State Senate approves drug testing for welfare recipients


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Submitted: Thu, 07/11/2013 - 7:27pm
Updated: Fri, 07/12/2013 - 4:21am
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The state Senate approved a bill that would make it harder for some welfare applicants to get assistance.

The measure would require drug testing and criminal background checks on all applicants for North Carolina’s Work First Welfare Program.

Anyone who fails the test cannot receive benefits for a year.

The only way around that is to show proof you’ve finished a substance abuse treatment program and passed another drug test.

“People that, you know, that drink, or do drugs, shouldn’t be on it,” Ron S., a supporter of the bill said. “And if they drug test people or alcohol test and drug test, and whatever, and they find out the person’s doing it, then they don’t need to be on it.”

Another requirement would be mandatory background checks for applicants.

Bill advocates say that will keep fugitives, probation and parole violators, plus those with outstanding warrants off government assistance.

49 Comments

  • your mama says:

    Drugs for a day are cheaper then providing food and clothes for a family year round. Especially if the person is buying with shame for drugs. No one is going to take care of your family because you buy their products, that’s so stupid. Sense you spend your kids collage fund on a trip to Hawaii, does that mean the Hawaiians have to send your kid to school. No, you do! You have to fix it, your the cause well make a solution. Most people who do drugs have hella issues, caused by the people.

  • Guest2609 says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with this. If I have to be subjected to a drug test for a job that I receive compensation for, then anyone receiving free money from the state should also be subjected to drug testing. I also think we need to follow suit the same way New Jersey did when it came to individuals on welfare. If you are on welfare and get pregnant we will pay for that child. If you do it again, there is no more money because you are having more children. It is time that we start holding people accountable for their actions. And don’t say it is not the child’s fault. Where do these people learn it from? They see their parents doing it and do it themselves.

  • Guest1234543 says:

    If an airline crew has to be drug tested then they also deserve to have all their passengers drug tested also, same for all transportation workers, the AMA decided it wasn’t necessary for them, what is the policy for government workers, it’s a know fact we have had and still do 2 presidents that are admitted drug user’s, but the bottom line is, if drug testing is a pre employment test for normal people, why in the heck does it not apply to government, medical, and welfare applicants?

  • Bill Whitley says:

    Welfare recipients are wards of of the working tax payers. They should be subject to the same scrutiny as we are who work.Testing should be required from inception and repeated at a minimum annually. God bless the Republican General Assembly who have protected us from fiat annexation, given us a right to defend ourselves, protected the integrity of our vote at the polls and cut income taxes and taxes on food.

  • tammycalifornia says:

    If an individual was concerned on how they would support their family and meet their needs, then why dont they stay off the drugs and deal with that instead of being high. i think it is a good idea to drug test, I am a welfare reciepant in the state of California, i do not have no problem drug testing fo ranyone and thats how it shudl be if a person is concerned about supporting their familiy and they need the assistance.

  • mel says:

    if they can manage to find money for drugs im sure they will figure it out

  • Guest2020 says:

    I don’t think we would be much surprised.

  • Guest53 says:

    Sounds great!
    Let’s also extend drug testing to our elected representatives in Raleigh. We might be surprised.

  • Guest34567 says:

    illegals arent given welfare idiot! they are only given help if they are immigrants but have citizenship or residency. with that said they are here legally and are working here legally therefore they are paying taxes! dont speak out of your ass and educate yourself!

  • Guest12 says:

    I know a woman, born in mexico, doesnt even speak spanish, has 3 kids and gets welfare. She is “illigal”.

  • jkaustin says:

    How is that comment illiterate? I did not notice any misspelled words. And everything seemed grammatically correct.

  • Pipestr says:

    ummm – can you read what you wrote???
    If they have “citizenship or residency” then they are not ‘illegal’….. and yes, many who ARE here Illegally DO receive welfare.

  • Amber says:

    OK. I was at social services one day. There was a Hispanic lady ahead if me. She had four children and was pregnant. Now the fact she received benefits that day didn’t bother me. But the fact herself and her three daughters were all decked out in jewelry and name brand clothes did. Did I mention the fact that they drove away in a hummer? My god I’ve had a job since I was twelve and still can’t afford any of that. So I can understand some hostility about this situation.

  • Debra Nunn says:

    I don’t know where you live but where i live all the illegals get welfare. They don’t even have to show proof of nothing. So before you talk you better do your research.

  • Guest123 says:

    First off its people like you that put this country to shame. Second, illegals are not recieving welfare. Lastly, if you did some research you would know that many illegals who are working do pay taxes! Wether that is from working, property tax, or everyday taxable goods they are buying. Before you go spouting off about illegal immigrants you should do some reseach. I must not forget to mention the fact that you pointed your finger directly to Mexicans. May I be the one to remind you that Mexicans are not the only illegal immigrants in this country? You should go crawl back into your little hole you came out of and read a book or something.

