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It's about time!!! Welfare related.

Posted by on May. 1, 2013 at 6:24 PM
  • 33 Replies
LANSING — The Michigan House approved legislation Wednesday that would require some people to pass drug tests and ensure that their children don’t miss too many days of school in order to receive welfare benefits.

Supporters say the measures are designed to break the cycle of poverty by helping drug users find treatment and encouraging parents to send their children to school. But opponents say the measures are punitive attacks on low income individuals who rely on state assistance to get by.

“It’s an awful message to send out across to our own citizens and across the county that this is what happens in Michigan if you are down on your luck,” said Shelli Weisberg, legislative liaison for the ACLU of Michigan.

Under a measure passed by a 77-33 vote, the Department of Human Services would establish a substance abuse screening process for people applying for the family independence assistance program. If there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person is using illegal substances, like drugs, that person would be required to take a drug test.

People who test positive for the first time would be referred to a substance abuse treatment center and could continue receiving benefits throughout their treatment. But if a person tests positive subsequent times or drops out of treatment their family benefits would be stripped.

The Department of Human Services would start screening next April in three yet-to-be determined counties and the program would be reevaluated after one year.

Supporters of the bill say it allows people who have substance problems the chance to get back on the right track.

“We cannot continue to subsidize illegal substances but … we will continue to support those families who need and want our help, and this bill provide the right way to stop using illegal drugs,” said Republican Rep. Klint Kesto of Oakland County’s Commerce Township.

Legislatures in at least 29 states are considering legislation this year requiring some form of drug testing or screening for welfare recipients, including Illinois and Indiana.
Michigan briefly ran a pilot program to drug test welfare recipients in late 1999. The American Civil Liberties Union sued, and a federal appeals court affirmed a lower court’s order halting the program. Part of the legal challenge was based on the claim that constitutional rights were violated because testing was done without “individualized suspicion.”

Several Democrats — and one Republican — spoke against the bill Wednesday. Democratic Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright of Muskegon said it represents “another chapter in the Republican war against the poor.”

The House also approved a bill Wednesday on a 78 to 32 vote that would strip a family of benefits in the family independence program if a child under the age of 16 doesn’t meet school attendance requirements.

The human services department put the policy in place in October, but this bill would write the policy into law to ensure it continues in future governors’ administrations. Parents would be allowed to re-enroll in the program if their child meets three straight weeks of school attendance requirements.
by on May. 1, 2013 at 6:24 PM
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Replies (1-10):
peanutsmommy1
by Ruby Member on May. 1, 2013 at 6:25 PM
And this treatment is paid for how??
LiesLiesLies
by Platinum Member on May. 1, 2013 at 6:27 PM
1 mom liked this
I am so tired of people whining about it.

People have to take drug tests to WORK for money...quick your bitching if you have to do it to get FREE money!
Domestic.Godess
by on May. 1, 2013 at 6:27 PM
Hasn't this effort cost more than what it saved?

firespurity
by Ruby Member on May. 1, 2013 at 6:28 PM
If the same homeschooling laws apply to those on welfare.

And there is an appeal for those with children who have ongoing medical problems that might interfere with attendance, it sounds reasonable.
EvilAsh
by on May. 1, 2013 at 6:29 PM

It sucks that it's going to cost a lot of money just to drug test people. It's sad that so many people abuse the system that they have to do this.

AjsMom0508
by Silver Member on May. 1, 2013 at 6:29 PM
I agree with that. You should not expect to be supported by the State if you are using that support for illegal activities.

Quoting LiesLiesLies:

I am so tired of people whining about it.



People have to take drug tests to WORK for money...quick your bitching if you have to do it to get FREE money!
BluePandaDreams
by on May. 1, 2013 at 6:30 PM
So they do the required treatment and continue on with their drug habit if they so desire. If they don't want to quit, they won't. Strip their benefits and they will find other methods, mainly illegal, to get what the benefits were giving them, while still doing drugs.
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mommy_me
by ~The Three B's~ on May. 1, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Oh good grief
Mrsmayaguy
by Bronze Member on May. 1, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Great idea!!! If you don't like it get out of the system and do your illegal stuff on your own dime

AjsMom0508
by Silver Member on May. 1, 2013 at 6:30 PM
A urine drug screening actually does not cost as much as you think.

Quoting EvilAsh:

It sucks that it's going to cost a lot of money just to drug test people. It's sad that so many people abuse the system that they have to do this.

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