Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose pro-growth and pro-taxpayer reforms have transformed the Badger State into a magnet for jobs and opportunities, seeks to further rehabilitate his once-ailing state by implementing drug-testing for able-bodied food stamp applicants.
“Wisconsin’s Republican governor has submitted a plan to state lawmakers for drug testing able-bodied recipients of the state’s Food Share program,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday.
“If the state Legislature doesn’t object within 120 days, the plan will go into effect, though it will take at least a year for actual testing to begin,” the report noted.
According to the Walker administration, the goal wouldn’t be to make life more difficult for those in need of food stamps, but rather to first identify recipients with substance abuse issues and then provide them with the help they need to recover. Why? Because most employers aren’t too keen on hiring drug abusers.
“Employers have jobs available, but they need skilled workers who can pass a drug test,” Walker explained in a news brief released by his office. “This rule change means people battling substance use disorders will be able to get the help they need to get healthy, and get back into the workforce.”
The brief noted as well that those recipients who test positive for drugs “will have the opportunity to get treatment, regardless of the ability to pay, so they can get healthy.”
Were Wisconsin’s lawmakers to ratify Walker’s plan, the only potential obstacle blocking its eventual launch would be the Trump administration.
Fox News noted that this plan was initially approved by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature over two years ago, but has “languished” since because it conflicted with Obama-era rules “prohibiting states from imposing additional eligibility criteria on food stamp recipients.”
In December, Walker reportedly reached out to then President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign seeking approval, but nobody ever replied.
The Wisconsin governor therefore now intends to push ahead with it anyway, the assumption being the president — who himself has shown an interest in welfare reform — won’t mind.
“Our position is we have the authority to implement the rule,” Walker’s spokesman Tom Evenson said to the Journal Sentinel.
He was probably right.
During remarks made last week about the GOP’s tax plan, which is on the verge of being completed and sent to his desk to be designed, Trump pledged to push for welfare reform next.
“I know people, they work three jobs and they live next to somebody who doesn’t work at all, and the person who’s not working at all and has no intention of working at all is making more money and doing better than the person that’s working his and her ass off,” he said.
“So we’re going to go into welfare reform.”
And despite complaints from the left about Trump’s desire to reform welfare and Walker’s plan to drug test food stamp recipients, the facts show that this brand of tough leadership works.
As noted by Newsmax law year, Walker had transformed a $3.6 billion state deficit in 2011 to a $5.24 billion state surplus by early 2016. He’s also cut property taxes.
“In addition, several sources conclude that more than 100,000 new private sector jobs have relocated or been created in Wisconsin over the past five years,” Newsmax reported.
Hint: Impressive numbers like these (and others) aren’t obtained by being a feckless leader who thinks the government is the answer to improving people’s lives. We just had an eight-year presidency that proved that.
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