Missouri House to consider welfare drug testing bill

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | 7:06 a.m. CST; updated 9:03 a.m. CST, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri House members are set to consider legislation to require drug tests for welfare recipients.

The bill requires the Department of Social Services to develop a testing regimen for applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Tests would be given to people whom state officials reasonably believe have used drugs.

Recipients who test positive for drugs would be ineligible for benefits for one year. But the children of adults who test positive could continue receiving their benefits through a third party.

House leaders planned to consider the legislation Wednesday.


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Juan Mendez January 26, 2011 | 9:12 a.m.

A court in Michigan found this to be against the Fourth Amendment.

Juan Mendez.

(Report Comment)
Lionelle Miller January 26, 2011 | 9:51 a.m.

Just how are they going to determine who is using and abusing drugs? Considering Missouri is a red state and is for smaller government, sounds like bigger government to me.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Dick January 26, 2011 | 10:15 a.m.

I really think the cost of initiating and conducting the drug tests would have to outweigh the money saved in benefits. Since the children's benefits wouldn't be stopped, it could be argued that cutting the parent's benefits would hurt the children. It's just not a solution to the problem.

(Report Comment)
Jeremy Calton January 26, 2011 | 3:41 p.m.

"whom state officials reasonably believe have used drugs."
--What state officials? I'm sorry, you can't just use that phrase and then pretend it means something specific.
Why would some bureaucrat have any reason to believe someone is using drugs? Are they going to be trained in that? How?
What is the "reasonable belief" standard in these cases?
@Lionelle: The red team wants to eliminate welfare/TANF entitlements entirely in the guise of smaller gov't. Since they can't do that, this is the closest they can get.
@Juan: All the airport screenings are a violation of the 4th Amendment, but it's okay because "you don't have to fly."
Presumably they see TANF the same.
[Undoubtedly some people DO have to apply for the subsistence help, but they won't see it that way.]

(Report Comment)
Ibelieve innewspapers January 26, 2011 | 4:16 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Rick P January 26, 2011 | 6:14 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Ed Ricciotti January 26, 2011 | 10:56 p.m.

Will those who receive corporate welfare be subject to these drug screenings? Executives from those who companies who receive tax credits and breaks should be subject to drug screenings before receiving any government money. I bet that's not in the bill.

(Report Comment)

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