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Maine Democrat submits bill to drug-test welfare recipients
Bangor Dailey News ^ | 02/28/2013 | By Matthew

Posted on 03/01/2013 1:54:34 PM PST by Responsibility2nd

AUGUSTA, Maine — Lawmakers this session once again will debate whether recipients of state and local welfare benefits should be subject to drug testing. And this time, a Democrat is bringing forward the proposal, which is more likely to prove popular with Republicans.

Rep. Paulette Beaudoin, D-Biddeford, is sponsoring a measure that would allow the state to conduct random drug tests on Maine residents receiving benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or health insurance through Medicaid. Under the measure, the state would cut off benefits to anyone who tests positive.

Beaudoin’s bill, LD 678, also would let municipalities drug-test recipients of aid through local General Assistance programs and cut off support for those who test positive.

Nine Republican lawmakers and one Democrat, Rep. Matthew Peterson of Rumford, have signed on as co-sponsors.

Beaudoin’s bill is one of a handful that lawmakers will consider this session dealing with drug use and eligibility for state assistance. Rep. Wayne Parry, R-Arundel — a co-sponsor of Beaudoin’s bill — also is proposing to require drug testing for food stamp recipients.

In addition, Gov. Paul LePage’s administration is preparing a measure that would make drug felons ineligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits.

Beaudoin, who’s serving her fourth term in the House, said she sees her measure as a logical step for Maine’s welfare programs. Drug testing is already widespread, she said.

“It’s not because I’m picking on [welfare recipients]. I’m not,” she said. “They just need to be drug-tested, just like everybody else is.”

The state shouldn’t be awarding public funds to people who use their assistance to purchase illegal drugs, Beaudoin said.

“We give them public funds because they need it to survive. We give it for the children. We give it to them to have a better life, but not to be using it in that fashion,” Beaudoin said. “It’s to be used for food, for heat, for everything it has to be used for. Not for drugs.”

Lawmakers two years ago debated drug testing for TANF recipients and included in the two-year state budget a measure that allowed the state to cut off TANF benefits to drug felons convicted within the past 20 years who failed a series of drug tests. The budget provision allowed some of those felons to avoid losing benefits if they enrolled in substance abuse treatment programs.

The state, however, hasn’t implemented that provision of the budget because of the cost and concerns about its legality, John Martins, a Department of Health and Human Services spokesman, said in January. Martins said Wednesday in an email that the department hasn’t yet taken a position on Beaudoin’s bill.

Advocates for low-income Mainers plan to oppose the measure.

It’s unclear why a law allowing drug testing of welfare recipients is needed, said Sara Gagne-Holmes, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners, an advocacy group for low-income Maine residents. No data point to a major substance abuse problem among recipients of welfare benefits, she said.

“We need to base public policy on facts, not rhetoric,” Gagne-Holmes said. “I don’t understand where this issue is coming from and why we need such a draconian measure, never mind that it’s unconstitutional.”

Drug testing for welfare recipients has been debated in a number of states in recent years, and Florida began to require drug tests for all people seeking welfare benefits in 2011. The state implemented the drug-testing requirement for four months before a federal judge issued an injunction that put the law on hold. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Tuesday upheld that temporary ban on drug testing, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott has vowed to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

During the four months the law was in effect, Florida saved no money from the policy and saw little change in the number of applications for welfare benefits, according to data the state released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from civil liberties groups.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story had a photo caption that incorrectly stated that Rep. Beaudoin's bill would require drug testing for food stamps recipients.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Maine
KEYWORDS: drugs; drugwar; maine; warondrugs; welfare; wod; wodlist; wosd
Well, well, well.

They're not all Maine-iacs up there in Yankee Land.

1 posted on 03/01/2013 1:54:47 PM PST by Responsibility2nd
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To: Responsibility2nd
“We give them public funds because they need it to survive. We give it for the children. We give it to them to have a better life, but not to be using it in that fashion,” Beaudoin said. “It’s to be used for food, for heat, for everything it has to be used for. Not for drugs.”

So these measures include the addictive mind-altering drug alcohol too, right? Nobody needs alcohol to survive.

2 posted on 03/01/2013 1:59:20 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Someone is going to be as welcome as the proverbial ‘t__d -in-the-punchbowl’ with her ‘rat-pack’, for quite a while!


