'Drug test welfare' recipients is a proposal in more than 24 states. However, those who oppose this action are claiming it could be unconstitutional.
Welfare and government assistance are sensitive topics in this country because there are those who need the assistance, and there are those abusing the assistance. The goal of drug testing would be to weed out some of those abusing the welfare and government assistance programs.
Those in favor believe that the drug test welfare recipients proposal would also save states money because it would get those abusing drugs off of programs. "But critics say that the cost of the tests would often outweigh the savings," reports Kelli Kennedy of The Sacramento Bee. "They also point out that some courts have ruled that such requirements violate the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches."
If a person works a job, there is a good chance that the employer will require the person to take a drug test, so being drug tested on public assistance or welfare will only prepare the person for future employment. This is an argument being used by lawmakers. It does make sense, since the goal of welfare is to be a temporary help to a person in a time of need, and not for life.
If a person was found to be abusing drugs, the children would not lose benefits. "Bills in some states, including Florida and New Mexico, would allow children of parents who fail drug tests to continue receiving their share of the benefits through a third-party caregiver," reports Seattle PI. All in all, this is a win-win. The person with a drug problem gets help and the child continues to get help, and hopefully gets a 'clean' parent in the end.
The lawmakers' drug test welfare recipients proposal is not going anywhere. The lawmakers will keep working on it until they find a way to get it passed.
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