The law requires random testing of anyone who has had a felony drug conviction in the previous 10 years. For failing a drug test once, a recipient’s benefits are reduced by 30 percent. For failing twice, a recipient is disqualified from permanently receiving his/her benefits. The law applies to those receiving benefits under the state’s general assistance. The law was strengthened in 2012 with a measure of data sharing about convicted drug felons between the State Corrections and Human Services Departments. Which then also brought more debate on the law. The purpose is to prevent welfare fraud. “We don’t want to see well intended and generous welfare dollars that are for kids to be used for drugs instead.” says Rep. Steve Drazkowski.
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... to introduce a bill to modify a state law that mandates random drug testing of welfare recipients who have recently been convicted of a drug felony.” The law burdens and already stressed county welfare system, costs more money and time than it will save. The role of the county welfare is to follow the law, not to redefine it.
Moran once again encourages the general public to view welfare recipients through a “negative lens” and says there are other better ways of supporting families.
As Congress races before the end of the year to find common ground on the extension of unemployment benefits, drug testing the recipients of those benefits promises to be a topic ripe for compromise. So as it stands right now, Should Welfare recipients be drug tested?
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