Georgia bill on drug-testing for welfare applicants filed early

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 8:53 PM
Last updated 9:09 PM
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ATLANTA — A bill requiring welfare applicants to take drug tests at their own expense was filed Tuesday for early introduction to the next session of the General Assembly.

Critics say cost will be as big a barrier as the test itself.

One of the authors, freshman Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, said a similar law in Florida reduced welfare applications by 48 percent. That state saved $2 million in five months, even after reimbursing the roughly one-in-four applicants who passed the test, he said.

Under Spencer’s measure, House Bill 668, Georgia taxpayers would reimburse the roughly $27 cost of a drug test to applicants who pass. Those who fail would be barred from getting cash benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program for one month. Flunking a second time would result in a three-month ban, and three or more failure would make an applicant ineligible for a year.

“Georgia taxpayers have a vested interest in making sure their hard-earned tax dollars are not being used to subsidize drug addiction,” Spencer said.

Social workers would direct failing applicants to state-approved drug-treatment programs.

The government would not be on the hook for the cost of that treatment, and Spencer suggested churches and charities pick up the tab.

Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, the author of the Senate version of the bill which also includes applicants for Medicaid, said the aim is to turn around the lives of drug users.

Last month, a federal judge blocked Florida from using its law until a full trial is held. At issue is whether the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure by requiring a test of applicants when there is no reason to suspect them of illegal activity.

Spencer said he was aware of that injunction and has worked with the author of the Florida law to avoid a challenge in Georgia. For example, the names of anyone tested positive for drug use in Georgia could not be shared with law enforcement officials, he said.

‘IN GOD WE TRUST’

Another bill pre-filed Tuesday would put “In God We Trust” on all Georgia license plates.

The state had to re-do a public contest in the spring because “In God We Trust” appeared on possible designs without making it clear the motto was a sticker and not a permanent, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports. Motorists can already purchase a sticker with the motto for $1.

Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, wants the motto to be the default on any license plates made after July 1 and let motorists buy a county decal sticker to cover it if they want.

– Associated Press

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augusta citizen
9729
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augusta citizen 11/15/11 - 10:37 pm
0
0
Snap, this is long overdue.

Snap, this is long overdue.

bclicious
745
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bclicious 11/15/11 - 11:16 pm
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I do believe in drug testing

I do believe in drug testing for all forms of public assistance; however, I am also a realist. I will put any amount of money up that even if by some miracle this bill clears the entire Georgia legislature, it will ultimately be defeated in the U.S. Supreme Court.

With that, I will go ahead and jump in on this pipe dream. Let's go for it!

david jennings
624
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david jennings 11/15/11 - 11:17 pm
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Rep Spencer and Sen Albers

Rep Spencer and Sen Albers might sound good to some but I have no confidence drug testing is an answer . I know of three locations where abuse of the system is so obvious it slaps you in the face. I have freqented these stores for approximately four years and know the managers and some cashiers and meat cutters who witness first hand the abuse. I have seen 80 to100lb. purchases of chicken wings paid for with EBT. These "Hustlers" run small clubs,stores hole in the wall fast food joints and can aquire food stamps from the disadvantaged for 50% or less face value by Sunday alcohol sales, drugs or cash. In the end most of the posters on this site wouldn't last two days on the street. And they are not only being hustled by the hustlers they are being double hustled by thier so called representatives.

treerock
0
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treerock 11/16/11 - 08:09 am
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0
why not test them for

why not test them for nicotine and alcohol? i don't want my money to subsidize that either. or junk food or laziness or big oil or endless wars or big banks...

DawgnSC69
287
Points
DawgnSC69 11/16/11 - 08:57 am
0
0
If it's determined

If it's determined unconstitutional for the welfare people, wouldn't it be unconstitutional for people to be required to submit to a drug test for employment?
Why would it be unconstitutional for one person and not another?
I agree with this bill. If I have to take a drug test to make the money, they should have to take one to receive my money. It's only fair.
But oh the screaming liberals and the ACLU cannot and will not see it that way.

DawgnSC69
287
Points
DawgnSC69 11/16/11 - 08:59 am
0
0
The bottom line is, I'm sick

The bottom line is, I'm sick of supporting all of the low life scum who refuses to work and contribute to the community in a positive way.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 11/16/11 - 09:37 am
0
0
DawgnSC69: “If it's

DawgnSC69:

“If it's determined unconstitutional for the welfare people, wouldn't it be unconstitutional for people to be required to submit to a drug test for employment?

Why would it be unconstitutional for one person and not another?”

Because the courts determined years ago (1980’s) that the 4th Amendment protects you from government unreasonable search, not private employer unreasonable search.

DawgnSC69
287
Points
DawgnSC69 11/16/11 - 09:53 am
0
0
I work for the federal

I work for the federal government and get drug tested by the federal government not a private employer.

My point is, it seems like there are people in our society that want fairness in everything. Just look at the "occupy" looney tunes out there. I's only fair that if I have to take a drug test to make money, why is it such a big deal for welfare recipients to take a drug test?

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 11/16/11 - 09:54 am
0
0
It isn't unreasonable for the

It isn't unreasonable for the state to not give money to drug users. I think that it very reasonable. Why should the state hand out free money and food stamps to someone who is using it to support a drug habit?

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 11/16/11 - 09:57 am
0
0
Bottom line is that all this

Bottom line is that all this abuse of the system needs to stop, taxpayers are sick of paying for lazy bums not wanting to work and supporting the entitlement mentality.

macktaylor
29
Points
macktaylor 11/16/11 - 11:09 am
0
0
bjphysics, it can still be a

bjphysics, it can still be a condition of their receipt of the resources they seek. The government will not force them to take the test, just not give them money if they don't. I don't see a Constitutional problem here at all.

Hope723
3
Points
Hope723 11/16/11 - 03:03 pm
0
0
HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!! Pray

HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!! Pray it passes!!!!!

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