Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

Published: 2021-07-04 06:00:05
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Welfare is the provision of a minimal level of well-being and social support for all citizens, sometimes referred to as public aid. In most developed countries, welfare is largely provided by the government and to a lesser extent charities, informal social groups, religious groups, and inter-governmental organizations. There are 12,800,000 people on welfare in the United States. 46,700,000 are on food stamps, 5,600,000 are on unemployment insurance. The total government spending on welfare is $131.
9 billion, not including food stamps or unemployment (Welfare Statistics). As of April 17, 2013 29 states have proposed legislation requiring some form of drug testing or screening for public assistance recipients in 2013. Eight states, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah, have already passed legislation regarding drug testing or screening for public assistance applicants or recipients. States have proposed drug testing of applicants and recipients of public welfare benefits since federal welfare reform in 1996.
In 2009, over 20 states proposed legislation that would require drug testing as a condition of eligibility for public assistance programs, and in 2010 at least 12 states had similar proposals(Drug Testing and Public Assistance). Data from Utah has shown Utah spent more than $30,000 dollars from August 2012 to July 2014 to screen welfare recipients, but only twelve people tested positive. 250 people failed to meet drug screening requirements and were banned from receiving or applying for benefits for three months.
Those people would have received more than $350,000 in benefits. Utah’s law does not disqualify people who test positive from benefits, but instead requires them to enter substance abuse treatment. (Utah’s Welfare Drug Testing Saved More than $350,000 in First Year, Officials Say). Robert Rector, senior research fellow in domestic policy at Heritage foundation and leading authority on the welfare system, also believes people receiving welfare should be drug tested.
He says, “Taxpayers should provide support to those in need; recipients, in return, should engage in responsible and constructive behavior as a condition of receiving aid. ”. Almost 20% of welfare recipients report recent use of some illicit drug. (Key Research Findings). Robert also says, “Scientific evaluation of Florida’s drug-testing requirement showed that welfare recipients who used illegal drugs had earning that were 30% lower than those who did not.
Quite simply, drug use was linked to lower levels of work. ” Peter Cappelli, who is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at the Wharton School and director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources, says that police already have the right to require drug test when there is probable cause. Peter states that people do not choose to be on welfare, unlike kids who play football at a local high school. Peter also goes on to say that the children are potentially affected by the drug testing.
Kansas’s SB 149 bill says, “If an applicant for a recipient of cash assistance is ineligible for or terminated from cash assistance as a result of a positive test result for unlawful use of a controlled substance or controlled substance analog, and such applicant for or recipient of cash assistance is the parent or legal guardian of a minor child, an appropriate protective payee shall be designated to receive cash assistance on behalf of such child.
”(United States Cong. ). Many who have proposed drug testing those on welfare proposed to require drug testing when reasonable suspicion exist(Drug Testing Public Assistance). The United States should test those on welfare and other benefit programs. The amount it would cost and amount of money that could be saved could help lower the nation’s national debt. If Utah can save $350,000, the United States as a whole could save even more.

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