Skip to comments.Georgia Moves to Require Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients, Faces Lawsuit
Posted on 04/18/2012 7:42:05 AM PDT by Mark Mayberry
In 2010, the state of Florida successfully passed legislation requiring welfare recipients to submit to a drug test in order to continue receiving governmental assistance. Since then, the state has decreased the number of applicants by 48 percent and saved just under two million dollars. It is only a matter of time before more states catch onto this age of new fiscal restraints. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has modeled this Florida law in his state. In a press release from his office on Monday, Governor Deal praised Florida for their success and defended the law in his state saying, This program is intended as a safety net, and this requirement guarantees that the benefits are used for their intended purposes to care for children and assist with job preparation. The legislation known as HB 861 stipulates that all applicants who fail a drug test wont be able to receive state benefits for a specified amount of time. The amount of time is determinate on how many previous suspensions the applicant has received due to failed drug tests. It also stipulates that TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) applicants would also have to pay for their own drug test, which is estimated to run around $17. The children of these individuals are not left out in the cold, however. Parents can still receive benefits for their children if they have failed a drug test. The law provides that a parent must designate a surrogate payee that will receive the money and distribute it for the needs of a child. This is not the final word on HB 861 though. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, several groups, including the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) located in Atlanta and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have both expressed dissatisfaction with the law. The Southern Center for Human Rights was gearing up to challenge HB 861 in court as Governor Deal was signing it into law. The SCHR said that they will not file suit, however, until Georgia begins to test TANF recipients. The ACLU has also voiced discontent with the law citing Fourth Amendment concerns of unreasonable searches. Supporters of the law say that it will save the state vital revenue and lead to more personal responsibility for those receiving governmental assistance. Governor Deal signed the bill into law despite the legal challenges to Floridas similar legislation. Gerry Weber, an attorney for SCHR, said, We are disappointed the governor signed the bill, given an almost identical law in Florida has been declared unconstitutional. The bill made final passage on March 29th, the last day of the legislative year. Those supporting the law in the Georgia legislator say that they are confident that the law will stand in court. This law and the emergence of several others just like it are indicative of a move toward more personal responsibility for those on governmental assistance and the state tightening the belt during hard financial times. It is not the states responsibility to fund peoples drug habits. And as for the risk to Fourth Amendment rights, it seems like a stretch at best. People should expect to lose a degree of their personal privacy when they are asking to be taken care of on the public dime. The Fourth Amendment argument doesnt hold much water when you also consider that most work places require one to submit to drug tests. If people make themselves subjects to the government, then they can and should be subject to different rules. This is a case of certain states saying enough is enough. Georgia lawmakers estimate that 800 of the 19,000 TANF recipients will fail their drug tests. That is roughly four percent of those receiving such benefits. This should be enough to outrage those whose taxes go to paying the TANF benefits and should cause all states to further examine how this assistance is disbursed.
“Georgia lawmakers estimate that 800 of the 19,000 TANF recipients will fail their drug tests.”
Here’s my idea of welfare reform:
(document presented in language of applicant).....Public Assistance Implementation and Usage Contract.
This contract, entered into on (date) and expiring on (18 months from implementation date) by the (state agency) and applicant(s) listed herein (must submit names of applicant and children born to her via birth records),allows for the provision of food,housing allowance,child care and education for the purposes of job placement during the contract period,and is understood by all parties concerned that the provision of aforementioned assistance is on a one-time basis,not to be repeated or reinstated at any time for any reason between the applicant(s) and the agency named herein,and is for the aforementioned time period only,and can only be implemented following presentation of documents proving legal citizenship status and a drug screening process,both of which are to be conducted by the agency.
Once legal citizenship status and drug screen results are known by the agency and the applicant and found to be favorable,this contract can then be implemented.The following covenants hereby apply and are agreed upon by both the named agency herein and the applicant(s) seeking assistance (failure of any one of these covenants will be considered a contract breach on the part of the applicant,and will result in immediate termination of the contract;assistance will be terminated immediately and can never be reinstated at any time in the future for any reason:
Applicant MUST disclose the name(s) of the absent parent of applicant’s child/children so that an attempt to obtain monetary support for those children can be made through DNA analysis. Failure to disclose the absent parent’s name will result in automatic immediate cessation of benefits.
applicant will submit to random home visits which will be unannounced and will occur during the 5-day work week,normally during the early afternoon hours;
applicant will submit to random drug testing as directed by the agency;
applicant must not conceive,adopt (formally or informally,including family members,immediate or extended) marry or cohabitate during the contract period;
applicant must attend a one-year vocational program via a voucher provided by the agency;applicant must attend each class ( two absences will be allowed during the contract period and a doctor’s note must be submitted upon returning to class for each absence) and a transportation voucher will be provided by the agency for transportation during class hours;child care will be provided by the agency during class hours only.
