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Walker moving ahead with plan to drug test food stamp users

Fox 11 News

MADISON (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker moved ahead Monday with his plans to make Wisconsin the first state to drug test able-bodied adults applying for food stamps, a move blocked by the federal government or found to be unconstitutional when other states have tried.

Wisconsin’s plan was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature more than two years ago, but it languished because it conflicts with federal rules prohibiting states from imposing additional eligibility criteria on food stamp recipients.  

Florida had a drug test requirement for food stamp recipients that a federal appeals court blocked in 2014, finding it violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. Walker filed a federal lawsuit in 2015 seeking approval to test food stamp applicants, but it was rejected because then-President Barack Obama’s administration had not yet formally rejected the state’s request to do the testing.

Walker asked then-President elect Donald Trump’s administration in December 2016 to make clear that drug screening is permissible, but it has not taken action and now Walker is moving ahead anyway.

Walker approved a rule change to implement the screening and sent it to the Legislature for review Monday. Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said the governor believes he has the authority to implement the rule.

The Legislature has four months to review the rule and it could take a year after its approval before the testing would begin. Lawsuits by those who oppose the drug testing are expected once it’s implemented, assuming the federal government doesn’t step in and block it in the meantime.

Under the plan, childless FoodShare participants who fail a drug test would be eligible for state-funded rehabilitation treatment if they don’t have any other way to pay for it. FoodShare is Wisconsin’s name for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The Walker administration estimated that a small fraction of the program’s applicants — 220, or 0.3 percent, of the 67,400 applicants a year — would actually test positive for drugs.

Walker has touted the drug testing as a way to put more drug-free workers into the workplace.

Opponents say that’s wrongheaded.

“The state could do far more to expand the workforce by investing in broader access to effective drug treatment programs, rather than spending scarce state resources on the administration of drug screening and testing requirements,” said Jon Peacock, research director for Kids Forward, which advocates for children and families in Wisconsin.

Peacock said he was certain there would be a legal challenge over the constitutionality of drug screening food stamp recipients as well as whether such a move would be a violation of federal law governing the food stamp program.

Walker has pushed to expand drug testing for public benefit recipients. The budget he signed this year called for drug screening all able-bodied, childless adults applying for state Medicaid BadgerCare health benefits, pending federal approval. The budget also required drug test requirements for food stamp recipients would be expanded to parents of children ages 6 to 18.

Walker and 11 other governors in 2016 asked the federal government for permission to drug test food stamp recipients.


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9 Responses to Walker moving ahead with plan to drug test food stamp users

  1. Enemy of the State says:

    Being that these government types are usually hypocrites
    Walker should be tested daily though out his term as Governor
    As a matter of principle , if they are going to test anyone first , it should be everyone holding a government position

    Than let’s see how much they really want this drug testing program to go forward
    That also includes all the cops too
    And no road side testing until there is 100% compliance and drug free government and servants to the public

    Let’s try you guys first , huh?

  2. Bud Fox says:

    I agree with Enemy on this, that our “rulers ” should not be above any law and therefore should be held to the same standard. However, as much as it pains me to write this, I applaud Mr. Walker for going through with this regardless of the Fed’s blockade. Why should I have to take a drug test for a job and have my pay garnished to support someone who can stay home and smoke weed all day? I’m jealous! Lol

    • Henry Shivley says:

      So what you are saying is that because a private corporation violates your due process rights, you support the federal government violating others? This is what has made America great, no?

      • Bud Fox says:

        Frankly Henry, I don’t see how the government should be handing out ANYTHING, let alone a monthly check to anyone. If a person has a car wreck and is paralyzed, why do you and I owe that person a payment? It’s terrible situation, but not our responsibility. ..a church or other organizations could help out, but the government has mandated that you and I pay for it. That’s wrong.
        As far as the drug testing goes, I agree with Enemy. The government is forcing him to police his employees and run HIS BUSINESS in a certain manner. That’s wrong. So again, if I am forced to pee in a cup in order to work (no, I don’t agree with this),then why should the person receiving the fruits of my labour not also pee in a cup? I certainly don’t want to support section 8 project people. …do you?

        • Henry Shivley says:

          You don’t see how government should be handing out anything, huh? Farming, ranching, logging, and mining subsidies, grants of every nature, from building community centers to gauging how fast shrimp can run on a tread mill. Do you think that the rich who are receiving the lion’s share of our stolen wealth are going to have to drug test or is it just going to be the poor, you know, the herd animals.
          Two wrongs don’t make a right.
          I know you think that those goddamn no good welfare recipients are taking the money right out of your wallet, but it just ain’t so. Every dollar paid in in taxes goes to service the interest on the fraudulent national debt. And I promise you, Netanyahu and every other foreigner and defense contractor sucking up our wealth is not going to have to pee in a cup, no more than the sons of bitches on Wall Street getting billion dollar bailouts as they snort coke and lay with prostitutes that the money paid for.
          This has always been their greatest tool, we attack one another because it is easy and it makes us feel like we actually have a pair, when in reality it is the proof positive that we are a pack of f#@king cowards because the only ones we can attack is one another, as directed by our herders.
          As for the money that the food stamp recipients get, it is not a teeny tiny drop in the bucket to their rightful share of the wealth being extracted and stolen from their resources.
          This occupational communist government loves people like you. Rather than fight them in asserting that you are not one of their human cattle that they can order to piss in a cup, you turn on your own people who have already been dispossessed, disenfranchised, and made civilly dead. Then you try to pretend to your righteousness in doing so.
          I don’t want to see you bitching any more about violations to your rights if you seem to think that your acquiescence to the tyranny gives you some kind of righteous indignation towards your own people.
          You want to go after somebody, why don’t you go after the people taking your money from you and your piss, rather than your fellow victims.

  3. Beehive says:

    I wonder how much the pharmaceutical lobby ‘donated’ to Mr walker? You can eat vicodin, oxytocin, and psychotropic mass murder pills like cheap candy. While drowning it down with cheap beer.

    Heaven forbid a person use cannabis instead of the legal poisons.

    • Enemy of the State says:

      I wonder how much the pharmaceutical lobby ‘donated’ to Mr walker?

      Maybe that should be investigated
      I wish I had the resources to know that answer

      Because if it turned out to be fact
      I’d like to see it rammed down his throat

      I own a company and I’m getting sick of being told how to run it , drug testing is constantly shoved down our throats
      I get it from all sides
      Local government
      Insurance companies
      Trade unions
      I could fill a page of fukers with they’re G dam rules and what I will do and with their hands out

      It adds so many $$$ to the overhead it’s not even funny and it waste my productive time
      Fing with it all the dam time

      Didn’t used to be this friggen bad 40 years ago
      Yeah we had some shit to deal with
      But nothing like now! I want to see all of the ones telling us what we have to do, put up or shut up
      Sorry y’all
      Rant over

  4. Martist says:

    Does walker have any connections to who is getting the big shekel contract?

    p(r)ick scott’s hag had his controlling shares in Solantic put in her name.

    Let’s see if this prick is tied to the “winner” of this contract.

  5. DL. says:

    Wonderful. It’ll likely cost MORE to drug test food stamp users than to help these folks (who really would rather earn more money than use food stamps) find better paying jobs, or supply better paying jobs. Cute, Walker, cute.

    Ah, the mentality of psychopath governors…. This goes beyond “Penny wise and pound foolish’!

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