Drug Testing Welfare

Republicans in North Carolina are advancing a bill that would require drug tests for welfare recipients:

Raleigh, N.C. — Applicants the welfare program known as WorkFirst would need to pass a drug test before enrolling in the program under a bill that passed the state Senate Monday night.

The measure, which passed 35-15, now goes to the House.

There are currently 21,124 people in North Carolina enrolled in WorkFirst, a program that provides cash payments to people looking for jobs. It is targeted to the parents of young children.

“Every kid in North Carolina deserves to live in a drug-free home,” said Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon, the bill’s sponsor.

Sen. Angela Bryant, D-Nash, said the bill violates the U.S. Constitution because it calls for a blanket search of people who haven’t otherwise raised suspicion.

The measure requires those seeking benefits to pay for the drug tests. If the tests are negative, applicants would be reimbursed for the tests. If they test positive, they would be ineligible for benefits. At an average of $100 per person for testing, the state could be liable for reimbursements of more than $2.1 million.

“The impact of this bill, if not the intent, is to hurt the most vulnerable,” Bryant said.

I think that Angela Bryant is wrong.  It doesn’t violate the US Constitution.  New York is allowed to search the homes of gun owners, NC can require tests for people who wanna take state aid.  And she’s wrong regarding intent.  No one wants to hurt anyone.

The intent of the bill is to prevent state money, tax payer money, from going towards the purchase of drugs.  Plain and simple.

With ALL of that being said, the bill is wrong minded.  The reason, a large reason, that people are in need of help to begin with is the fact that they are hooked on drugs.  These folks need help, addiction help, not a push away from that help.  Wanna test for drugs?  Sure, but then offer rehabilitation services to get these folks off of those drugs.  Otherwise…well, otherwise they go underground, keep using, keep hurting their kids and never getting help.

Republicans are wrong here.  But, BUT, democrats need to admit that society is willing to help someone out, to get back on their feet.  We are not door mats just waiting to give our money to folks that will just flush it down the toilet.

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