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House Oks Drug Testing Of Welfare Recipients


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  http://www.monroenews.com/news/2013/may/01/michigan-house-oks-welfare-benefits-drug-screening/

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Republican-led Michigan House approved legislation Wednesday that would require some people to pass drug tests and ensure that their children don't miss too many days of school in order to receive welfare benefits.

Supporters say the measures are designed to break the cycle of poverty by helping drug users find treatment and encouraging parents to send their children to school. But opponents say the measures are punitive attacks on low income individuals who rely on state assistance to get by.

"It's an awful message to send out across to our own citizens and across the county that this is what happens in Michigan if you are down on your luck," said Shelli Weisberg, legislative liaison for the ACLU of Michigan.

Under a measure passed by a 77-33 vote the Department of Human Services — which supports the bill — would establish a substance abuse screening process for people applying for the family independence assistance program. If there is "reasonable suspicion" that the person is using illegal substances, like drugs, that person would be required to take a drug test. The Department of Human Services would start screening next April in three yet-to-be determined counties and the program would be reevaluated after one year.

Several Democrats — along with the majority Republicans — voted for the measure.

The measure now heads to the Senate where it's likely to advance. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, a Monroe Republican, told The Associated Press that he fully supports the bill, arguing that the aim is to help people who rely on welfare get back on their feet.

People who test positive for the first time would be referred to a substance abuse treatment center and could continue receiving benefits throughout their treatment. But if a person tests positive subsequent times or drops out of treatment their family benefits would be stripped.

"We cannot continue to subsidize illegal substances but ... we will continue to support those families who need and want our help, and this bill provides the incentive to stop using illegal drugs," said Republican Rep. Klint Kesto of Oakland County's Commerce Township.

Several Democrats — and one Republican — spoke against the bill Wednesday. Democratic Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright of Muskegon said it represents "another chapter in the Republican war against the poor." She said that it often takes people with addictions multiple treatment programs before they are able to conquer their substance abuse problems.

Democrats introduced a number of amendments Tuesday, including requiring that the department notify families that sign up for the program that they could be subject to a drug test and requiring lawmakers to also be tested for illegal substances.

Legislation requiring some form of drug testing or screening for welfare recipients has been proposed in at least 29 states this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Measures have passed in eight states.

Michigan briefly ran a pilot program to drug test welfare recipients in late 1999. The American Civil Liberties Union sued, and a federal appeals court affirmed a lower court's order halting the program. Part of the legal challenge was based on the claim that constitutional rights were violated because testing was done without "individualized suspicion."

Weisberg said the ACLU is looking into if and how they can challenge the law if it goes into effect. But the constitutionality of this type of suspicion-based program — unlike programs that test all recipients — would be much more difficult to challenge, she said.

The House also approved a bill Wednesday on a 78-32 vote that would strip a family of benefits in the family independence program if a child under the age of 16 doesn't meet school attendance requirements. Truancy policies vary by school district.

The human services department put the policy in place in October, but this bill would write the policy into law to ensure it continues in future governors' administrations. Parents would be allowed to re-enroll in the program if their child meets three straight weeks of school attendance requirements.

Department spokesman Dave Akerly said in an email that the number of people who have actually lost their benefits since the policy was put in place is "very low," but did not have an exact number.

Opponents worry that the measure goes too far by kicking off all family members from the program for the actions of one child.

But Republican Rep. Al Pscholka of Stevensville, who is sponsoring the legislation, said the measure is designed to encourage children — some of whom miss one to one and half days of school a week — to go to school.

"This sends the message that education is how we break this cycle. Education is how we break the poverty cycle."

Online:

House Bill 4118: http://1.usa.gov/176p4Ie

House Bill 4388: http://1.usa.gov/14zIveZ

 

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Hey republicans, Where is my Smaller Less Intrusive government? One that doesn't waste the publics money!!

I thought that is what your platform stood for.

Another Waste of limited government funds.

How much is this Boobdoggle going to cost this Already cash strapped state?

It is already being thought of as in terms of a potential lawsuit!!

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So they are taking a program to help those who are suffering financial and family management difficulties, and turning it into a negative reinforcement type drug program , of sorts.

 

 And their logic is ?

 

It didn't work for its intended purpose, we'll give it an equally unasailable goal. Then blame the recipients for not performing, keep their money. Then the recipients can think of something else, like maybe cannabalism, prostitution, stealing or the prestigious job as Neighborhood Drug Barron to survive . 

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The gap is growing ever wider between those that 'have' and those that 'have not'.

 

When an ultra-conservative government can bailout those 'at the top' (banks, investment corps, etc.) in the trillions of dollars as was done in 2008, and then dump on those people at the bottom of the pile, I'm going to be very selective in my voting come the next elections.

 

The old proverb is, 'if it aint broke don't fix it'... well ... It's broken, Baby.

 

(and I'm not defending the Democrats, either)

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You'll notice, too, that they didn't pass a law saying 'Lansing politicians' would be drug tested before they could be put into office.

 

And NONE of them have voted to cut their own pay or benefits in any way, while other people are out of work and struggling to survive.

