Drug test welfare recipients, 2 Ga. lawmakers say

Friday, Nov. 4, 2011 7:30 AM
Last updated Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 12:58 AM
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Two Georgia lawmakers want to drug-test welfare recipients, a policy that’s been struck down as unconstitutional in other states.

Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, and Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, said Thursday they plan to introduce legislation to require people to pass a drug test to qualify for cash welfare.

“Georgia taxpayers have a vested interest in making sure that their hard-earned tax dollars are not being used to subsidize drug addiction,” Spencer said in a release. “In these tough economic times, it is easy to understand that many deserving families need some temporary help until they can bounce back financially — that’s why we have public assistance programs like TANF. This additional eligibility requirement will simply ensure that those funds are used for that intended purpose.”

TANF is Temporary Assis­tance for Needy Families, a federal program that pays cash to the poor for up to five years over their lifetimes. About 50,000 people receive it in Georgia, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Spencer’s bill would not apply to people on food stamps or other public assistance, he said.

Congress authorized states to drug-test welfare recipients in 1996, but such laws have run into legal roadblocks before. A similar law in Michigan was ruled unconstitutional in 2003.

Last week, a judge temporarily halted a new Florida law requiring all welfare recipients to pass drug tests. It might violate privacy laws and the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable search and seizures because no evidence that recipients are actually on drugs is required, and the results can be turned over to police, U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven ruled.

Spencer said he has addressed Scriven’s concerns. The state Department of Human Services would use the test results only to determine TANF eligibility and would not release them to law enforcement or another third party, he said.

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allhans
24480
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allhans 11/04/11 - 12:47 pm
0
0
Obama is having trouble with

Obama is having trouble with smoker's disease.

IMRIGHTYOUREWRONG
76
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IMRIGHTYOUREWRONG 11/04/11 - 01:03 pm
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I think there is an

I think there is an overwhelming misconception as to what the actual percentage of drug-using welfare recipients (TANF) is. The odds are this percentage is nominal in the grand scheme of the program (probably 5%-10%). With that being said, the cost effectiveness of the program (i.e. saving money on not paying for the welfare of drug-users versus the reimbursement of $30 to the upwards of 90% of clean welfare recipients) is a no-brainer. The concept is something everyone should agree on, active drug-users should not receive government benefits. However, if it were just that straight-forward, such a law would already be in place. And while I am not for enabling, I am certainly not for spending millions more just to prove that people just don’t have jobs because they don’t and not because they worthless drug addicts. Because the reality is that our own self perception of the situation is skewed by such a small sampling that is fed to us by the media.

specsta
6709
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specsta 11/04/11 - 02:23 pm
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I really wonder about these

I really wonder about these legislators sometimes. After seeing similar laws declared unconstitutional in other states, why would anyone with half-a-brain think that their law will be the one that is legal? It's like the Einstein phrase of "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results".

These lawmakers would rather waste the citizens' money on future legal battles for flawed legislation that will not stand the constitutional test. Instead of spending their time creating jobs, helping folks in need or improving our infrastructure and education, these politicians would rather draw up statutes that are ridiculous. The miniscule number of welfare recipients that actually use drugs (about 2% in FL) does not justify new legislation that could cost the people ridiculous amount of money in court battles.

Why do we continue to elect these political clowns? And why do so many misguided folks support them?

Anything that hurts the poor is fair game for these right-wing conservative Scrooges.

eagle
94
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eagle 11/04/11 - 02:27 pm
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I'm all for it. While you're
Unpublished

I'm all for it. While you're at it, no welfare in any way, shape, or form to illegals!!!

Brad Owens
4859
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Brad Owens 11/04/11 - 03:06 pm
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I will support this when they

I will support this when they support IQ testing for lawmakers.

Brad

ADAMS
19
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ADAMS 11/04/11 - 06:45 pm
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Good concept, don't forget to

Good concept, don't forget to push through a legislation to test state lawmakers for drugs too.

jdnich29
0
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jdnich29 11/04/11 - 07:26 pm
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I have to get drug tested to

I have to get drug tested to get a job so why not welfare?

bclicious
756
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bclicious 11/04/11 - 08:16 pm
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Under no circumstances will

Under no circumstances will this ever happen. This is a good idea, but I find it funny that it only comes up around election time. There is no way the ACLU, NAACP, and all the other liberal organizations would ever let this happen.

