ONTD Political

Welfare Drug Testing Bill Withdrawn After Amended To Include Testing Lawmakers

1:57 pm - 01/28/2012
Welfare Drug Testing Bill Withdrawn After Amended To Include Testing Lawmakers

A Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly withdrew his bill to create a pilot program for drug testing welfare applicants Friday after one of his Democratic colleagues amended the measure to require drug testing for lawmakers.

"There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill," said Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), sponsor of the original welfare drug testing bill.

The Supreme Court ruled drug testing for political candidates unconstitutional in 1997, striking down a Georgia law. McMillin said he withdrew his bill so he could reintroduce it on Monday with a lawmaker drug testing provision that would pass constitutional muster.

"I've only withdrawn it temporarily," he told HuffPost, stressing he carefully crafted his original bill so that it could survive a legal challenge</b>. Last year a federal judge, citing the Constitution's ban on unreasonable search and seizure, struck down a Florida law that required blanket drug testing of everyone who applied for welfare.

McMillin's bill would overcome constitutional problems, he said, by setting up a tiered screening scheme in which people can opt-out of random testing. Those who decline random tests would only be screened if they arouse "reasonable suspicion," either by their demeanor, by being convicted of a crime, or by missing appointments required by the welfare office.

In the past year Republican lawmakers have pursued welfare drug testing in more than 30 states and in Congress, and some bills have even targeted people who claim unemployment insurance and food stamps, despite scanty evidence the poor and jobless are disproportionately on drugs. Democrats in several states have countered with bills to require drug testing elected officials. Indiana state Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D-South Bend) introduced just such an amendment on Friday.

"After it passed, Rep. McMillin got pretty upset and pulled his bill," Dvorak said. "If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy. ... If we're going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money."


Dvorak said McMillin was mistaken to think testing the legislature would be unconstitutional, since the stricken Georgia law targeted candidates and not people already holding office.

McMillan, for his part, said he's coming back with a new bill on Monday, lawmaker testing included. He said he has no problem submitting to a test himself.

"I would think legislators that are here who are responsible for the people who voted them in, they should be more than happy to consent," he said. "Give me the cup right now and I will be happy to take the test."
homasse 28th-Jan-2012 05:09 am (UTC)
heh, tag added.
tabaqui 28th-Jan-2012 05:14 am (UTC)
Asshats, all of them. The assumption that if you're not 'economically viable' (bootstraps!!) you're automatically a drug user is just sickening.

Thanks for believing my sis-in-law is a junkie welfare queen, you jerks.
devour_theflesh 28th-Jan-2012 05:21 am (UTC)
What a waste of money and an insult
roseofjuly 28th-Jan-2012 05:22 am (UTC)
McMillin's bill would overcome constitutional problems, he said, by setting up a tiered screening scheme in which people can opt-out of random testing. Those who decline random tests would only be screened if they arouse "reasonable suspicion," either by their demeanor, by being convicted of a crime, or by missing appointments required by the welfare office.

None of those arises any reasonable suspicion - if you steal a loaf or bread or miss an appointment because one of your kids is sick, why should you have to get drug tested?

"After it passed, Rep. McMillin got pretty upset and pulled his bill," Dvorak said. "If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy. ... If we're going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money."

THIS.

The other things...even if they are on drugs, why should that be a justification for pulling their welfare? They still have to EAT and pay rent and things. The focus should be on helping them get off the drugs.
erunamiryene 28th-Jan-2012 06:41 am (UTC)
The focus should be on helping them get off the drugs.

It is. America's "drug intervention program" is called the for-profit prison system.
mahasin 28th-Jan-2012 02:46 pm (UTC)
Seriously, I'm totally going to write him an email and tell him thank you for proposing that amendment.
violetrose 28th-Jan-2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
Possible tw for addiction.

why should that be a justification for pulling their welfare?

The only logical justification I can think of is people thinking they'll spend all their money on drugs omg.

But that's a dumb, privileged argument because;

1) Most people who are on welfare and do drugs most likely don't spend everything they have on said drugs. And frankly, if they do - pulling their welfare is counterproductive. It puts them in an even shittier position and they have less opportunity to get better.

