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Creating new jobs by drug testing welfare recipients

by The Big E on February 3, 2011 · 9 comments

Once again the Republicans have shown their dedication to creating new jobs in Minnesota.  This time, they’ve introduced a bill to force all welfare recipients to take drug tests.  I guess it will create some jobs — government employees administering pee tests.

Republicans in the Minnesota House today filed a bill requiring recipients of MFIP — that’s the welfare system for low-income residents — to prove they’re not on drugs or alcohol.

It’s a dead-on-arrival bill from the past that has a chance of passage this year. Sen. Amy Koch, who now is the Senate Majority Leader in Minnesota, filed a similar bill in 2008 that went nowhere.

Michigan was the first state to pass a similar law, but it failed a constitutional test. It was deemed an unreasonable search.

Here’s the bill:

Eligibility; drug screening. (a) To be eligible for MFIP, an applicant must undergo drug and alcohol screening, to the extent practicable, following the established procedures and reliability safeguards provided for screening in sections 181.951, 181.953, and 181.954. A county agency may require a recipient of benefits to undergo random drug screening. An applicant must provide evidence of a negative test result to the appropriate county agency prior to being approved for MFIP benefits and prior to receiving an extension of benefits under section 256J.425.

(b) A laboratory must report to the appropriate county agency any positive test
   result returned on an applicant or recipient of MFIP benefits. Upon receipt of a positive test result, a county agency must deny or discontinue benefits until the applicant or recipient demonstrates a pattern of negative test results that satisfies the agency that the
   person is no longer a drug user.

(c) MFIP applicants and recipients shall pay for the full cost of each screening.

keewatinrose February 3, 2011 at 4:28 am

Let’s amend it to include legislators and see how far it gets.

The Big E February 3, 2011 at 4:57 am

Only GOP legislators?

keewatinrose February 3, 2011 at 9:52 am

All of them!

Alec February 3, 2011 at 6:39 am

Sounds reasonable. What do they have to hide?

ericf February 3, 2011 at 8:25 am

Test all corporate executives who get public money, and all corporate lobbyists.

pshea15 February 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Why not test anyone who receives any benefit from the state? This of course would include anyone who drives on state highways, anyone who had the audacity to call the fire department when their house is on fire, any business owner who receives tax exceptions for small business, politicians, etc.

Basically everyone receives some type of service / benefit from the state – so if you’re going to test one group, test them all!

The interesting part is that it include alcohol! Last time I checked if you’re over 21, you’re eligible to drink. My guess is that most of the people in MN would fail this test! Unbelievable!!

pshea15 February 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I just read the part about how the applicants would have to pay for the test themselves.

Seriously, if a person doesn’t have a job (or if they do it’s obviously not a very high paying one) and need money for food, but instead the state is telling them to pay up so they can tested!!

dan.burns February 4, 2011 at 4:25 am

suppose Ma took a couple of hits on a joint some Saturday night, and failed a drug test, so the kids go homeless and hungry.

And the people behind this call themselves Christians?!?!

TwoPuttTommy February 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

… are not my problem, nor are they the problem for our government.”  – Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty, April 2001


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