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Drug tests for welfare pushed
The Columbus Dispatch ^ | August 29, 2013 | Catherine Candisky

Posted on 08/29/2013 7:40:00 AM PDT by Deadeye Division

A central Ohio lawmaker is renewing efforts to require adults seeking welfare to pass a drug test.

Sen. Tim Schaffer plans to introduce legislation today that would establish a drug-testing pilot program for Ohio Works First applicants.

“It is time that we recognize that many families are trying to survive in drug-induced poverty, and we have an obligation to make sure taxpayer money is not being used to support drug dealers,” Schaffer said. “We can no longer turn a blind eye to this problem.”

Crawford County has volunteered to participate in the proposed three-county pilot program, and two others will be chosen.

The proposal comes as Ohio’s public welfare rolls are at their lowest levels in decades. As of June, slightly fewer than 25,000 adults received cash assistance. Children, who make up the bulk of recipients, about 107,000, would be exempt from drug testing under Schaffer’s proposal.

Since 2011, eight states have passed laws requiring drug testing or screening for public-assistance applicants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ohio would be the 30th state this year to introduce drug testing or screening for welfare clients.

The increased interest in such laws follows legal challenges to drug-testing requirements in Michigan and Florida.

Schaffer, R-Lancaster, said he hopes to avoid similar lawsuits by requiring applicants to be tested only if they indicate on a questionnaire that they have used drugs in the past six months. Michigan’s drug-testing law, he said, was found unconstitutional because it required all applicants to undergo screenings regardless of whether there was reason to believe they were using illegal drugs.

“That screening is an integral component needed to avoid a legal challenge. It gets around the Fourth Amendment (protection against) unreasonable search. A state can’t compel all applicants as a group to take a drug test; you have to establish cause,” Schaffer said.

Critics say drug testing unfairly stigmatizes poor people and wastes tax dollars as incident rates in other states have been relatively low. The Associated Press recently reported that Utah spent $25,000 to screen applicants and only 12 tested positive. In Florida, 108 tested positive of more than 4,000 who submitted to drug testing.

Schaffer said the number of welfare applicants using drugs is likely higher because many don’t return to be tested.

Under his proposal, applicants for Ohio’s welfare program who say they have used drugs in the past six months would have to undergo a drug test. If the test is positive for drug use, the applicant would be banned from receiving welfare benefits for at least six months and referred to drug treatment. The bill sets aside $100,000 for residential treatment for the most-serious abusers. Schaffer said most applicants would qualify for Medicaid, which covers community-based services.

Applicants who indicate they have not used drugs would not be tested.

Schaffer stressed that the children or other dependents of those disqualified for assistance would not lose their benefits. “The goals of this bill are threefold: get help to the kids as the Ohio taxpayer intended, get treatment to the drug abuser and protect the taxpayer.”

ccandisky@dispatch.com

@cccandisky


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: welfare

1 posted on 08/29/2013 7:40:00 AM PDT by Deadeye Division
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To: Deadeye Division

I like. Same concept should apply to SNAP, Obamaphones, etc.


2 posted on 08/29/2013 7:42:12 AM PDT by IamConservative (The soul of my lifes journey is Liberty!)
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To: Deadeye Division

Cue the “That’s Racist” boy.

Cause .... Well, you know.


3 posted on 08/29/2013 7:42:51 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: Deadeye Division

I’m sure we will be hearing from Holder any minute, ordering us to stop this racist testing.


4 posted on 08/29/2013 7:48:13 AM PDT by SusaninOhio
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To: Deadeye Division
Michigan’s drug-testing law, he said, was found unconstitutional because it required all applicants to undergo screenings regardless of whether there was reason to believe they were using illegal drugs. “That screening is an integral component needed to avoid a legal challenge. It gets around the Fourth Amendment (protection against) unreasonable search. A state can’t compel all applicants as a group to take a drug test; you have to establish cause,” Schaffer said.

This is the most cockamamie reasoning I have ever seen. If somebody doesn't want to take a drug test, all they have to do is not apply for welfare.

My understanding is that there are plenty of jobs in the public and private sector that require drug tests. How is it possible that people getting free money from taxpayers for doing nothing don't have to take drug tests?

How is this ethical, not to mention intelligent, social policy?

5 posted on 08/29/2013 7:51:27 AM PDT by Maceman (Just say "NO" to tyranny.)
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To: Deadeye Division

“unfairly stigmatizes poor people”

True, it forces the ones who work to subsidize wealthier people’s drug habits. Drug test all of them.


6 posted on 08/29/2013 7:57:18 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge
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To: Deadeye Division

Is the proposed legislation called the “Urine the Money” bill?


7 posted on 08/29/2013 7:57:28 AM PDT by taxcutisapayraise (Making Statism Unpopular)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Ahh denounce meself...


8 posted on 08/29/2013 7:58:52 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge
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To: Maceman
Everywhere else they tried this, it turned out that the government spent more on the tests than they saved by kicking a few people off the rolls.

