For all the trouble they caused this session, N.C. General Assembly leaders lacked a certain amount of inventiveness. Almost every bill they introduced was already being considered, or was law, somewhere else.

Case in point, during the final hours in Raleigh, the General Assembly passed a foolish bill requiring those applying for public assistance to pass a drug test before they can become eligible. This unconstitutional idea has been tried before in other states, and it makes no more sense here than it did when it was first implemented, and failed miserably, in Florida.

In 2010, Florida became the first state to pass and fully implement a bill mandating mandatory drug testing of all applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The law mandated that all applicants pay for the cost of the drug test themselves, and that they be reimbursed if their test came back negative. The law was in effect for a mere four months before a federal court said it was unconstitutional.

Nearly two years later, the New York Times released the most comprehensive data yet on how the law fared during the short period of time it was in effect. We already knew that the law was a failure, but what we didn’t know was just how much of a failure it was.

CONTINUE READING:  Drug-testing welfare recipients makes no sense | Other Views |

4 thoughts on “Drug-testing welfare recipients makes no sense | Other Views |

  1. In the GOP mindset, perception is their reality. In my charity work with homeless people, I constantly surprise people with money that our homeless clients have jobs. I also tell them the impoverished have no greater propensity to drug abuse than the average society. The data you cite support this and says it is even better than average society. It is not unlike the Voter ID Act. It attempts to solve the wrong problem. The voter problem in America and NC is not the wrong people voting, it is not enough people voting. So, to tighten the requirements on early voting, same day voting, picture ID, etc. is a cure for the wrong disease.

  2. That would seem to be the GOP rationale, both unstated and stated, as some have had a hard time keeping a secret, like the GOP legislator in Texas a few months back who was recorded as saying “we don’t want Blacks voting as they will vote Democrat.”

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