choices. Liberals want to give everyone equal rights and pay, and the right to pursue happiness.

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