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wutamess
03-26-2009, 07:57 AM
States consider drug tests for welfare recipients (http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090326/D975MFE80.html)
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By TOM BREEN <table style="width: 700px; height: 436px;" align="right" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td align="center"><table border="1" bordercolor="#cbcbcd" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0" width="150"><tbody><tr><td><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr align="center"><td>http://ak.imgfarm.com/images/ap/thumbnails//States_Welfare_With_Strings.sff_WVJG101_20090325234525.jpg (http://apnews.myway.com/image/20090325/States_Welfare_With_Strings.sff_WVJG101_20090325234525.html?date=20090326&docid=D975MFE80)</td></tr><tr><td>(AP) Del. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, stands near the Capitol dome Wednesday, March 11, 2009 in Charleston,...
Full Image (http://apnews.myway.com/image/20090325/States_Welfare_With_Strings.sff_WVJG101_20090325234525.html?date=20090326&docid=D975MFE80)</td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td width="100%"> <script> if (NAV_NS&&NAV_VER<6) document.write("
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</td></tr></tbody></table> CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Want government assistance?Lawmakers in at least eight states want recipients of food stamps, unemployment benefits or welfare to submit to random drug testing.

The effort comes as more Americans turn to these safety nets to ride out the recession. Poverty and civil liberties advocates fear the strategy could backfire, discouraging some people from seeking financial aid and making already desperate situations worse.

Those in favor of the drug tests say they are motivated out of a concern for their constituents' health and ability to put themselves on more solid financial footing once the economy rebounds. But proponents concede they also want to send a message: you don't get something for nothing.
<table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0" width="210"><tbody><tr><td align="center"><table border="1" bordercolor="#cbcbcd" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0" width="150"><tbody><tr><td><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr align="center"><td>http://ak.imgfarm.com/images/ap/thumbnails//States_Welfare_With_Strings.sff_WVJG103_20090325234503.jpg (http://apnews.myway.com/image/20090325/States_Welfare_With_Strings.sff_WVJG103_20090325234503.html?date=20090326&docid=D975MFE80)</td></tr><tr><td>(AP) Del. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, stands near the Capitol dome Wednesday, March 11, 2009 in Charleston,...
Full Image (http://apnews.myway.com/image/20090325/States_Welfare_With_Strings.sff_WVJG103_20090325234503.html?date=20090326&docid=D975MFE80)</td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table>"Nobody's being forced into these assistance programs," said Craig Blair, a Republican in the West Viginia Legislature who has created a Web site - notwithmytaxdollars.com - that bears a bobble-headed likeness of himself advocating this position. "If so many jobs require random drug tests these days, why not these benefits?"
Blair is proposing the most comprehensive measure in the country, as it would apply to anyone applying for food stamps, unemployment compensation or the federal programs usually known as "welfare": Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Women, Infants and Children.
Lawmakers in other states are offering similar, but more modest proposals.
On Wednesday, the Kansas House of Representatives approved a measure mandating drug testing for the 14,000 or so people getting cash assistance from the state, which now goes before the state senate. In February, the Oklahoma Senate unanimously passed a measure that would require drug testing as a condition of receiving TANF benefits, and similar bills have been introduced in Missouri and Hawaii. A Florida senator has proposed a bill linking unemployment compensation to drug testing, and a member of Minnesota's House of Representatives has a bill requiring drug tests of people who get public assistance under a state program there.
A January attempt in the Arizona Senate to establish such a law failed.
<table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0" width="210"><tbody><tr><td align="center"><table border="1" bordercolor="#cbcbcd" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0" width="150"><tbody><tr><td><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr align="center"><td>http://ak.imgfarm.com/images/ap/thumbnails//States_Welfare_With_Strings.sff_WVJG102_20090325234544.jpg (http://apnews.myway.com/image/20090325/States_Welfare_With_Strings.sff_WVJG102_20090325234544.html?date=20090326&docid=D975MFE80)</td></tr><tr><td>(AP) Del. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, sits at his desk on the floor of the house Wednesday, March 11, 2009...
Full Image (http://apnews.myway.com/image/20090325/States_Welfare_With_Strings.sff_WVJG102_20090325234544.html?date=20090326&docid=D975MFE80)</td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table>In the past, such efforts have been stymied by legal and cost concerns, said Christine Nelson, a program manager with the National Conference of State Legislatures. But states' bigger fiscal crises, and the surging demand for public assistance, could change that.