Once applicant graduates from vocational training, a two-month job-placement period will commence,with child care provided by the agency; Upon applicant’s employment,there will be an additional 4 months of ongoing assistance to allow applicant enough time to establish themselves in their occupation and to make child-care arrangements for after the contract period.
Once this contract has reached its expiration date,the assistance provided,all provisions and covenants and financial considerations as well,will cease and terminate permanently.The applicant is barred from any and all future assistance.
I,________________ hereby agree to adhere to all covenants,rules,etc of this contract. I realize and fully understand that I am bound by this contract in order to receive assistance in any form,and that any violation or breach will result in my not receiving any form of assistance any further. I agree further that this contract was fully explained to me by the agency caseworker and that I will fully comply. (sign & date here)____________________________
Agency hereby agrees to and will implement to the best of its ability and obligations,all covenants of this contract.
(agency sign & date)_______________________
That gotta' be way too low . . . missing a comma and a zero somewhere.
But, isn't it a shame that we're asking welfare recipients to stay away from drugs (they must be buying them with the welfare money) and keeping clean. Must be a tall order.
While my Dad was in college, he didn't know anyone who had even *tried* illegal drugs. Never mind did them on a regular basis.
While I was in college, I was one of four people that I know of who *hadn't* tried illegal drugs. And most of the kids smoked pot (or other things) regularly. I still work with a large-ish number of people who do, though, as I get older, it's more pills than pot.
You're darn right this estimate is too small.
More likely many will heed the advance warning that they’ll need to be tested, and quit for just long enough to drop clean.
Gov. Scott HAD stock in Solantic, a clinic where you go for drug tests.
Before the election he was harassed about it. I bet he sold his stock to a cousin or something.
So it’s in his best interest to vote in drug testing.
If they only tested every 100th one...that number would seem about right. Did they test every recipient or a random sample?
But Fl was using Labcorp. He signed over Solantic to his wife. That was a leftist myth that he would have profited. Btw, 2% tested positive during the testing period in Fl.
I’m all for drug testing legislators, elected officials, and government employees, too. Just 800 of 19,000? That estimate is probable cause.
a) Periodcially supply each welfare recipient some bags of inexpensive foods, that they must cook themselves such as rice and beans, oatmeal, a small amount of inexpensive meat, some milk, eggs, and a few fruits and vegetables. No EBT cards for shopping sprees and vacations.
b) Require that every recipient forfeit all cell phones, televisions, mp3 players, video games, jewelery, articles of clothing valued above $20, and any other luxuries you can think of. Regular, unannounced visits would be made to confiscate any newly acquired non-necessities, even if the items were received as gifts.
c) The items would be held in storage for 90 days (maybe 180). If the “client” is off welfare by then, the items would be returned. If not, they'd be auctioned off on a new reality show called “Welfare Storage Wars”. The proceeds from the auctions and reality show would towards paying the welfare benefits.
This way, those who are truly in need, would never be denied basic necessities, but would be very, strongly motivated to get a job. Tough Compassion.
The number of welfare recipients would plummet and most of those who would still be on it, would really need it.
The fundamental problem with the current system is that many welfare recipients can have a better standard of living on welfare than they would working, plus they don't have to work.
While the moral thing to do is to try to stay off of welfare, in a strict standard of living sense it could be considered irrational to try to get off and get a job. My system would pretty much eliminate that problem.
Wonder if those 800 people will just quit their drug use or if we will have 800 new thieves and killers running around trying to get drug money...
The ones that miss checks are going to steal to make this up. I agree 100% with the rule but the govt needs to know this and should at least try to track these people. I’d hate to read some John Q Public was shot and killed for 20 bucks by someone cut off.
Let me repeat myself because i almost invariably get outlandish statement back to a comment like this. I am in no way saying don’t drug test. I am in no way saying someone spending their government handout on drugs should continue to get that benefit. I’m only saying since at least in Georgia’s case it’s 800 people they expect to penalize that some sort of effort should be made to protect the public from these predators.
This is not directed at you Mayberry but at those who pick 3 words and post back at me as though i’ve strayed here from DU.
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