Typical feel-good "LOOKIT ME I'M DOING SOMETHING!" preening.

9 posted on 08/29/2013 8:03:27 AM PDT by shego
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To: Deadeye Division

Good idea.

Regular drug tests should be required for everyone in the federal government too.

Start with the Bg Choomer in the White House, his staff, Congress, the Senate, and their staffs.

Then move on to all the bureaucrats, the Justice Dept., federal courts and the millions of parasitic government employees spread all over the country sucking the life from the nation.


10 posted on 08/29/2013 8:04:56 AM PDT by Iron Munro ("You bring me the man, I'll find you the crime" - Lavrentiy Beria [and Eric Holder])
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To: Deadeye Division

Children SHOULD NOT be exempted from testing. What age determines a child? A 14-16 yo person that is getting part of those benefits and is doing drugs???? No, Children under age of 10 yo, OK. Any overage of 10-12 should also be tested. If kids are taken drugs, cut the benefits or whatever to induce parents to take care of business. It’s a New World out there. Kids are no longer kids. You have 20 yo’s still in HS! Whats up with that??? Look outside the box and you will find fleas all over the place.


11 posted on 08/29/2013 8:08:26 AM PDT by MarineMom613 (RIP Sandra Sue, my fur baby 12/31/1999 ~ 7/2/2010 - See you on the other side!)
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To: Deadeye Division; ADemocratNoMore; Akron Al; arbee4bush; agrace; ATOMIC_PUNK; Badeye; ...

Ohio Ping


12 posted on 08/29/2013 8:11:18 AM PDT by Whenifhow
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To: Deadeye Division
The Associated Press recently reported that Utah spent $25,000 to screen applicants and only 12 tested positive. In Florida, 108 tested positive of more than 4,000 who submitted to drug testing.

BS, the ONLY way this is true is because just knowing they were going to be tested filtered out the drug users in advance.

Schaffer said the number of welfare applicants using drugs is likely higher because many don’t return to be tested

That makes more sense.

Applicants who indicate they have not used drugs would not be tested.

This makes NO sense. Gee, I wonder if they will lie? Duh. You can be drug tested for a job but not for welfare? You are volunteering for both, it's not being demanded you take the job or welfare. This country is in a free fall.

13 posted on 08/29/2013 8:23:54 AM PDT by Reagan is King
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To: Deadeye Division
Applicants who indicate they have not used drugs would not be tested.

Drug users are so honest, this shouldn't be a problem. /sarc/

The same tact is taken when is comes to citizenship. If they say they are citizens, they aren't checked.

14 posted on 08/29/2013 8:23:57 AM PDT by aimhigh
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To: shego
Everywhere else they tried this, it turned out that the government spent more on the tests than they saved by kicking a few people off the rolls.

Any links or examples you can point to?

15 posted on 08/29/2013 8:24:55 AM PDT by FreedomOfExpression
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To: shego
Everywhere else they tried this, it turned out that the government spent more on the tests than they saved by kicking a few people off the rolls.

Do you have any sources to support that statement? I'm not saying it couldn't be true, but if it is, I find it very counter-intuitive.

If nothing else, it would send the message that Welfare isn't a "right," and that there is SOME level of responsibility required to qualify for it.

16 posted on 08/29/2013 8:25:50 AM PDT by Maceman (Just say "NO" to tyranny.)
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To: Deadeye Division
Utah spent $25,000 to screen applicants and only 12 tested positive. In Florida, 108 tested positive of more than 4,000 who submitted to drug testing.

Most FReepers will miss this reality check.

17 posted on 08/29/2013 8:29:27 AM PDT by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: Reagan is King

“Under his proposal, applicants for Ohio’s welfare program who say they have used drugs in the past six months would have to undergo a drug test.”

This makes the whole effort stoopid and useless!


18 posted on 08/29/2013 8:40:10 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Deadeye Division

That’ll go over even worse than requiring voter ID.


19 posted on 08/29/2013 9:18:15 AM PDT by Old Yeller (Who am I to judge homosexuals? That's what the Tony Awards are for.)
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To: FreedomOfExpression
Any links or examples you can point to?

Florida's welfare drug tests cost more money than state saves, data shows

Only 12 test positive in Utah welfare drug screening

20 posted on 08/29/2013 9:21:46 AM PDT by shego
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To: Deadeye Division

This is a ridiculous plan that is just like Florida when the Governor’s wife made a killing off the drug tests and it was cost more than it saved. Which if is the case of conservatives is to save money, that isn’t the case. Which means that it’s only about ‘owning’ someone who happens to need food stamps (because not all on snap or welfare are just lazy bums) or whatever.


21 posted on 08/29/2013 9:36:16 AM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: Deadeye Division

This is a ridiculous plan that is just like Florida when the Governor’s wife made a killing off the drug tests and it was cost more than it saved. Which if is the case of conservatives is to save money, that isn’t the case. Which means that it’s only about ‘owning’ someone who happens to need food stamps (because not all on snap or welfare are just lazy bums) or whatever.