3 posted on 03/01/2013 2:03:28 PM PST by 45semi (A police state is always preceded by a nanny state...)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

This is not about alcohol, now is it? How’d I know you and your pro-drug crusade would show up on this thread?

Why not just admit it. You OPPOSE this “unconstitutional” search of private citizens, don’t you? You support welfare bums and their right to smoke or injest whatever they want while ripping off the taxpayers.

You are still a frickin troll.


4 posted on 03/01/2013 2:05:33 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I would like recipients tested for cable television and internet.


5 posted on 03/01/2013 2:06:26 PM PST by The Free Engineer
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
So these measures include the addictive mind-altering drug alcohol too, right?

One thing I'm quite sure of is it does not include corporate welfare like tax abatements, tax breaks, zero-interest loans, subsidies, government grants, stimulus money, bailouts, etc.

6 posted on 03/01/2013 2:07:26 PM PST by gdani
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To: The Free Engineer
I would like recipients tested for cable television and internet.

But the Internet is a "fundamental human right" according to the U.N.

7 posted on 03/01/2013 2:13:19 PM PST by FreedomOfExpression
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Alcohol is not illegal, there is no reason to test for it.
If MJ is legal there (no not illegal) I do not know how they can test for that either.

Ok, based on your statement it appears that a glass of wine at dinner or a martini on a nice afternoon on the deck or a beer with BBQ is the same as falling down into the gutter drunk........not only not true - its just silly.


8 posted on 03/01/2013 2:27:56 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
“We give them public funds because they need it to survive. We give it for the children. We give it to them to have a better life, but not to be using it in that fashion,” Beaudoin said. “It’s to be used for food, for heat, for everything it has to be used for. Not for drugs.”

So these measures include the addictive mind-altering drug alcohol too, right? Nobody needs alcohol to survive.

This is not about alcohol, now is it?

Based on the rationale presented, it should be. You support welfare bums and their right to guzzle whatever they want while ripping off the taxpayers, don’t you?

9 posted on 03/01/2013 2:28:30 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: svcw
“We give them public funds because they need it to survive. We give it for the children. We give it to them to have a better life, but not to be using it in that fashion,” Beaudoin said. “It’s to be used for food, for heat, for everything it has to be used for. Not for drugs.”

So these measures include the addictive mind-altering drug alcohol too, right? Nobody needs alcohol to survive.

Alcohol is not illegal

It's also not needed to survive - which is the presented rationale for testing.

Ok, based on your statement it appears that a glass of wine at dinner or a martini on a nice afternoon on the deck or a beer with BBQ is the same as falling down into the gutter drunk

No, that's just your baseless inference.

10 posted on 03/01/2013 2:30:52 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Wonder if that dem has stock in the clinics like Gov. Rick Scott who also passed it here in FL.


11 posted on 03/01/2013 2:31:15 PM PST by bicyclerepair (Zombies Eat Brains. Half of FL is safe.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Actually being alcohol-free is a pretty good requirement. In fact, if it were up to me, if their blood stream contained anything other than Ramen or catfood, then no welfare check!


12 posted on 03/01/2013 2:31:58 PM PST by MNDude (Guns don't kill people, Democrats kill people)
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To: The Free Engineer

I’m sure that’s because you want them to have it so they can find work and get off the dole. Right?


13 posted on 03/01/2013 2:32:29 PM PST by Past Your Eyes (I've all but given up my crusade to rid the world of fools; there are, I found, just too many.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Oooo. That's gonna make em mad.

Racist, homophobic, sexist and just plain mean.
But wait, she is a Democrat.
Naa. She will or has been excommunicated.
Damn Republican racist, homophobic, sexist pig.

Something along these lines.

14 posted on 03/01/2013 2:33:22 PM PST by Tupelo (Hunkered down & loading up)
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To: svcw

Just because MJ might be legal doesn’t mean the company/agency/employer can’t test for it and prohibit it for employees.


15 posted on 03/01/2013 2:34:41 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I live in Maine (escaped from massachusetts)it still seems to put liberal types in federal positions but for the most part frugality is celebrated and the police are very conservative.You have to be an idiot to get pulled over as opposed to the police state below and the cost of living is MUCH lower if your self-sufficient and have half a brain.I love the state of Maine and especially Governor LePage he really gets under the skin of the moonbats.


16 posted on 03/01/2013 2:36:41 PM PST by mythenjoseph
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To: MNDude
Actually being alcohol-free is a pretty good requirement.