"It's an example of where you could cut costs at the expense of a segment of society that's least able to defend themselves," said Frank Crabtree, executive director of the West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Drug testing is not the only restriction envisioned for people receiving public assistance: a bill in the Tennessee Legislature would cap lottery winnings for recipients at $600.

There seems to be no coordinated move around the country to push these bills, and similar proposals have arisen periodically since federal welfare reform in the 1990s. But the appearance of a cluster of such proposals in the midst of the recession shows lawmakers are newly engaged about who is getting public assistance.

Particularly troubling to some policy analysts is the drive to drug test people collecting unemployment insurance, whose numbers nationwide now exceed 5.4 million, the highest total on records dating back to 1967.
"It doesn't seem like the kind of thing to bring up during a recession," said Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "People who are unemployed, who have lost their job, that's a sympathetic group. Americans are tuned into that, because they're worried they'll be next."
Indeed, these proposals are coming at a time when more Americans find themselves in need of public assistance.

Although the number of TANF recipients has stayed relatively stable at 3.8 million in the last year, claims for unemployment benefits and food stamps have soared.

In December, more than 31.7 million Americans were receiving food stamp benefits, compared with 27.5 million the year before.
The link between public assistance and drug testing stems from the Congressional overhaul of welfare in the 1990s, which allowed states to implement drug testing as a condition of receiving help.
But a federal court struck down a Michigan law that would have allowed for "random, suspicionless" testing, saying it violated the 4th Amendment's protections against unreasonable search and seizure, said Liz Schott, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
At least six states - Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Virginia - tie eligibility for some public assistance to drug testing for convicted felons or parolees, according to the NCSL.
Nelson said programs that screen welfare applicants by assigning them to case workers for interviews have shown some success without the need for drug tests. These alternative measures offer treatment, but can also threaten future benefits if drug problems persist, she said.
They also cost less than the $400 or so needed for tests that can catch a sufficient range of illegal drugs, and rule out false positive results with a follow-up test, she said.
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***SPRAYER
03-26-2009, 08:31 AM
Yeah that'll go far.

jiveturkey
03-26-2009, 08:48 AM
Sounds like a good idea. Who's paying for it? Are we communizing drug testing?

HonestChieffan
03-26-2009, 08:48 AM
If they can afford drugs why on earth are they on welfare?

jAZ
03-26-2009, 08:53 AM
Random drug testing of corporate welfare recipients too?

banyon
03-26-2009, 09:21 AM
Fine by me. I can't tell you the number of criminals who were working on getting their disability that I've dealt with.

Many of them, if they had any disability at all, it derived from years of abusing illegal drugs.

KILLER_CLOWN
03-26-2009, 09:29 AM
A few years back i went into a QuikTrip and a couple driving a ferrari were trying to use food stamps to buy alcohol and munchies, is there any way to test for drug dealers too? I mean i'm sure there are several that don't use themselves. I would have no problem with this or what Jaz mentioned, testing the corp execs and all those receiving tarp funds for drugs or just overall sobriety and state of mind. Test the president and test the congress to while you're at it.

Mr. Kotter
03-26-2009, 11:37 AM
Random drug testing of corporate welfare recipients too?

Sure. That too. :thumb:

Brock
03-26-2009, 11:40 AM
Who pays for the cost of the tests and the bureaucracy that comes along with administering them? Stupid motherfucking government.

Rain Man
03-26-2009, 11:46 AM
That'd be a great way to remove 90 percent of the welfare rolls.

Taco John
03-26-2009, 11:49 AM
Why not? If the government can "regulate" compensation of CEOs that they're giving money to, why can they not regulate welfare by ensuring that the people on it remain drug free? Welfare is voluntary isn't it? If they don't want drug tested, then they shouldn't go on welfare?

