As I previously discussed at length, Florida and Missouri have passed into law, bills that require recipients of welfare to submit to blood, urine or hair sample tests in order to claim their checks. Thirty-six states have bills pending and many Republican dominated state houses are eager to test those that are “living off the generosity of the real taxpayers.” And after much ado, the federal court in Florida told Governor Scott to halt the testing, finding it unconstitutional.
You might think that this would have curbed the production of Welfare Pee Laws. Wrong. Conservatives all over the country are demanding that these lazy, drug-addicted welfare cheats submit to these tests and “if they have nothing to hide, what’s the big deal?” It is now Georgia’s turn.
Let’s take a look at the argument again, shall we? What’s the big deal? If taxpayers are footing the bill for assistance or a salary, then by damned, they should be allowed to drug test that person. That’s the conservative position and it would seem that Georgia’s State Representative Scott Holcomb, (D-Atlanta) agrees. In response to a bill proposed last month by Republicans in the Georgia State Assembly, Rep. Holcomb has submitted his own bill requiring all state lawmakers to submit to drug testing.
Breaking this down: Two of Georgia’s Republican State Senators, John Albers and Jason Spencer, proposed Senate Bill 292 in mid-November entitled the “Social Responsibility and Accountability Act” seeking to have parents who apply for federal financial assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to undergo drug tests. Senator Albers told the Roswell.Patch:
“Our dependency on entitlement programs has grown at an alarming and unsustainable rate. It is time for an era of responsibility and accountability.”
The interview with Roswell Patch captured Albers “quest” to do the right thing for his state and drug testing is the answer in his opinion.
The measure would “ensure we are giving people a ‘hand up’ and not just a ‘hand out,’” he said.
Despite the fact that similar legislation has met obstacles in other states like Florida, Albers said he believes it will become law in Georgia.
“We are working with the Attorney General’s office here in Georgia and Florida. We all believe the law will support drug testing,” he said.
According to Albers, the welfare reform act of 1996 specifically allows for drug testing. He believes the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guards against unreasonable search and seizures, can support it.
“As a nation, we are facing some of the most challenging economic times of the past century and many Georgians are confronted with the daily reality of tightening their wallets to secure the economic stability of their families,” Albers said.
And then along came Representative Scott Holcomb (D) who stated his reasons for proposing this legislation:
“This bill is really very simple. If the General Assembly is going to pass laws requiring struggling, jobless Georgians to pay for drug tests as a precondition to receiving state benefits, then members of the General Assembly should lead by example and take the tests first.”
HALLELUJAH!!! As bat-sh*t crazy as these Republican dominated legislatures have become, it is very possible that chronic drug abuse is the problem. We simply can’t be sure unless we test. It’s as reasonable as testing welfare recipients when studies repeatedly show that the individuals who apply for these programs actually test BELOW the national average of the general population for drug abuse. Something is causing this lawmaker lunacy. So for once, I am going to agree with the conservative view: “What’s the Big Deal?” We should test just to be safe.