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Welfare Drug Testing Bill Withdrawn After Amended To Include Testing Lawmakers

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  1. quest7

    quest7 Well-Known Member

    A Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly withdrew his bill to create a pilot program for drug testing welfare applicants Friday after one of his Democratic colleagues amended the measure to require drug testing for lawmakers.

    "There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill," said Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), sponsor of the original welfare drug testing bill.

    The Supreme Court ruled drug testing for political candidates unconstitutional in 1997, striking down a Georgia law. McMillin said he withdrew his bill so he could reintroduce it on Monday with a lawmaker drug testing provision that would pass constitutional muster.

    "I've only withdrawn it temporarily," he told HuffPost, stressing he carefully crafted his original bill so that it could survive a legal challenge. Last year a federal judge, citing the Constitution's ban on unreasonable search and seizure, struck down a Florida law that required blanket drug testing of everyone who applied for welfare.

    McMillin's bill would overcome constitutional problems, he said, by setting up a tiered screening scheme in which people can opt-out of random testing. Those who decline random tests would only be screened if they arouse "reasonable suspicion," either by their demeanor, by being convicted of a crime, or by missing appointments required by the welfare office.

    In the past year Republican lawmakers have pursued welfare drug testing in more than 30 states and in Congress, and some bills have even targeted people who claim unemployment insurance and food stamps, despite scanty evidence the poor and jobless are disproportionately on drugs. Democrats in several states have countered with bills to require drug testing elected officials. Indiana state Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D-South Bend) introduced just such an amendment on Friday.

    "After it passed, Rep. McMillin got pretty upset and pulled his bill," Dvorak said. "If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy. ... If we're going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money."

    Dvorak said McMillin was mistaken to think testing the legislature would be unconstitutional, since the stricken Georgia law targeted candidates and not people already holding office.

    McMillin, for his part, said he's coming back with a new bill on Monday, lawmaker testing included. He said he has no problem submitting to a test himself.

    "I would think legislators that are here who are responsible for the people who voted them in, they should be more than happy to consent," he said. "Give me the cup right now and I will be happy to take the test."

    Welfare Drug Testing Bill Withdrawn After Amended To Include Testing Lawmakers - The Huffington Post

    I agree, let's test the lawmakers also. Why should they be exempt?

  2. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    SCOTUS made the decision and they will need to fix it. No other way.

    Decisions at that level are not necessarily fair and we really need to pay attention to what SCOTUS does and who ends up being appointed. Remember, they cannot be fired and many bad things can happen if most of those judges are far left.

    The amendment should have been withdrawn if the Supreme Court has already ruled that it is a violation.

    I seriously doubt there is as big a problem with our elected officials as one might think. Clearly, some segments of those people on the public dole should be drug tested, but the last group I would want tested is our elected officials; the first group would be those on welfare. And I am not saying our officials are drug free.
  3. TxGoat

    TxGoat Guest

    I wonder how much the drug test will add to the total cost of the welfare system. I also start to wonder, how long into a program like this before people start claiming that certain other "drugs" aren't allowable either. Should poor people be afforded the luxury of alcohol? What about cigarette smoking? How strict should the drug testing be, I mean they are poor right? Why should they spend any money on cold medicine if they're really poor?

    I think the reason this bill is so popular with the right wing is that it does 2 things. One, it legislates their moral beliefs on drug use (Unless it's doled out by big drug companies, then somehow for some odd reason it's ok). Two, a lot of right-wingers tend to have bigoted views and they believe that this would have a big effect on the minority population even though there are more white people on welfare than any other race.

    I know a lot of right-wingers will claim up and down that they're not bigots, but then you have legitimate GOP candidates that say stuff like this Newt Gingrich’s NAACP, Food Stamp Remarks Stir Controversy - ABC News and their claims go up in smoke.

    Hopefully America will wake up one day and we will decide to end the costly drug war. I never understood how the right-wing claims to want less government in our lives but wants to tell people how to live. It's a shame they're not as concerned with corporate morality as they are with individual morality.

    Oh and for the record, I've done 1 illegal drug in my life, if you want to call it that. I took a few puffs out of a cigarette before I turned 18, but I believe that it's your inalienable right to eat, drink, smoke, or inject whatever you want in your body as long as it doesn't affect my rights (i.e. you inject a hallucinogen and then get behind the wheel of a car posing a safety hazard to me or anyone else).
    Gmash likes this.
  4. AntimonyER

    AntimonyER AF Addict VIP Member

    Like it or not, many drugs are illegal. I feel it is perfectly acceptable to require those who need welfare to show they abide by the laws of this country. Not just drug laws, but all laws. And even more so for our representatives.

    As far as drug legalization, I have never partaken of a cigarette, joint, or anything worse, but I do agree its your body. As long as you know the risks you are taking, and not endangering someone else by doing it, eh, I don't really care. I tend to lean on the side of legalizing marijuana, and treating it like alcohol, certain things you can't do while impaired. This would also prevent its usage from affecting things like welfare (although if you are on welfare, I would hope you would have higher priorities for what little extra cash you might have than to spend it on weed)

    As much as possible welfare needs to be structured to encourage people to get off it ASAP. Unfortunately the Dems have decided they would rather have an entrenched voter block, rather than encourage people to make something of themselves.

    And as far as bigotry, I can't deny it still exists, but to say a lot of right wingers are bigoted, is I think is unfair. Gingrich does not represent right-wingers, he represents himself, and himself only. He is one of the most egotistical men in politics today, and its a shame so many people have fallen for his act. He is a bigot, because EVERYONE is below him. There are a lot more bigots in the crowd accusing then there are in the crowd being accused.
    jayjay1122 likes this.
  5. TxGoat

    TxGoat Guest

    I'll say that not a vast majority of right wingers are bigots, but there is a higher percentage within the right wing than in other major organizations. I'll also bet that there are a high percentage of bigots in the NAACP.
  6. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member

    I lol'd when I first read this story - saying that when they amended it to include lawmakers it got pulled. :D Though, I'll admit, I haven't followed it close enough to really say much else on it.

    On a related note, we have legalized medicinal marijuana here, and this month, a person receiving welfare and a the related subsidized housing was evicted for having ... you guessed it.... marijuana! The housing law claimed that you cannot be on drugs, so the person legally allowed to take marijuana was evicted.... ;) Makes total sense right?
  7. AntimonyER

    AntimonyER AF Addict VIP Member

    Well it does when you consider it is a federal housing program and the federal government doesn't recognize any marijuana use as legal. This is the state's fault, as I can almost guarantee the risks of using marijuana even if obtained legally in the state was not explained to this person, and if they truly needed it, it's an even greater tragedy because this person is probably already suffering.
    9to5cynic and jayjay1122 like this.
  8. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    A few guesses:

    I am just guessing, but if the apartments are tied in any way to some federal program, they should be evicted because marijuana is not legal according to federal law. Your state can legalize it, but that does not mean users are safe. MJ is illegal.
    9to5cynic likes this.

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