Congress To Consider Drug Testing For Welfare Nationwide

Conservative Georgia passed a law back in March that mandates the testing of some food stamp recipients, but a senior official from the US Department of Agriculture informed Georgia this week they cannot implement the law.

“[Food and Nutrition Service] policy prohibits states from mandating drug testing of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) applicants and recipients,” Robin D. Bailey, regional administrator of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, explained in a recent letter he wrote to Georgia officials. “Requiring SNAP applicants and recipients to pass a drug test in order to receive benefits would constitute an additional condition of eligibility, and therefore, is not allowable under law.”

Keep in mind that food stamps are a federal program, so Georgia cannot enforce a law in conflict with established federal policy. Of note, rapidly conservative Georgia is the only state to attempt to mandate drug testing of food stamp recipients. However, in a growing trend across the country, other states have imposed drug testing on applicants for other public benefits, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and in many cases, for public employees.

Drug Testing For Welfare Benefits On Iffy Legal Ground

Legal experts note that drug testing is considered a “search” under the Fourth Amendment, and therefore reasonable suspicion that an individual is guilty of a crime is required before a search.

Court precedents allow a few, limited exceptions to this rule when public safety risk is high. Those who use heavy machinery or drive public transportation, for example, may be drug tested. The idea behind the court ruling is that there is almost no evidence of a relationship between drug use/abuse and the welfare programs that involve public safety concerns. Georgia lawmakers attempted to narrow the scope of the law by only requiring drug testing of applicants or recipients of benefits whom staff have a “reasonable suspicion” are taking drugs.

USDA policy, however, is based on the clear fact there is no demonstrated relationship between drug use and public benefits, and therefore drug testing would be a violation of individual right to privacy.

Source: Think Progress

Tell Us What You Think

More News Stories

President Trump on Thursday accused Chelsea Manning of being an “ungrateful traitor” after she slammed former President Obama, according to...

Ted Cruz is upset that some mainstream Republicans are backing Donald Trump for the party’s presidential nomination, according to The Hill.

...

While Newt Gingrich supports Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Ben Carson for secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Department, the...

A plumber in Brooklyn was on a routine call to fix a stopped-up drainpipe. The plumber arrived and set to work, pulling the blockage out of the...

Carly Fiorina on Sunday pledged to reduce the federal workforce if she is elected president next year, Think Progress reported.

The...

Latest News Stories

There’s all sorts of different opinions about what the focus should be for our political leaders. There’s an argument to be made for topics such...

President Donald Trump touched down in Puerto Rico this week to visit with the victims of Hurricane Maria and get a firsthand look at relief...

Ann Coulter is prepared to hold Donald Trump accountable for his border wall promise, no matter how long it takes.

According to Coulter,...

Tyler Dauzat, a 21-year-old mother from Louisiana, told authorities she had no idea why her daughter was acting erratically and displaying strange...

On Oct. 13, a T.G.I Friday's Restaurant allegedly asked a group of Tennessee parole officers to leave because they were carrying firearms. The...