  • rachel says:

    i believe before you leave rude and illiterate comments you should educate your self and know facts regarding welfare. fact number 1 if you can read immigrants can not qualify for welfare fact number 2 immigrants do pay taxes and guess what they do not get any tax return and fact number 3 according to a recent study thanks to MEXICANS the U.S collected $10.6 BILLION in 2010 money Mexicans are never get back and if they do qualify its because they have children who are U.S citizens not immigrants as you would say

  • Longman says:

    If you kick off those on drugs for a year, how will they support themselves and their families? You will see a rise in crime,ie robbery, murder, etc. They need to get treatment. I beleive this law is unfairly targeting minorities and must be challenged at the federal level and funding cut until it meets the federal guidelines.

  • Fair is fair says:

    I think it is fair to drug test . Most jobs require you to pass a drug yes to work for your money, and you can have free medical coverage and more money then I could ever afford in food assistance. Meanwhile they end up selling their food assistance for their drug money. But don’t have to work , I have to work as much overtime to pay for me and my child’s Health coverage, food, and all my bills.

  • Guest123 says:

    they should add to this bill that NO illegals should get help with food, housing or medical care from this country. They have never paid taxes here and we owe them nothing!

    If You can’t even speak English why am I constantly in line behind you in the grocery store with your 3 carts of food and your 6 mexican kids all under age 10 following you? can you say EBT in english?

  • tke1 says:

    You folks are making it too complicated. Here it is, broken down to a level that even the most liberal of us can understand:
    IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO SPEND ON DOPE, YOU DON’T NEED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE.

  • Vog46 says:

    Why would anyone object?
    How about illegal search and seizure?
    Or
    Profiling?
    Just because someone applies for help does that give the government the right to eliminate their 4 amendment(?) right?

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    object to this?

    Employers require pre-employment testing with follow up randon testing.

    If you’re on the public dole, including housing, there should be no reason why you can not provide some samples.

  • sailboat2323 says:

    You type like you are high.

  • Guest, Just Another says:

    Really, beat every day? If someone is smart enough to beat it, maybe they aught to be smart enough to work. Just a thought.

    And I don’t care how many people that DON’T receive assistance get high, my money isn’t going to them.

  • Guest Timekeeper says:

    OK, Tweetie 11, I will answer your questions, so listen up. No, I know that everyone getting a handout is not on drugs. Who cares about the ones not on welfare? Yes, drug tests can be beaten, but many will not be. The cost to the taxpayer for the test would be a fraction of the savings. I know plenty who get high, but do so with their own money, so again, who cares?

  • tweety11 says:

    They do work,that’s the whole point.So it’s ok to get high as long as you aren’t on government assistance(doctors,lawyers,policeman)?

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …to maintain eligibility. They may be able to pee straight once to get in, but they need to keep it clean (very unlikely), just like the rest of us do, that pay their way. They remain active on the list to be called in for drug test at ANY given time as long as they receive any government assistance.

    You’re correct, it’s nothing other than “feel-good” legislation. An ineffective, pointless facade of smoke and mirror law once again.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …you know the answer!

  • tweety13 says:

    yes I do but i will leave that alone.

  • Vog46 says:

    I had used the names Shaniqua and Dontelle in another blog about violence – so I stuck with them.
    No I’m not a racist or implying anything either.

    I am glad to see I wrong abut background checks – they ARE doing them – that is a good start.
    I do have a problem with past drug history going to rehab and having 1 clean screen THEN being eligible for welfare. Many addicts do not succeed on the first attempt at sobriety.

    We shall see

    Vog

  • tweety11 says:

    Vog why Shaniqua?Maria Francis,Mary Beth…Just asking.Should we also test our politicians once a month.

  • Vog46 says:

    Yeah the guy who is now getting sued by another law firm in town that represents Goolsby clients.

    Apparently ol Thom decided to start an investment company with a partner and went against the clients investments wishes. The clients then lost a boat load of money.
    The market is risky no doubt, but when you go AGAINST your clients wishes – you look like an idiot.

    Thom has proven without a doubt he’s lousy legislator, a lousy ambulance chasing lawyer and now a terrible business person.
    He should be removed form office if this suit pans out.
    BTW this is a civil lawsuit so no law has to be broken.
    Yeah great job Senator Goolsby………..what a moron

    Vog

  • John says:

    More great work from the NC Senate. Thank you Senator Thom Goolsby! We taxpayers should not have to make welfare payments to drug users. Of course, I’m sure the Democrat protesters think we should.