With that, I wish it would.

allhans
24480
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allhans 11/04/11 - 08:41 pm
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Add Obama, the House,

Add Obama, the House, Senate and Feds to the politicians list.

bkl4516
1
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bkl4516 11/05/11 - 04:42 am
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I think that drug testing

I think that drug testing those who recieve welfare is a good idea. Most jobs require a drug test before you get hired, so is that a violation of privacy laws and the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable search and seizures...... I think not!

Brad Owens
4859
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Brad Owens 11/05/11 - 05:18 am
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I have an idea, how about

I have an idea, how about mandatory monthly drug testing for all citizens? I mean drugs are illegal right? So why don’t we require it of EVERY person I the U.S. over the age of ten to go in for a government controlled drug test?

If you test positive, you go to jail and mandatory rehabilitation, then after that you will need to go in once a week until you test positive for one whole year, then you can go back to once a month.

I mean if this is such a problem, lets solve it.

Death for anyone caught with drugs, selling drugs, smuggling drugs and in the act of using them.

Come on folks, lets WIN the war on drugs.

We can use the Air Force to bomb and foreign government that allows drugs to pass through its territory on its way to the US or allow drug production that ends up in America.

I mean COME ON, let's WIN this thing.

Or we can just make them legal and regulate them like alcohol and tobacco and forget all this non-sense.

Brad

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 11/05/11 - 07:48 am
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drug test all ceo's. they
Unpublished

drug test all ceo's. they are top employees in any company and said to be quite important to success or failure of the company as judged by their pay. drug test all public officials. they are employees who make and enforce and judgments on rules about drug testing.

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 11/05/11 - 07:52 am
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*make judgments
Unpublished

*make judgments

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 11/05/11 - 07:56 am
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brad owens has a point. i
Unpublished

brad owens has a point.
i don't think this is about the war on drugs. as someone earlier pointed out, the poor and those on welfare don't do drugs more as a class than the rich do. how about a drug test for a capital gains exemption?
I'd be willing to bet (wait that's illegal!) that these two lawmakers are going more for the "resent the down and out" mania than anything else. what other bills have they sponsored?

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 11/05/11 - 07:57 am
0
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Test the urine of these

Test the urine of these legislators for the presence of brain cells.

Brad Owens
4859
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Brad Owens 11/05/11 - 12:31 pm
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The way I look at it is the

The way I look at it is the poor have enough on their plate, leave them alone.

Let's legalize it all and regulate it. The drug cartels would be out of business overnight.

Too easy.

RunningMan
346
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RunningMan 11/05/11 - 02:20 pm
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Drug test welfare recipients?

Drug test welfare recipients? Are you kidding me. Don't we know that most drug users are the so called middle class and well off folks that can afford paying the high cost of drugs. Why not test everyone before getting a drivers licenses, or before being able to enter public office, or maybe before being able to go to public school. Exactly, sound a little radical, right? Where will it end? Wait, I have an idea, lets test the folks commenting about testing welfare recipients. I wonder how many of them will test positive for alcohol or drugs? The bottom line, most welfare recipients are less to abuse drugs than non welfare recipients, so get off your high horse and stop looking down on other because of their situation. Its simply not working and you negative comments about them really does not matter.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 11/05/11 - 04:53 pm
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Runningman, that perception

Runningman, that perception probably comes from the fact that so much drug activity takes place in public housing and very poor neighborhoods. I agree that the actual percentage of users is on the small side and not worth screening for. I would be happy with more proactive scrutiny of residences, forcing those holding the lease to ensure there is no activity occurring with their squatting relatives. If grandma knew she was going out the door if drugs were found on the premises, she would be much more likely to call the police on her kin. And you are correct about users too; if some of these well-to-do kids were busted buying rather than the poor kids selling, the demand would go down. Let a few little Johnnies from the Lakeside and Greenbrier school districts do 30-45 days in an orange suit and the word would get out.

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