 

Politics is a 'business' and this BS about party differences carries the same smell with it.

 

Like I said, I'm going to be very careful with my votes in the future.

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That is not true though. Not all people with the reduced fee are on public assistance.

 

Actually, they have to prove they are eligible for the reduced fee by showing they are on public assistance.   Being on public assistance is the ONLY way to get the reduced fee.

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Exactly how will this affect all of the medical marijuana patients currently on assistance throughout the state will they all be removed from welfare because of positive drug tests for THC?

A Pt with a card is not doing any thing ilegal, or there is gonna be alot of people on morphine patches, oxci's, norco, vidoden, loratab, I dont care what you name it, its a drug, mm is supposedly not an ilegal drug in MI, Just the feds,  did the people vote it legal for pt's in Mi?

 

growing pains!  now how do we get a so called natural medication off of the schedual 1?

 

Peace

Jim

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So they are taking a program to help those who are suffering financial and family management difficulties, and turning it into a negative reinforcement type drug program , of sorts.

 

 And their logic is ?

 

It didn't work for its intended purpose, we'll give it an equally unasailable goal. Then blame the recipients for not performing, keep their money. Then the recipients can think of something else, like maybe cannabalism, prostitution, stealing or the prestigious job as Neighborhood Drug Barron to survive

Well back in like 79 I had a buddy who bought him self a brand new van for like 7k  he went in and paid cash for it!  I know I was with him, He didnt have a job, most were on unemployment and he was quite wealthy compared too his friends, his parents and most people, he didnt pay taxes, he never got caught! and today he has a mini mansion, a good family, and I have no idea what he does for a living, wink wink!

 

The state wants to make,  the state have more ilegal mmj dealers plain and simple, when people cant get them food stamps, they will get their cash some where else, when their kids need medical needs they will go to hospital emergency rooms and not pay the bill, yea that will help the state save alot of money!  What a great move by our politicians, dems and repubs! if you think it is one more than the other, I have some bonds for an un needed bridge we are building here in MI for sale!

 

I just seen on the news last nite, on wnem 5 i believe, they pulled over a car that had pot and weapons, I didnt get to hear the whole thing, but im betting some one had and 1/8 along with all of the other b.s that the story is about, but god forbid they dont mention the mm!

 

Im used to it, im only 50, I will keep, keep rolling on, I will trust me and no one else, something has helped me to not get a fellony all this time! and Im possitive it was me and no one else but me!  Ive felt the need to get attnys a few times, but it realy was a waiste of money for me, (im sure others do need them and should get a good one when needed) I cant tell you how many times I gave an attny 5k and got my bond back at my arraignment! 4 times is 20k. sure would have been better off in my wallet lol! but some times I wasnt willing to take the chance, When my life was busiest My son was realy young, and I couldnt take the chance of losing my kid, but now he is a marine, and my two step kids are old enough to know what happens at home stays  at home, we live in a small town, a small cliquey town, and we dont mess with any one, we just make sure we go to all of our kids sports games or concerts and parent teacher conferences, trust me if my lady is working im there, is she isnt working Im there! and one time because of my ladys ex we had cps out here, we had to deal with their b.s a few months id say, but it went away, the whole time I had my grow going in my basement and exhausting outside,, no one ever brougt it up and they never went past our kitchen table for a cup of coffee!

 

Peace

Jim

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Is a Barron higher than a Czar/Tzar?

 

Well back in like 79 I had a buddy who bought him self a brand new van for like 7k  he went in and paid cash for it!  I know I was with him, He didnt have a job, most were on unemployment and he was quite wealthy compared too his friends, his parents and most people, he didnt pay taxes, he never got caught! and today he has a mini mansion, a good family, and I have no idea what he does for a living, wink wink!

 

 

Peace

Jim

Damm Jim, I know that guy too. 'Sname is "Willie" , heres a little tribute to him!  from our friend, Mr SRV...

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Actually, they have to prove they are eligible for the reduced fee by showing they are on public assistance.   Being on public assistance is the ONLY way to get the reduced fee.

 

I guess if you consider being on disability as receiving public assistance.

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A little power-surge protest... ever onward boys and girls.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJwZhqU0QL4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJwZhqU0QL4

GB, just a lil help for my friend: next to the eraser top row of the dialouge box, next to the font thing, click, go to media, click, insert url !

here I'll do it on this one. by the way this song was written about their life on the road.  Mine is after reorganization after Scotts passing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3k6dFPzCVI

Edited by solabeirtan
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You know, I'm getting sick of this.  At least $50,000, probably closer to $70,000 of our money went to get these politicians that are doing this to us elected..  That's how much money the dispensaries have given to Callton's PAC.  That money was used by Callton to finance the election campaigns of the very politicians that now want MMJ patients to not getting financial aid.  People went to the dispensaries, spent their money, and the owners of those dispensaries used that very same money to get conservative politicians elected.  Those politicians have shown over and over they are the enemies of this community.  That PAC money may even be used to re-elect Bill Schuette!!!!!  All so they could pass HR 4271, and make a profit off of the backs sick people!!!!!

 

Thank you very much dispensary owners!

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