Drug testing for welfare recipients: Update

implementing it in May only for others to be calling for the law to be repealed a couple of months later. In what has surely been one of the most controversial years for the welfare system, where do we stand now as we head towards 2012? Currently, 36 states have implemented welfare drug testing – a huge leap since Michigan proposed the idea only 10 years ago. “You have to fight the scourge (of drug abuse) somehow,” said state Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, the House sponsor of Tennessee’s drug testing bill. “If people are getting taxpayer money, the taxpayers have a right to know who that money is going to.” Critics see these drug testing bills as an unfair slight on a struggling population. Note that when Florida instituted mandatory drug tests this year, all but 0.4% of new welfare applicants and 2% of current welfare recipients tested clean. While this may have saved the state a little money in the grand scheme of things, it certainly undermined Scott’s claim that a significant number of welfare recipients were drug users. In Tennessee, the fiscal note attached to Dunn’s bill estimates that it would cost $2.3 million a year to test a quarter of the adults receiving aid this year, then $3.8 million to test another 25 percent the following year, and $2.4 million to continue testing part of the welfare population every year thereafter. “We want to punish drug users, not taxpayers,” Dunn said. The trouble is, the worse the economy gets, the more people need social services. But the worse the economy gets, the less money is available to them. What for 2012? With federal and state budgets getting ever tighter, there is increasing pressure to conclude as to whether drug testing of welfare recipients is a cost-effective measure. Ultimately, does it save the taxpayer money? In theory, it should. And in practice it is hard to imagine these bills failing. Taxpayers should not be passing over their hard earned cash to individuals who are using it for drugs. Whether or not supporters of the bills can achieve this before the critics have built a strong enough case for repeal, time will only tell.  ]]>

You May Also Like

Check out these additional posts from Mind Your Business.

FYI FRIDAYS Segment 4

Karen Caruso, Founder/CEO answered a question that many of us have been asked in the last few weeks: What are you looking forward to most in 2021?  I am most looking forward to getting back to some sense of normalcy. I look forward to rebuilding MYB stronger than before. Like many small businesses across the…
Read More

MYB is happy to be apart of Hendersonville’s inaugural Random Acts of Kindness Week

HENDERSONVILLE-The partners behind LoveHendo are happy to announce that the week of February 8th through February 13th will be known as Random Acts of Kindness Week. The initiative will be in support of Hendersonville’s non-profit community. Local Businesses will be able to select a non-profit to support during Random Acts of Kindness week.  The businesses will be…
Read More

3 Ways to Support Women-Owned Businesses

October was National Women’s Small Business month. As a certified women-owned small business, it was important for us to reflect on the inequities that still exist in business.  The pandemic has put a large strain on women-owned businesses and especially minority women-owned businesses.  Now more than ever, it is important for us to look at…
Read More

Quality and Precise Results, On Time!

Let us know about your screening needs to get a custom quote. We work with businesses big and small as well as the government. Which means we have a package of solutions for your organization as well.