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Welfare Drug Testing Bill Passes Michigan Senate

In one of its final acts of the 2013 session, the Michigan Senate last Thursday passed a bill that would allow drug testing of some welfare recipients for "reasonable suspicion." The bill passed the GOP-dominated chamber on a straight party line vote.

The measure is Senate Bill 275, sponsored by Sen. Joe Hune (R-Hamburg Township). A similar measure passed the House in May. Neither bill has been approved by the other chamber, but both will still be alive and could pass next year.

The bill directs the state Department of Human Services to set up a three-county pilot project of drug screening and testing for the Family Independence Program, the state's program that provides cash assistance to poor families with children and pregnant women.

If the initial screening creates "reasonable suspicion" of drug use, recipients would be required to submit to a drug test. Those who tested positive would be referred for treatment, with a second positive test leading to loss of benefits.

"We have children going to school hungry every day without proper clothing because their parents are addicted to drugs and alcohol," claimed state Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) in remarks reported by Michigan Live. "They receive welfare money but they don't spend it on their children. They spend it on their addiction."

The measure passed the Senate in a straight party-line vote. All Democrats opposed the measure despite winning an amendment that would allow children whose parents test positive for illegal drugs to continue receiving benefits through a third party, such as a guardian.

Drug testing has been a big issue for Michigan Republicans this year. Earlier this year, the legislature passed and Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed into law a bill allowing the state to cut unemployment benefits to anyone who failed a pre-employment drug test.

Lansing, MI
United States
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state drug test legislation

The lawyers are doing this to create some work for themselves . They know that this crap will end up in the courts . The politicians go along with it for the votes amongst the uninformed and bigoted . The taxpayers foot the bill .

Drug testing of welfare recipients

This bill and all the other bills like this in other states have been proven to be a big waste of taxpayer money. Don't you [Republicans] ever learn that less than 1% of those tested will fail the test and that is just not enough to warrant such a waste of our tax money.

Wise up and read once in a while [about how these type of programs have a dismal "catch rate"] instead of just blindly passing stupid measures like this one.

As usual it's the Republicans [and some Democrats too] picking on and harassing the poorest of our citizens when their only motivation for doing it at all is to make a fake show that they are doing something when in fact they really aren't and it fools a certain percentage of uninformed voters so they'll keep voting for the incumbents.

Totally Verifiable

Michigan needs this! As someone that has seen first hand how these people receive benefits from taxpayers, and don't use it as intended. The money saved just by people that refuse to drug test and have their benefits cut, would be enough to help our dying economy! I am a full supporter, and I'm a democrat!

Du Arschlochs

@Totally UNverifiable and any other surface thinkers

I smell more bs. The stats have already shown it to be a waste (one state 'nabbing' only 12 recipients). Some are more than ready to buy into racist/classist stereotypes than see the deeper issues. Everyone is supposed to get a job, when they've been sent to other countries (without financial penalty) for decades. Find a job that doesn't exist. If you can't, then it HAS to be something immoral or wrong in YOU. Riiiiight. Corporations should be penalized in the billions every time they choose to build computers and other products in China, Mexico and wherever the f*&! else. Steal our jobs, then smear us for not having one. It's not gonna work much longer. People who keep doing this will be exposed and taken down, thanks to watchdogs and whistleblowers.

If you have seen 'firsthand' how 'THESE PEOPLE' misuse the money, you are part of this problem for not reporting it. Did you report it? Did you even know there is a number to call for fraud? This phone number is NOT top secret. They have posters and links about fraud. Since you saw it firsthand, your responsibility to 'save our dying economy' (which we know isn't caused by welfare recipients, but by people who have the mindset of the cock/coke/Koch brothers and anyone else with that mental virus) by reporting all these firsthand eyewitness events.

To everyone who makes the claim that they have seen these 'lazy freeloaders', call the number or stfu and gtfo! (and no I don't check in to see who replies what to my comments. Don't bother rebutting. I won't see it. You don't get that kind of satisfaction from me!)   :-)  PS DOWN WITH SCHITTY/SCHUETTE. His time is up. We need someone rational and informed, not some propaganda spreader! VOTE in 2014. Hard to believe I live on a planet where people are easily convinced that the pharmaceutical drugs are medicine and the natural medicine (poppies, cannabis, etc) are the drugs. Big pharma/lobbyists/politicians work together as the biggest dope pushers on the planet. Cannabis doesn't kill, but the constant careless overlapping prescriptions from doctors DO kill...... and good luck trying to sue them for it. peace and truth.

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