While none of us wants welfare money to be used for the purchase of illegal drugs, the drug testing measure is not a good idea. A similar bill has been passed and implemented in Florida, passed but stalled in Georgia, and is being considered in a number of other states. Florida's experience is slowing down the momentum.
It seems Florida ended up losing money rather than the intended goal of saving it; data showed there was not a major drug problem among people on welfare, with only 2% testing positive (marijuana), compared with 6% of the general public; and the courts so far have ruled it to be unconstitutional.
Since there is no data to suggest people in need of government assistance are more likely to be drug users, this seems like another law looking for a problem. If it costs lots of taxpayer money to implement, states lose money on it, it does not achieve the intended purpose, and it has been declared unconstitutional, why pass it?
Looks to me like another expansion of the role of big government, the wasting of precious tax dollars, and the infringement of our 4th Amendment Right.
Of course, I'm sure those owners, shareholders, and members of the boards of the drug testing companies would disagree.
What your leaving out:
Florida implemented a statewide suspicionless drug testing program in 2011, just 2.6% of applicants were found to be using illegal drugs and were denied assistance. Florida's program targeted ONLY new applicants and re-applicants, meaning that the regular caseload of approximately 50,000 families was not affected by the policy OR tested. Hmmm, wonder how different the number would look if all were tested?
I'm not sure drug testing is the way to go either. I do believe if you are arrested for drug related charges while on assistance you should lose the benefits. No testing needed, no money spent to test.
Just another way to tighten up on the many areas of waste in the program.
Funny, you seem to flip or is it flop to the small government side on this issue. Shall we sign you up with the NRA to help defend the big government infringement attempts on the 2nd amendment?
I appreciate your input, Wing. I became aware of this topic several months ago, and I was struck by two things: In Florida, Gov Rick Scott was a major shareholder of the drug testing company that was commissioned to do the testing; after an uproar, legal work was hastily drawn up to convert his share of ownership to his wife.
The other thing is that there has been no data to prove that welfare recipients have a higher incidence of drug use which would justify the cost of the program. So why bother? Well,, I know why, but choose not to get into it at this time.
Remember - I'm a Independent centrist. I don't mind spending money if you get a decent return on the investment. I strongly oppose waste, but understand there are times when the judicious application of taxpayer money can save it in the end.
I don't believe for one minute the current public gun safety proposals (such as background checks) are an infringement of any amendment (and neither do 90% of the population or 80% of gun owners).
hmmmm, I have a good job, but am required to submit to drug testing at any given time at my employers discretion. I am not against welfare. I would not have an objection to aid recipients being held to the same standards as I am. As it stands, if I chose to use drugs, I would lose my income. Make sense to me that if they make the choice to use drugs, they would lose theirs.
Interesting bit of fact. In 1999, Michigan introduced a pilot program to test all recipients of the Family In dependence Program (FIP) cash assistance for drug use, with the goal to implement the program statewide by April 2003. A drug test was required of every FIP recipient and applicant, meaning that the program was "suspicionless". If the program had been implemented fully, FIP eligibility would have been made contingent on a negative result on the drug test. While it was in effect, (one month from Oct 1st - Nov 1st) the pilot program tested 435 applicants for drug use; 10.3% of them tested positive.
In 1999, ACLU, go figure, filed a lawsuit, Marchwinski v. Howard, in U.S. District Court against the Department of Human Services (then the Family Independence Agency), alleging that the drug testing program was a violation of Fourth Amendment rights, which protect against unreasonable searches.
So Justsayin, I guess its against your fourth amendment rights to be drug tested ONLY if you are getting free money...not when you earn it!
Good idea if there is suspicion of drug use..It also mentioned they will also be monitoring children school attendance and if the requirements are not met they will drop people from the progran as well.. we all dont like change but what can we really do?
uuhhh . . . get a job. Oh that's right. There aren't any.
Why stop at testing for illegal drugs? Since the rationale for drug testing welfare recipients is to weed out and stop the spending of taxpayer money on drugs (which usually represents an addiction), why not expand it to cover other types of wasteful and damaging addictions? There's always addictions to prescription drugs, food - especially non-nutritive junk food, gambling, and porn. I consider all of those things wasteful, damaging, and ultimately harmful to any children present in the household. To those 173 in favor of drug testing - do I get an 'aye'?
Ah, most of your "others list"are legal. Why on gods green earth do you want to continue to help support an illegal activity with tax payers money?
I got an idea, lets move the welfare cheats to your neighborhood and you can be a good neighbor and help them thru their addictions whatever they maybe. Amazing how far a Lib will go to guarantee a voting block of voters.
They may be legal, but when done with taxpayer money in the form of welfare payouts, I consider it a waste of my money and of no value to the recipient. All of these types of addictions are ultimately damaging to the health of the recipient and family, are chronic in nature, and will keep the welfare recipient from the desired goal - to provide them temporary help until they are able to get a job. If a recipient is tested and results show the presence of marijuana (illegal), how is that worse than a negative result but instead using the money on a constant diet of junk food that makes them unhealthy and a high risk for expensive emergency hospital care, or spending money on lottery tickets while the kids go without milk?
Are you serious? You are equating drug use to junk food. Wow.
At least we agree there is a waste of money. So now lets fix it and not throw up road blocks to ferreting out the waste. Of course if you don't want to fix it you are doing a good job of acting like you do.
It's not as much as a stretch as you make it. A steady diet of junk food, which creates malnutrition, especially in children, can also bring about obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and the potential for orthopedic problems brought about by that obesity. All this is a tremendous drain on health care, and keeps many recipients from good health and the jobs that might allow them to break away from welfare dependency.
I'm just saying that if you promote drug testing as a way of making the system more efficient and less wasteful, it makes perfect sense to test for other equally wasteful addictions that are just as draining on the system.
almost every place i have worked, i had to take a drug test and background check, get passed or you dont work and no pay check or is this is the reason they just give up finding a job because the cant pass anyway and leach of other people, did you know that egypt dont have a welfare system or taxes, they depend on family and thats the way i remember it, you retire and cant work or disabled, the family takes of you, but everyone knows thats impossiable now days
Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.
Enjoy more from Lighthouse Media:
- Business Times
- People's Choice
- Real Estate
- Discover Magazine
- Spotlight Magazine
- Discussion Guidelines
- Legal Information
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Online contact form
101 North Third Street
Grand Haven, MI 49417