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State Senate approves drug testing for welfare recipients


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.

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Welfare drug testing

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.

if they can manage to find

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

Drugs for a day are cheaper

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.

Drug testing for public assistance

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.

drug testing welfare reciepants

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.


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?

welfare reform

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

How is that comment

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


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.

I know a woman, born in

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

illegals arent given welfare

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!

Illegal vs resident/citizen

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.


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.

my experience

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.

Drug testing

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

I don't think we would be

I don't think we would be much surprised.

Welfare Drug test

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.

If an airline crew has to be

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?

Fed up!

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.

You folks are making it too

You folks are making it too complicated. Here it is, broken down to a level that even the most liberal of us can understand:

Devil's advocate

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.

I agree

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.

Why would anyone

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.


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


Wrong Vog

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.


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.

Yes I'm serious Tom

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:

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.



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

BTW the tests are not random.

"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


Senate "Toning Down language to require drug testing"?

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.