Yet watch the Drug Warriors fight tooth and nail against it, so deeply in denial are they about the simple fact that alcohol is a drug.

17 posted on 03/01/2013 2:47:38 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: Responsibility2nd

No, no, no...you don’t understand.

He wants to test them to make sure they’re taking ENOUGH drugs.


18 posted on 03/01/2013 2:52:36 PM PST by moovova
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To: GeronL

There is a vicious irony, that the people making the money and paying the taxes more often than not have to be tested in order to be and remain employed (or, in a dangerous profession, alive), so that those who aren’t working can have enough money to spend on booze and drugs.


19 posted on 03/01/2013 2:59:18 PM PST by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: Responsibility2nd

A court in Florida struck the same thing down as being a violation of the 4th amendment.

so people can’t make sure money WE give tothese welfar queens isn’t used for drugs because it violates their 4th amendment rights
but employers can force drug tests on employees?

I guess I am too dumb to get it


20 posted on 03/01/2013 3:02:45 PM PST by RWGinger
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To: The Antiyuppie

bump


21 posted on 03/01/2013 3:04:46 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: RWGinger
I guess I am too dumb to get it

The Fourth Amendment applies to government only, not private workplaces.

22 posted on 03/01/2013 3:23:56 PM PST by gdani
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

The bottom line is that anyone colleting assistance from the public teet should be scrutinized for all non-prescribed drugs and it should include alcohol and cigarettes.


23 posted on 03/01/2013 3:27:18 PM PST by Ouderkirk (Obama has turned America into an aristocracy of the unaccomplished.)
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To: bicyclerepair

Wonder if that dem has stock in the clinics like Gov. Rick Scott who also passed it here in FL.
***********************************
It was just struck down here in FL wasn’t it?


24 posted on 03/01/2013 3:59:57 PM PST by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
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To: 45semi

She may not give a damn about what they think. This is her 4th term, which means she is term-limited out (unless she runs for the State Senate).


25 posted on 03/01/2013 4:01:24 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Florida passed this same requirement into law but the court overturned the law.

See:

Drone Strikes Okay, Drug Testing Welfare Recipients, Not So Much


26 posted on 03/01/2013 4:22:51 PM PST by Iron Munro (I miss America, don't you?)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

People are not going to be thrown on the streets in this country and allowed to starve.

But even from a liberal viewpoint, its not compassionate to give public taxpayer dollars to people bent upon destroying their own lives.

We talk about looking after the less fortunate but the flip side is they have to be responsible for their own lives, too. I don’t think that’s too much to ask of them.


27 posted on 03/01/2013 6:21:34 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Doesn’t that off-the-plantation Dem know that his proposal is racist? IMO they need to test as stringently as the fussiest company before they give our money to those on welfare - if they’re not clean enough to get a job, they’re not clean enough...period. How do we expect them to get off the teat if they aren’t employable?


28 posted on 03/02/2013 2:56:45 AM PST by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: Responsibility2nd
We need mandatory drug testing of all legislators as well.
29 posted on 03/04/2013 5:23:12 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("Somebody has to be courageous enough to stand up to the bullies." --Dr. Ben Carson)
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To: Ouderkirk
The bottom line is that anyone colleting assistance from the public teet should be scrutinized for all non-prescribed drugs and it should include alcohol and cigarettes.

Yet watch the Drug Warriors fight tooth and nail against alcohol testing, so deeply in denial are they about the simple fact that alcohol is a drug.

30 posted on 03/04/2013 7:43:43 AM PST by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: goldstategop
“We give them public funds because they need it to survive. We give it for the children. We give it to them to have a better life, but not to be using it in that fashion,” Beaudoin said. “It’s to be used for food, for heat, for everything it has to be used for. Not for drugs.”

So these measures include the addictive mind-altering drug alcohol too, right? Nobody needs alcohol to survive.

its not compassionate to give public taxpayer dollars to people bent upon destroying their own lives.

We talk about looking after the less fortunate but the flip side is they have to be responsible for their own lives, too.

People irresponsibly destroy their lives with alcohol.

31 posted on 03/04/2013 7:45:39 AM PST by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

I am of the position that if you are collecting government living assistance then there will be no alcohol, no tobacco, or any other non-prescription drugs and no association with known felons and other miscreants.

The functional equivalent of being on probation or parole.


32 posted on 03/04/2013 12:51:44 PM PST by Ouderkirk (Obama has turned America into an aristocracy of the unaccomplished.)
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