Maine Bill Proposal Request Legislators Held To The Same Standard, They Aren't Happy About It

A new proposal has been submitted to the Maine legislature that would require the state's lawmakers to be randomly drug tested. It is one of 400 requests up for review on October 22. The bill has been requested by Republican Rep. Larry Lockman of Amherst.

Lockman states that a program would only be fair to Maine citizens, who are being subjected to increasing drug testing as a result of Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s efforts to crack down on the state’s opiates epidemic.

Lockman said “I have constituents who think we’re smoking crack down there after the latest budget. The only way we can reassure the public is to do random drug testing… If we’re going to ask welfare recipients to be drug tested, I don’t see why we shouldn’t be, too.”

Maine, under the leadership of LePage, has been aggressively drawing down its number of welfare recipients. Among these efforts was a bill passed earlier this year that requires convicted drug felons to be drug tested if they want to receive welfare assistance.

In addition, another rule bars Maine citizens who have $5,000 or more in the bank and in assets from receiving food stamps. Republican Rep. Rich Malaby of Hancock said that this type of program would be prohibitively expensive. Malaby went on to say “I think it’s probably going to be immediately rejected."

Democratic Rep. Ralph Chapman of Brooksville said that it would be a “costly solution that may not be very effective.”

LePage wrote, “I realize you prefer to ignore the drug epidemic, but please for the sake and safety of Maine citizens do something. Ignoring the problem because of your dislike for a Governor is pure negligence. If innocent people are hurt because of your lack of action, Maine people will realize who failed them.”

Photo: Sun Journal

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