LANSING — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Friday that creates a drug-testing program for adult welfare recipients who are suspected of using drugs.

The Republican-backed proposals, House Bill 4118 and Senate Bill 275, were among several bills approved by Snyder. The one-year pilot program will be implemented in three counties that have not yet been determined.

Under the program, welfare recipients or applicants suspected of drug use will be required to take a substance abuse test. Refusal to take the test will result in being ineligible for benefits for six months.

A positive drug test would lead to referrals to treatment programs. If an individual refuses to participate in the program or fails to submit to periodic substance abuse testing required under the program, their assistance will be terminated. Benefits can be restored after a person passes a substance abuse test.

“We want to remove the barriers that are keeping people from getting good jobs, supporting their families and living independently,” Snyder said in a press release. “This pilot program is intended to help ensure recipients get the wrap-around services they need to overcome drug addiction and lead successful lives. We’ll then have opportunity to assess effectiveness and outcomes.”

Opponents of the legislation, including the Michigan League for Public Policy, have said similar programs in other states haven’t saved taxpayers money. The nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency estimated a statewide program would cost roughly $700,000 to $3.4 million, while potentially saving $370,000 to $3.7 million in caseload reductions.

The American Civil Liberties Union has said the program would promote ugly stereotypes of poor people and discriminate against a group that doesn’t use drugs at a rate significantly higher than the general population.

“We give out tax credits to schools, we give out tax credits to students, we give out tax credits to police and fire (departments),” Sen. Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield, said earlier this year on the Senate floor. “And yet the only (group) that we are now saying is subject to drug screening are the poor — the poorest of the poor.”

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15 thoughts on “War On The Poor? Michigan Gov. Approves Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

  1. I agree! I had to take a drug test to get my job and I do not feel that there is anything wrong with drug testing for welfare recipients! I do feel that there are some that are sincere and do need the help, and some do abuse the system because they may have substance abuse issues! This is a good way to find out who needs help! But then rehab cost money too!

    • Lilly44 on said:

      The whole point is to sax TAX PAYER money. Your job did not use tax payer money to drug test you. The Gov is employed with tax payer money but yet he nor his cabinet is subject to the same drug testing policy and you find that to be ok? The government can make policy that is only for it’s Constituentcy and not for itself and you don’t find a problem with that? IT doesn’t save the state any money. As a matter of fact, it ends up costing the state MORE money because they have to pay for the tests AND the benefits once they pass the test. They could use that money for head start programs and jobs programs for these people.

      • Bullshiggedy! Those found to have smoked DON’T GET that welfare assistance- so, this measure SAVES taxpayer money!

  2. African American woman on said:

    If these jokers want free money, then whatever they need to do to get it, should be just that. They kill me with this war on the poor nonsense. I work every day and dont enjoy looking at lazy people looking at me like im crazy for working.

  3. I can see liberals hating this legislation, they favor public dependence on government so why do anything to discourage tax payer funded drug use and make recipients more dysfunctional and dependent on Government, the liberal news media wont report on Colorado’s issues with drugs being purchased with tax payer funds

  4. People with jobs for cryin out loud have to take drug tests to get a job…pilots have to take drug tests, air traffic controllers have to take drug tests…people WITH JOBS and that pay taxes have to take drug tests…there is no problem here…nothin to see, so move along! P.S..poor people take drugs just like the rich and the middle lass, so they should not be exempt.

  5. I’m sorry I don’t see a problem with this. Most jobs require you take a drug test and most have random testing. So why shouldn’t these people get free reign to get high. And who buying these drugs for them. I tell you who the working class tax dollars. Test all of them, not just the ones that you suspect are using them. Maybe they will get off their behinds and get jobs. Oh, just so you know I am a single black female who has been working since 16 and was a single mother at age 18 who didn’t depend on welfare to live.

  6. Like I said before my comment somehow, or deliberately got booted out because it’s the truth.

    The majority of people on welfare are “white recipients” who also receive the maximum benefits.

  7. I bet his benefits didn’t get taken away. White people think “all black people” are on welfare, when in fact the majority recipients are “white,” who receive the maximum benefits!

    • EIB do some research Brother/Sister
      42% of all welfare benefits is consumed by Blacks 13% of the USA. …HISPANICS consume 29% welfare monies.16% of Us Population
      Whites 21% of all Welfare monies 63% of USA population ….Blacks are the largest consumers of welfare

      • Lilly44 on said:

        Lets look at those numbers and not just the % of the number. If whites make up 63% of roughly 340 million people then that would roughly be 214 million people. If 21% of that used welfare that is roughly 44 million people. Which is more than the total number of black people in America.

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