Ultra Peanut
03-26-2009, 11:50 AM
Want welfare? Stop doing drugs
Need a treatment program? Better pay up
Need money? Get a job
Can't get a job? Go on welfare

the circle of life~

whatsmynameagain
03-26-2009, 11:54 AM
how is this stupid? if anything, this would save the government money. if you're a druggy, no handout. i thinks its great. if you're on welfare you have 0 reason to be doing drugs. this should be something we all get behind imo
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Dave Lane
03-26-2009, 12:10 PM
I like this idea alot. If you want the government cheese stay off of drugs.

Brock
03-26-2009, 12:49 PM
Just get rid of welfare altogether. That would fix the problem, or whatever it is they think the problem is.

banyon
03-26-2009, 04:23 PM
Just get rid of welfare altogether. That would fix the problem, or whatever it is they think the problem is.

They did.

banyon
03-26-2009, 04:25 PM
Want welfare? Stop doing drugs
Need a treatment program? Better pay up
Need money? Get a job
Can't get a job? Go on welfare

the circle of life~

The State of Kansas pays for drug treatment for felony offenders here. Many of the rest rely on grants from probation and correction offices. Very few offenders wind up paying for their treatment in drug cases, at least in my area.

Der Flöprer
03-26-2009, 04:26 PM
Fine by me. I can't tell you the number of criminals who were working on getting their disability that I've dealt with.

Many of them, if they had any disability at all, it derived from years of abusing illegal drugs.

If we're going to do random testing for drugs, shouldn't alcohol be included? How about nicotine? Caffiene? Where do we draw the line? I have no problem with it, but I think that alcohol should definitely be included. We have enough hypocrisy in this country as is.

banyon
03-26-2009, 04:30 PM
If we're going to do random testing for drugs, shouldn't alcohol be included? How about nicotine? Caffiene? Where do we draw the line? I have no problem with it, but I think that alcohol should definitely be included. We have enough hypocrisy in this country as is.

How about we draw the line at the substances that aren't a crime to possess? That seems like a pretty easy line to draw to me.

I think the whole outlawing alcohol idea has pretty much been a settled issue for a while.

Brock
03-26-2009, 04:42 PM
They did.

Then they shouldn't need to test anyone for drugs.

Ultra Peanut
03-26-2009, 04:43 PM
The State of Kansas pays for drug treatment for felony offenders here. Many of the rest rely on grants from probation and correction offices. Very few offenders wind up paying for their treatment in drug cases, at least in my area.There's the answer, then: commit a felony, or starve.

mlyonsd
03-26-2009, 05:04 PM
This is a good idea. An addict without a job has a better chance of getting one if he's off of drugs.

Dicky McElephant
03-26-2009, 05:05 PM
The only problem is....if you cut these people off of welfare....they're going to turn to crime to make ends meet.

mlyonsd
03-26-2009, 05:15 PM
The only problem is....if you cut these people off of welfare....they're going to turn to crime to make ends meet.

Every job I've had since 1984 has required a drug test before I'd get hired. I think it would be harder for someone looking for work to get a job if they were doing drugs...IMO.

Saul Good
03-26-2009, 05:18 PM
The only problem is....if you cut these people off of welfare....they're going to turn to crime to make ends meet.Great logic. Maybe you should give me all of your money so that I don't rob a bank.

Der Flöprer
03-26-2009, 05:20 PM
How about we draw the line at the substances that aren't a crime to possess? That seems like a pretty easy line to draw to me.

I think the whole outlawing alcohol idea has pretty much been a settled issue for a while.

I understand the philosophy, I just disagree wholeheartedly. Substance A which is undoubtedly worse for you than substance b, yet we're going to persecute substance b, while allowing substance a to be used and consumed by the masses.

Saul Good
03-26-2009, 05:33 PM
I understand the philosophy, I just disagree wholeheartedly. Substance A which is undoubtedly worse for you than substance b, yet we're going to persecute substance b, while allowing substance a to be used and consumed by the masses.Then the logic should be to either legalize the less dangerous substance or criminalize the more dangerous.

CHIEF4EVER
03-26-2009, 05:53 PM
Great logic. Maybe you should give me all of your money so that I don't rob a bank.

LMAO

Der Flöprer
03-26-2009, 05:58 PM
Then the logic should be to either legalize the less dangerous substance or criminalize the more dangerous.

I agree. One or the other. Period.

banyon
03-26-2009, 06:50 PM
Then they shouldn't need to test anyone for drugs.

