It would appear that common sense laws against abusing Wisconsin’s food stamp program are finally moving ahead.
On Monday Gov. Scott Walker’s plan in making Wisconsin the first state to drug test able-bodied adults applying for food stamps, which was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature more than two years ago may finally become a reality.
A similar move by Florida had been blocked by a federal appeals court back in 2014 when the state attempted similar legislation. At the time the court found it violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.
However Walker filed a federal lawsuit in 2015 seeking approval to test food stamp applicants; however, it was quickly rejected under then-President Barack Obama stating it had not yet formally rejected the state’s request to do the testing.
Walker then asked in December 2016 when then President-elect Donald Trump took control if the president would clearly make drug screening permissible for those states seeking control of the food stamp program. However, the president has not taken action and now Walker is moving ahead regardless.
A spokesman for the governor, Tom Evenson believes Walker has the authority to implement the state’s new legislation in drug screening food stamp applicants.
Moreover, the Legislature has 4-months to review the program and once approved perhaps another year before it’s implemented, which leaves the door open for lawsuits by advocates, assuming the federal government doesn’t step in and block the measure in the meantime.
The Governor has pushed to expand drug testing for welfare recipients as a first step in getting all able-bodied, childless adults applying for state Medicaid BadgerCare health benefits, pending federal approval of the program and hopefully into the labor force.
Of course, there are those who oppose the measure, one such individual is Jon Peacock, Research Director for Kids Forward, which advocates for children and families in Wisconsin.
“The state could do far more to expand the workforce by investing in broader access to effective drug treatment programs, rather than spending scarce state resources on the administration of drug screening and testing requirements,”
Peacock predicted there would be a legal challenge over the constitutionality of drug screening food stamp recipients as well as whether such a move would be a violation of federal law.
Which once again begs the question who’s minding the people’s money?
Do you believe that drug screening should be mandatory in every state for welfare recipients?
Source: WSVN News
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