Give Liberty a Chance!

God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies…

And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgement of faith in God and His works.

- Frederic Bastiat, The Law, 1850

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Drug Testing and Welfare

This week, the Missouri House passed legislation (HB30) which prevents drug-users from receiving welfare benefits. The legislation calls for the Department of Social Services (DSS) to establish a drug-testing program for work-eligible applicants and recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. This is a cash-aid program and currently has NO restrictions for those who may use illegal substances. If passed and signed by the Governor, Missouri would become one of eleven states that practices drug testing provisions for welfare applicants – it’s about time.

The legislation says that to be tested, there must be "reasonable cause" to believe a person is using illegal drugs. After an administrative hearing, applicants or recipients who test positive will be declared ineligible for benefits for one year. The bill provides help to those suffering from substance abuse. The legislation requires DSS to refer the positive testing individual to a substance abuse treatment program approved by the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

This legislation is long over-due. Most employees, including the military and federal employees, are required to take a mandatory drug test. Why shouldn’t welfare recipients who receive support from OUR hard earned tax dollars be held to the same standard?

This legislation will help encourage people using drugs to stop and get help. It is a necessary intervention. If people want to receive welfare benefits, they have to be drug-free. The Senate needs to pass this bill and the Governor should sign it. This legislation will begin to help and enable our citizens to live a clean and productive lives rather than harming themselves and those around them.

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