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

State Representative from Utica, Jeff Farrington, introduces bill to Michigan House demanding that welfare recipients should have to take drug tests.

Republican Rep. Jeff Farrington of Utica 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."

Susie December 19, 2011 at 10:36 PM
These people that are not following the law and are on drugs will have to face their problems and clean their act up. In the case of Florida, people can reapply once they are clean. Are we really helping or hurting them by giving them benefits to continue on with their behavior? Not to mention the kids that are living in the household.
Susie December 19, 2011 at 10:40 PM
Is it really about our taxes going down? Or it it about the number of people that are able to be productive, yet they chose drugs as a way of life instead. It doesn't mean that everyone that collects benefits are on welfare...but wouldn't the money be better spent on individuals that are truly in need and are not getting benefits or their benefits are lower? I think there are many people that can remember the days when welfare recipents sold their cheese that was meant to feed their families in the 70s so they could buy booze and cigarettes. They do the same thing with bridge cards :(
Jordan Genso December 20, 2011 at 01:49 AM
I tried to make it clear that I was basing most of my "ends" argument from what we have seen in Florida. I even stated that if there is evidence showing a causal relationship between drug use and need for assistance, that it would invalidate my counterpoint to Daryl's "ends" argument (that drug testing would help them be better able to get a job). I am very glad you posted the study that you did. One thing I would point out is that while it showed evidence contrary to what I was saying about those on welfare using drugs at a lower rate, it reaffirmed the notion that getting them off drugs would do little to get them off welfare. Since making those on assistance better able to get a job was the basis for Daryl's position, I think the study you linked to works against his argument as well. I'm sorry I didn't make it more apparent what facts I was referring to when mentioning them (the numbers from Florida). I try to be more cognizant of the idea that each individual post of mine should have cites if facts are stated. As a side note, I am curious which letter from UofM you are referencing, as I wrote two letters to the editor when I was 19. One of them probably ticked off the LGBT community & African-American community, while the other probably ticked off the religious community. Needless to say, I quickly learned that writing for "shock value" is an immature action :-) Go Blue
kidcat24 December 20, 2011 at 12:42 PM
Well, that is what I hear all the time from people. I don't want to pay for them? So yes it is about taxes.
georgine martin December 31, 2011 at 02:52 PM
Drugs are expensive too - I have no problem helping the sick or unemployed - the unemployed should be working after llooking for a job...however, why look when you get more money than you would working - sickly people have every right to help - I don't think we help enough - however, those sick with alcohol and drug abuse I have no pity for and no money - I have to get my own needles for insulin - but druggies can get needles free - go figure..... I resent my money being used by those who refuse a drug test....they should have to make a choice......welfare or drugs - my rights are being violated too......... I don't want to pay for them but I have to and they don't have to take drug tests... they get a choice; I don't.....

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