  • GuestO'Day says:

    Vog, what’s further disturbing is that Goolsby’s business partner “serves on a board overseeing state business incentives”.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/07/11/3024188/10-people-sue-nc-senators-investment.html

    Here’s the hype from his “Empowered Investors” site:

    “You’ve heard it said that if it sounds too good to be true- then it probably is! We can’t imagine why anyone would ever give away their liquidity for a potential return or interest rate. Surrender Penalties! Net Asset Value! Termination Fees! When does it stop? Have you felt that perhaps your Financial Advisor may not be putting your interest first by promoting a product you don’t fully understand? Ever felt that maybe the information presented to you may not have your best interest in mind- first and foremost?

    We here at Empowered Investor want to remind you of this very basic, but profoundly true principle- IT’S YOUR MONEY! Perhaps you need to be reminded of this again- IT’S YOUR MONEY! How easily Financial Advisory Firms forget this! Let us show you how we are different from all the rest!”

  • SurfCityTom says:

    are you seriuous?

    Just about anyone applying for a job has to take a pre-employment drug screen; sometimes a phsyical. Based upon duties, they may be subject to random tests.

    So, applying your premise, the prospective employer is denying them their 4th amendment right?

    You can not have it both ways.

    As to whom will object — every entitlement recipient who can lose bennies if they are required to take random drug tests.

    Quit drinking that Kool Aid, Vog.

  • Vog46 says:

    Yeah, thought that would get a rise out of you.

    BTW the tests are not random.
    http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/Senate/PDF/S594v4.pdf

    “The Department shall provide notice of drug testing to each applicant or recipient. The notice shall advise the applicant or recipient that drug testing will be conducted as a condition of receiving Work First Program assistance, and that the results of the drug tests will remain confidential and will not be released to law enforcement.”

    So all they get is denial? The department turns their back on CRIMINAL activity by NOT informing law enforcement?

    Feel good useless legislation

    Vog

  • guesty says:

    It isn’t illegal search and seizure. They don’t have to submit to the test. They are free to walk away at anytime. But if they choose not to submit to the test or fail the test, they don’t get the tax money. Nice try on twisting the 4th amendment but you failed.

  • Vog46 says:

    NC’s program is based upon SUSPICION of drug use.
    They are NOT going to test ALL applicants – because they don’t want a court case:
    http://www.senate.michigan.gov/sfa/publications%5Cnotes%5C2012notes%5Cnotessum12fc.pdf

    Some basic info:

    “In 1999, Michigan introduced a pilot program to test all recipients of FIP cash assistance for drug use, with the goal to implement the program statewide by April 2003. A drug test was required of every FIP recipient and applicant, meaning that the program was “suspicionless””

    “In 1999, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit, Marchwinski v. Howard, in U.S. District Court against the Department of Human Services (then the Family Independence Agency), alleging that the drug testing program was a violation of Fourth Amendment rights”
    ” the U.S. District Court issued a preliminary
    injunction against the Department of Human Services (DHS) to cease the testing. The ruling considered such a drug test to be a “search” and, as such, it could not be suspicionless. Eventually, the entire Sixth Circuit bench affirmed the ruling in 2003″

    Tom – mandatory drug testing of ALL recipients is in violation of the 4th amendment as indicated by the courts.
    Just keep in mind employers are NOT the government so they can set it as a policy to drug test all applicants – therefore it is viewed as voluntary so long as the applicant knows the drug test will be given.

    But how effective are these programs:
    “The results of Florida’s suspicion-based pilot program illustrate some of these limitations. The pilot screened all new applicants in two regions using SASSI. Of those screened, 22.4% were identified as having a substance abuse problem. On the same day as the SASSI screening, the applicants
    were then required to submit to a urine test in order to continue the application process. Out of the total applicants, 335 people, or 5.1%, failed the urine test.”
    So based upon THIS link data we would be suspicious of about 22% of applicants and test them all – only to find that 5% actually flunk the test.

    Thats a pretty dismal result, if you ask me. I hope NC does better.

    But stop with the randomness – the legislation does NOT allow for random tests. Even current residents will be NOTIFIED of the drug testing and if a current resident flunks they go through rehab, and give 1 – thats right just 1 clean test the next year and they get TO STAY (remember they were NOT kicked out upon the flunked test they wre given a chance to redeem themselves)

    Kool-aid? Hardly. I would have hoped you would know me well enough by now to know I had a reason to state what I stated and the above link shows why I said it.
    Its not kool aid – its legalese.
    NC’s legislation is useless feel good law that will do little to nothing to stem the tide of welfare fraud.

    Vog

  • SouthEastNC says:

    It seems like a no-brainer idea to me, but unless the drug tests are random then you’re not going to catch many people and will just waste money on the tests. So how would we do it randomly… knock on their door and say “pee in this cup right now”? Jeez, can you imagine the outrage from the left if we tried that? Might even be deemed unconstitutional.