2) Not all addictions encompass drugs. Plenty of addicts drink alcohol. Or they're not addicts, but drink a bit more than is healthy. So if they're going to test for drugs, test for alcohol because poor people might be spending their welfare money on that, too!

3) As I said earlier, it's counterproductive. I had a bit of an alcohol problem last year (it's okay now, don't worry) and if I'd had my benefits cut due to it, that would not have helped at all. I would've had less resources, the issue would've gotten out of control and I probably would've cost the State more money by having to be admitted to hospital.
emofordino 29th-Jan-2012 03:26 am (UTC)
IASFM. i know that if i had my welfare taken away, why WOULDN'T you want to do drugs/drink? like, do they seriously think that not having any income at all will just make them get clean? it'll just put them in positions where they're desperate enough to do other things to get them.

why do people have such a hard time thinking through these situations that they're setting up?
emofordino 29th-Jan-2012 03:24 am (UTC)
EXACTLY. and they can also have husbands, wives, children, etc who need to eat too and who shouldn't have to be homeless and hungry just because their parent/partner has a drug problem.
mercystars 28th-Jan-2012 05:41 am (UTC)
man, they really hate poor people, don't they?
arisma 28th-Jan-2012 05:44 am (UTC)
0% surprised, 100% disgusted.
idahophoenix 28th-Jan-2012 05:57 am (UTC)
BRILLIANT. I love this.
erunamiryene 28th-Jan-2012 06:40 am (UTC)
only be screened if they arouse "reasonable suspicion," either by their demeanor, by being convicted of a crime, or by missing appointments required by the welfare office.

CLEARLY, MISSING AN APPOINTMENT IS SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR. It couldn't possibly be due to a family emergency, a transportation emergency, late hours at work, changed shifts, or anything. It must be because you're, as TLC says, "tootin' 'caine into your own vein," right?
blackberryqueer 28th-Jan-2012 08:39 am (UTC)
Exactly, every appointment (in person or phone) my roommates or I have missed is because they sent us the papers late (so we got the notice after the appointment)--if they send us the notice at all, my roommate B has simply gotten letters saying he's getting cut off because he missed the appointment--or they never fucking called and wouldn't answer their phones when we called them.
Clearly this is our fault and it's because we're taking ~all the drugs~ (ALL THE DRUGS!).
littlelauren86 28th-Jan-2012 06:43 am (UTC)
L O L
kagehikario 28th-Jan-2012 07:43 am (UTC)
I'm just gonna give you this $50 drug test before I can give you your $50 welfare check, m'kay?
romp 28th-Jan-2012 07:45 am (UTC)
right fucking on
farchivist 28th-Jan-2012 08:14 am (UTC)
I honestly do not believe a bill will actually be resubmitted. Or if it does, it'll be full of weasel words giving lawmakers a pass.
mswyrr 28th-Jan-2012 09:00 am (UTC)
Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville)

Someone who should definitely not be receiving tax dollars.
mahasin 28th-Jan-2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
I'm totally writing Dvorak and telling him that he's awesome.
quizzicalsphinx 28th-Jan-2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
Well obviously, if they don't have anything to hide, they shouldn't be afraid to be tested, amirite? And by "they" I of course mean the lawmakers.
angelmaye 28th-Jan-2012 04:03 pm (UTC)
THIS!!

I couldn't agree more. If they're going to test some people who receive public money, then they should test them all!

Good for you Dvorak!
lux_roark 28th-Jan-2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
Hahahhhaha! I receive SSI. I can barely afford to get my prescribed Xanax.
latin_lunatic 28th-Jan-2012 10:24 pm (UTC)
Democrats in several states have countered with bills to require drug testing elected officials. Indiana state Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D-South Bend) introduced just such an amendment on Friday..."After it passed, Rep. McMillin got pretty upset and pulled his bill," Dvorak said. "If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy. ... If we're going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money."
This is beautiful absolutely beautiful.

nycscribbler 28th-Jan-2012 11:32 pm (UTC)
Okay, so maybe South Bend is good for something.
dustbunny105 29th-Jan-2012 06:16 am (UTC)
"There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill," said Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), sponsor of the original welfare drug testing bill.

Well, that's not at all suspicious.
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