Bill would allow drug testing for welfare recipients

Bill would allow drug testing for welfare recipients


(MM) IT’S A HOT BUTTON TOPIC. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS SUGGESTED IT. AND NOW – ONE REPUBLICAN RHODE ISLAND LAWMAKER IS CALLING FOR RANDOM DRUG TESTING FOR PEOPLE WHO RECEIVE PUBLIC ASSISTANCE MONEY. EYEWITNESS NEWS REPORTER JARED PLINER EXPLAINS MORE… NEW AT SIX. ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES, AT LEAST 15 STATES HAVE PASSED SOME SORT OF DRUG TESTING OR SCREENING. THERE HAVE BEEN PAST ATTEMPTS IN RHODE ISLAND — TO NO AVAIL. A NEW BILL — WOULD ALLOW THE STATE TO RANDOMLY DRUG TEST RHODE ISLANDERS ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE. REPUBLICAN SENATOR ELAINE MORGAN’S BILL COVERS THOSE RECEIVING CASH ASSISTANCE, GENERAL PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME, CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE, MEDICAID, AND SNAP FOOD BENEFITS. A POSITIVE TEST WOULD MEAN NO BENEFITS FOR ONE YEAR, THOUGH A CHANCE TO RE-APPLY AFTER 6 MONTHS FOR THOSE WHO COMPLETE TREATMENT; DEPENDENT CHILDREN’S BENEFITS ARE UNAFFECTED; AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE IS EXEMPT. SENATOR MORGAN SAID IN A STATEMENT IF WORKING TAXPAYERS ARE GOING TO FUND THESE PROGRAMS, RECIPIENTS SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE TYPE OF SCREENING ONE MIGHT FIND AT WORK. THE ACLU CALLS THE MEASURE BLATENTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. “Urine samples upon request is simply a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures. It’s also just an incredible invasion of dignity and privacy of people simply for being poor.” TWO FEDERAL COURTS RULED FLORIDA’S 2011 LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL. BROWN ARGUES TESTING IS ALSO FISCALLY UNWISE. “As far as I know, every study has shown that it actually costs the state way more to implement the program than what they recoup.” WE REACHED OUT TO SENATOR MORGAN TODAY TO FURTHER EXPLAIN HER PROPOSAL, BUT SHE WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO SPEAK WITH US. OTHER STATES’S LAWS WERE CRAFTED AROUND REASONABLE SUSPICION OF DRUG USE IN ORDER TO AVOID LEGAL CHALLENGES. AGAIN, MORGAN’S CALLS FOR RANDOM TESTING. JARED PLINER, EWN.

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