Wisconsin To Drug Test All Food Stamp Recipients
Wisconsin will become the first state to drug test able-bodied adults applying for food stamps.
Lawsuits are expected against the plan enacted by Governor Scott Walker, and the odds of survival remain murky, given that every other attempt to do so in other states has been nuliffied by the courts.
This was, however, during the Obama regime, and the judiciary is taking a noticably conservative lean as Trump’s judicial appointees make it past the Democratic Party’s obstruction machine.
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.
An added expense, or perhaps investment in the public well-being, the plan allows childless participants of Foodshare that fail a drug screening will be eligible for state-funded drug rehabilitation if they are unable to pay for it themselves.
FoodShare is Wisconsin’s name for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
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.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
December 5th, 2017
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