  • Monkey Junction says:

    I think this idea has many flaws.
    1. When Florida enacted this same law, only 2.6% of applicants tested positive for drugs with most being marijuana. The state of Florida ended up losing money as they had to pay for the tests ($30 to $35 per test) that came up negative for drug use. In Florida, the rates of drug use among people that receive welfare were lower that the general polulation.
    2. Drug testing for employment is your choice. One can avoid the test by simply not applying for jobs that drug test. The majority of welfare recipients do not choose to be on welfare, they ended up their due to bad choices or other circumstances. For some people there is no other option that welfare.
    3. Welfare money does go to help kids that had no choice if their parents did drugs or not. We are punishing the young for the actions of their parents.
    4. This law unfairly tesst one group of people receiving government assistance. What about farmers that receive subsidies? What about all of the bankers that were bailed out by Congress? What about testing the lawmakers that passed this law?

    On the surface this law sounds like a good idea. But if you spend time any examine the issue, you can see the only things that this law would do is to further stigmatize the poor and only benefits the drug testing companies.

  • Ken says:

    ABSOLUTELY! How much money would we save as a nation, if everyone on Welfare and Food Stamps had to pass a drug test! This is a must as viewed by a law abiding person who is receiving neither!

  • Workingman says:

    I drug test for my work .You should for your intitlment

  • guesty says:

    Time to put an end to voting as a way of life for the welfare sponges. If working people have to take and pass drug tests for the honor of paying taxes to support welfare sponges, they need to take and pass tests to get tax money.

  • Guest, Just Another says:

    “Work First welfare program”, notice the “work first”? Most jobs you HAVE to pass drug testing – this is about time!!! Want our money? BE STRAIGHT! WE have to!

  • tweety11 says:

    So your thinking is that everyone that receive some type of government assistance get high.Do you know have any idea how many people that don’t receive assistance get high?Drug test are beat everyday. What will these test cost the taxpayer? I don’t know what type of job you do,but there is a great chance that someone you work with get high or someone you know.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    Typical NC political Horse-Hooie! There’s nothing to tone down. Test them upon application and have them under a random drug testing program just like every one that works responsible jobs that pay for these peoples benefits! We can’t hold jobs with drug use and criminal records, they shouldn’t be able to get free housing, cell phones, food, gas, etc. by doing it either. Just make a law and and enforce it for a change and stop screwing around with a bunch of legal-ease loophole rhetoric!
    It is simply amazing how our government continually perpetuates criminal behavior and life in the projects. This kind of legislation is direct proof and evidence as to why drug dealers flourish and daily shootings occur in these neighborhoods. If I didn’t know better (which I may not) I would get the impression that the government actually encourages it!
    It’s time for this government gravy-train to come to an abrupt end! When we begin to require that people start doing a few things for themselves and having some personal accountability for their lifestyles and living conditions, you’ll begin to see a few positive changes.

  • SOUTHERNMOM says:

    THIS IS A WASTE OF TAX PAYERS MONEY HOW YOU DONT GOT FUNDING FOR PROGRAMS FOR EDUCATION BUT FUNDING TO WASTE ON DRUG TEST THE GOVERNMENT IS FULL OF IT

  • Vog46 says:

    Read the article again and closely.
    “The legislation REQUIRES PEOPLE seeking help from the state’s Work First welfare program to ensure they’re not parole violators, facing felony charges, or a suspected drug user.”
    So like unemployment they fill out a form stating they’re not and we’re supposed to buy it? Wheres the back ground check requirement? (HINT- it’s not there)

    then there’s this:
    “The changes also beef up language on when there’s REASONABLE SUSPICION of drug abuse that would justify testing.”
    So, old Shaniqua is straight when she goes to the welfare office. No suspicion? No test.

    This is feel good legislation guys, nothing more. The big problem comes when they seek work. Right now 87% of employers require a drug screen very few flunk that screen. And in states where they do this thing already very few flunk the drug tests for welfare. I have yet to verify these numbers but one poster on another blog said its less than 3% that fail drug screening for welfare.

    Not all are going ot get tested. IN fact, I’d be surprised, now that they know its law, if anyone would go stoned so badly as to raise suspicions of drug use. Once they’re in housing and getting food stamps? I’m sure they use to their hearts content.
    BTW anyone who relies on the government for a job, for help or for and elected position should also get tested.
    AGREED?

    Vog

  • About Time! says:

    I’m all for the drug testing! We the hard working people in this country are paying dearly for these people. Asking them to be drug free is not asking for to much. People need help sometimes and I have no problem with that. However welfare should not be a life long benefit if you can work the same as I can. I should not have to support someone on drugs . Even their children do not deserve that upbringing. I get tested for my job. Why can’t they get tested for living off our tax money.

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