There is big news out of Georgia this week as Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill requiring drug testing for welfare applicants. This is particularly relevant to Arkansas politics because drug testing will be a topic of discussion in the 2013 general assembly.
More on the story from Atlanta’s CBS affiliate:
“The basic premise is people who are receiving taxpayers money should be clean,” said Deal
Deal signed House Bill 861, requiring parents to have to pass a drug test before receiving benefits. The law was created to make sure money going to low-income families with kids actually gets to the kids.
“The intention, of course, is to try to make sure we’re not spending taxpayers money for things that were not intended, namely to support someone’s drug habit,” said Deal.
Under the law, if someone fails the drug test, they have to wait a month and take another test.
Lovers of welfare, do not fret! The ACLU is on the case:
“To do this was punitive and unconstitutional,” said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Seagraves believes the law violates people’s rights and unfairly targets people who have fallen on hard economic times.
“It’s patently unconstitutional to conduct suspicion-less searches on people just because they are applying for public benefits,” said Seagraves.
Seagraves’ argument that the drug testing constitutes an unfair search doesn’t hold water. Citizens that choose to apply for welfare will do so with the knowledge that they must be tested, therefore consenting. No guns are being hoisted in the faces of innocent, honest welfare applicants. If you choose to enroll, then you choose to be tested. Conversely, if you are on drugs & you do not wish to be subjected to a test.
Seagraves & liberals desperate to defend enslavement programs would love for you to believe that this is some sort of discrimination, but it simply is not. How is this requirement different than states requiring employment applicants to disclose criminal history before applying for certain positions? (In Arkansas, a pitifully small number of positions come with this requirement) There is no assumption of guilt here. Rather, states are making an extra effort (or pitifully little effort, as in Arkansas) to gather as much information as possible to ensure that taxpayer money is spent appropriately. This is commonsense, it is fiscally sound, and it is all-around good policy.
Georgia’s law, which goes into effect July 1, will undoubtedly come under legal challenge, perhaps from Obama’s own Justice Department. These developments will also be of relevance for Arkansas moving forward.
The only arguments against this type of drug testing are emotional & irrational. But rest assured, that will not stop nanny-staters from making them.