********************************

P.S. Follow the money and see who will be making a profit. The Republicans are just as good as the Democrats when they do their ‘green initiatives’ that makes their pals lots of money.

Obamaphones for instance. The billionaire that is getting $100 for a phone that in the stores costs $10... yeah wonder what that’s all about.


22 posted on 08/29/2013 9:37:33 AM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: MarineMom613

You want minors to be forced to pee in a cup because their mom is on food stamps?

That’s extreme even for FR.


23 posted on 08/29/2013 9:41:17 AM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: shego

Thanks.
I still don’t have a problem drug testing those receiving government benefits.
The cost/benefit ratio, however may not directly make it worthwhile.


24 posted on 08/29/2013 10:32:45 AM PDT by FreedomOfExpression
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To: steve86

Even assuming everything is kosher with the Utah stats, the money spent testing is just over 2k per positive tester. We don’t know what the monthly amount they were getting is, but at $400 a month, in just 5 months the testing money has been recouped and after that it’s all benefit to the taxpayer. Seems like a good investment to me.


25 posted on 08/29/2013 12:21:47 PM PDT by pluvmantelo (Tuffy Gessling, George Zimmerman: They can crash at my pad anytime they like)
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To: pluvmantelo
The article on the Utah program says that, "Utah's law doesn't disqualify people who test positive from receiving benefits. Instead, it requires them to enter substance abuse treatment."

So people who test positive for pot, who otherwise would not be under treatment, are sent for rehab at taxpayer expense and still get their benefits. Sounds like a scam to me, but then so is the War on Drugs.

26 posted on 08/29/2013 12:56:13 PM PDT by Ken H (First rule of gun safety - have a gun)
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To: Deadeye Division

YES!!!! FINALLY.


27 posted on 08/29/2013 1:07:03 PM PDT by RC one
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To: steve86
Utah spent $25,000 to screen applicants and only 12 tested positive. In Florida, 108 tested positive of more than 4,000 who submitted to drug testing.

How many didn't apply for welfare, because they knew they'd get tested?

28 posted on 08/29/2013 1:08:52 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: autumnraine

That is my point. Even thought they are legally a minor, they can be charged as an adult in certain cases. In NYC Housing Authority, if a family member is caught dealing drugs the family is thrown out, if the person does not move. I am not talking about 10 year olds, I am talking about teenagers that make their living selling/using drugs. If they are not going to school, making their grades, what is wrong with drug testing them also. If they are not in school or working, than what are they doing???? I am only posting on this issue because of what I know and see on a daily basis in NY.


29 posted on 08/29/2013 1:25:58 PM PDT by MarineMom613 (RIP Sandra Sue, my fur baby 12/31/1999 ~ 7/2/2010 - See you on the other side!)
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To: Ken H

The Utah info was cited as data supporting the contention that the cost of testing was greater than money saved. I examined the data on that basis. I was not defending the particulars of the Utah program. Indeed, if the the point of the testing is not to cull deadbeats from the welfare rolls, then it is money wasted.


30 posted on 08/29/2013 1:58:32 PM PDT by pluvmantelo (Tuffy Gessling, George Zimmerman: They can crash at my pad anytime they like)
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To: pluvmantelo

In addition, the dependents are not cut off (I’m not saying they should be), which along with the substantial outlay for treatment costs and the limited six-month suspension from benefits, makes it pretty hard to justify the testing program on strictly cost-benefit grounds. In fact, it would be cheaper just to provide the drugs than test for them lol.


31 posted on 08/29/2013 2:28:53 PM PDT by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: dfwgator

Is there evidence that applications and continuing clients decreased by thousands during this period? Surprised I didn’t hear about that.


32 posted on 08/29/2013 2:30:11 PM PDT by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: steve86

>In fact, it would be cheaper just to
>provide the drugs than test for them lol.

Don’t give the party of moral hazard any ideas. It’s all too possible they would take it and run with it.


33 posted on 08/29/2013 3:25:55 PM PDT by pluvmantelo (Tuffy Gessling, George Zimmerman: They can crash at my pad anytime they like)
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To: Iron Munro

Good idea.

Regular drug tests should be required for everyone in the federal government too.

Start with the Bg Choomer in the White House, his staff, Congress, the Senate, and their staffs.

Then move on to all the bureaucrats, the Justice Dept., federal courts and the millions of parasitic government employees spread all over the country sucking the life from the nation.


Preach it Brother....


34 posted on 08/30/2013 2:11:31 AM PDT by S.O.S121.500 (Case back hoe for sale or trade for diesel wood chipper....Enforce the Bill of Rights. It's the Law!)
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To: Maceman

My son recently job hunted and the job he landed, currently has, drug tested him in the interview process; whipped out a kit right there during the interview.


35 posted on 08/30/2013 2:20:36 AM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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