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POLL: Do you Think Welfare Recipients Should Be Subjected to Drug Tests?

State Representatives introduce bill to Michigan House demanding that welfare recipients should have to take drug tests.

Republican Rep. Jeff Farrington of Utica, MI introduced a bill Tuesday calling for drug tests to be used to determine eligibility for welfare benefits.

House Bill No. 5223 states, "If an applicant tests positive for substance abuse, the applicant is ineligible to receive Family Independence Program Assistance benefits under this act."

The bill also states that even if an applicant passes the test, the cost of  administering the test should be deducted from their first welfare check. 

"Welfare benefits are for those who truly need temporary assistance," Farrinton said. "After recipients leave the welfare rolls and re-enter the workforce, many of them will be required at the job application stage to complete a drug screening before gaining employment - new welfare recipients should follow this same principle."

Lawmakers in many states have proposed drug tests for recipients of the Family Independence Program benefits, or other government assistance programs. However, Florida just enacted the law this year. That's the first time a law like this has been passed in over a decade.

"To be clear, this is not an attack on the overall base of welfare recipients," Farrington said.  "No matter how many - or few - recipients test positive for using illegal drugs, Michigan taxpayers should not have to contribute their hard earned dollars to those who choose an illegal lifestyle.  It's time we reformed the welfare system to make sure our limited resources are spent on those who are truly in need."

michelle December 16, 2011 at 03:18 PM
While I believe in helping those who truly fall on hard times, I do not feel my hard earned dollars should be spent on illegal drugs. These families with children need their parents to be stable and not on drugs. Plus it would be hard for them to find work while on drugs...which is why they stay in the system. So I agree 100%. Maybe the only other tip I have is that when we were paying them before and now if we stop because of the drug use, maybe they could direct them into getting help and then reapplying later or heck...maybe finding decent work). The help is not only for them but the family itself. We don't want the children being hurt from their parents stupid mistakes. So, I think that there should be help for those who want it and then they can get aid. Those who don't go or don't want it are immediately cut off. Again, my biggest concern is the families/children.
Annie Ominous December 16, 2011 at 04:17 PM
I cannot believe how willing people are to trow out the rights of the poor. Unless you are going to drug test everyone, this is a reprehensible idea, and I am shocked that 95% of the responders say it is a good.
Annie Ominous December 17, 2011 at 03:48 AM
Have none of you people had a relative who was on narcotics? Alcohol? Smoking? Our social programs are so ful of hole EXACTLY because of idiotic out looks like "drug test the poor". A MAJORITY of homeless or working poor are families, but MANY of them have mental illness or dependancies issues that never get treated because our social programs are almost non-existant, dis-compassionate, and unevenly funded, both on a macro and micro level. I read these replies and think that Trenton is populated with disconnected, uncaring snobs who think that if they give out a stuffed bear once a year to toys for tots they are part of the solution. If you drug test the poor, drug test the politicians, police, firemen, EVERYONE. Do NOT be selective. Drugs area symptom of poverty in most cases. Cripes, rent the wire, Brady Bunch.
Garden Love May 10, 2012 at 06:57 PM
my right to work was drug tested - a persons right to collect welfare should be drug tested!
Garden Love May 10, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Ahhh hum Annie, policemen, firemen and all working being ARE DRUG TESTED! DUH!

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