You would be right, unless there are other programs that are being called "welfare", that didn't used to merit that label.

banyon
03-26-2009, 06:52 PM
There's the answer, then: commit a felony, or starve.

There might be a third option like: don't do drugs and ask for government handouts.

Direckshun
03-26-2009, 06:54 PM
Want welfare? Stop doing drugs
Need a treatment program? Better pay up
Need money? Get a job
Can't get a job? Go on welfare

the circle of life~

+1

Jenson71
03-26-2009, 07:40 PM
It doesn't help. Here's my idea: The receipient of welfare would take a drug test. If the person fails, he has to go to a recovery program. He still gets the money for the month, but must schedule for that month himself into a program. The program leader, or sponsor, keeps track of attendance. If it drops below 75% or 3/4 of the weekly meetings, or whatever it is, the welfare check is cut .20 for the next month, and the process starts again for the month, with failure to attend to reduce the check to .25 for the next month. And so on.

Thoughts?

Ultra Peanut
03-26-2009, 08:00 PM
It doesn't help. Here's my idea: The receipient of welfare would take a drug test. If the person fails, he has to go to a recovery program. He still gets the money for the month, but must schedule for that month himself into a program. The program leader, or sponsor, keeps track of attendance. If it drops below 75% or 3/4 of the weekly meetings, or whatever it is, the welfare check is cut .20 for the next month, and the process starts again for the month, with failure to attend to reduce the check to .25 for the next month. And so on.

Thoughts?B-b-b-but that's soft on crime! And soft on poor people!

banyon
03-26-2009, 08:03 PM
It doesn't help. Here's my idea: The receipient of welfare would take a drug test. If the person fails, he has to go to a recovery program. He still gets the money for the month, but must schedule for that month himself into a program. The program leader, or sponsor, keeps track of attendance. If it drops below 75% or 3/4 of the weekly meetings, or whatever it is, the welfare check is cut .20 for the next month, and the process starts again for the month, with failure to attend to reduce the check to .25 for the next month. And so on.

Thoughts?

I could get behind that program.

mikey23545
03-26-2009, 08:06 PM
Want welfare? Stop doing drugs
Need a treatment program? Better pay up
Need money? Get a job
Can't get a job? Go on welfare

the circle of life for the damn near worthless~

FYP

wild1
03-26-2009, 08:18 PM
Taking away their government cheese should help them get off drugs. Less government cheese = less money for drugs.

Jenson71
03-26-2009, 08:29 PM
Taking away their government cheese should help them get off drugs. Less government cheese = less money for drugs.

People that are on drugs usually don't let less government cheese stop them from getting drugs. Take it from either a moral point of view, or a crime prevention point of view, or an cost-saving point of view. All reasonable roads lead to helping people on drugs get to recovery programs so they can help make their lives positive again.

banyon
03-26-2009, 08:31 PM
People that are on drugs usually don't let less government cheese stop them from getting drugs. Take it from either a moral point of view, or a crime prevention point of view, or an cost-saving point of view. All reasonable roads lead to helping people on drugs get to recovery programs so they can help make their lives positive again.

Most of the time I find a shortage of income encourages them to find an alternate source- dealing.

wild1
03-26-2009, 08:45 PM
People that are on drugs usually don't let less government cheese stop them from getting drugs. Take it from either a moral point of view, or a crime prevention point of view, or an cost-saving point of view. All reasonable roads lead to helping people on drugs get to recovery programs so they can help make their lives positive again.

You're making a critical assumption - that drug users want to stop. Most of them don't. Most are perfectly happy in the gutter.

Iowanian
03-26-2009, 09:19 PM
I think its a great idea.

Most working people are subject to drug testing for the right to continue employment, which they pay 30% of towards taxes, that pay for welfare.

I hope they do it.

Fat Elvis
03-26-2009, 09:52 PM
I personally think it is a horrible idea if for no other reason than you will be targeting a large portion of the mentally ill population. The reality is that many (most) people with mental illness self medicate if they don't get the medications that they need to keep thier symptoms in check. Unfortunately, medication regimes tend to need alteration over time in the case of mental illness so a large number wind up self medicating. Self medication (i.e. drug and alcohol use) in this instance would make people ineligible for the very services they need.