Proposal To Drug Test Welfare Recipients Met With Opposition

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Welfare recipients would be tested for drugs and those found positive would lose their benefits under a proposal that is encountering strong opposition in Kentucky.

State Rep. Melvin Henley, R-Murray, said he filed legislation to require the drug tests in response to concerns raised by working-class constituents in his western Kentucky district.

"It makes sense to a person who has to work for a living and has to undergo drug testing and who sees people on welfare who don't have to abide by any rules," Henley said.

Critics contend the legislation is unconstitutional and that it would have unintended victims - children.

"Welfare is for the children, and so if you're doing such a thing you're punishing the children," said John Rosenberg, former head of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund in Prestonsburg. "I don't think that's what we really want to do."

Michigan briefly required drug tests for welfare recipients in 1999, but was ordered by a federal judge to stop just weeks into the program then the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit.

After a federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled the law unconstitutional in 2003, Michigan officials reached an out-of-court settlement with the ACLU, agreeing to stop the drug-testing program.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Reporter Location: Pine Knot on Jun 19, 2008 at 06:02 PM
    KY Xtian in Mt. Sterling, you make my blood boil. ACLU what a one sided bunch. They have no Ideal what this country stands for. No prayer in our schools, but if you are an Arab you can do it. The ACLU is Anti-American, they have proved it time and time again. I can list just dozens of times they did this. I could write 500 pages about them, it does no good.
  • by CRISTY Location: 405 MOSS DR. LEX,KY on Feb 8, 2008 at 06:52 PM
    DEAR SIR, MY NAME IS CRISTY (edited),AND I AM A WELFARE RECEIPIENT. A WOMAN THAT IS A SINGLE MOM, AN ILL MOM THAT IS READY TO LEAVE THE SYSTEM,AND BE INDEPENDENT AGAIN. I NEED HELP THOUGH. I AM WANTING TO OPEN MY OWN BUSINESS ON RICHMOND ROAD AND GIVE THIS TOWN BACK SOMETHING GOOD. I AM SERIOUS,AND I AM READY ,BUT BEING A PERSON THAT HASN'T THE MONEY TO DO SO , I HAVE BECOME STUCK. I AM STUCK ON WELFARE. IF YOU KNOW OF ANYONE WILLING TO GIVE ME THE CHANCE TO OPEN THIS PLACE, PLEASE CONTACT ME AT (edited). I DON'T WANT THIS LIFE ANYMORE. I AM READY FOR A CHANCE, A CHANGE, AND FINANCIAL STABILITY. THANK YOU SO MUCH. CRISTY (edited)
  • by Robin Location: Pikeville on Jan 29, 2008 at 02:17 PM
    Anonymous, obviously, you're not reading the postings on here. The children aren't getting any of the money! That's the concern, here. I work in healthcare (like JC in Northeastern), and you see it every day. They'd rather have their FIX than feed their children. Drugs are their priority. Drugs take over and they forget everything and everyone. It's rampant! Get them help, but stop giving them the means to obtain their drugs. Yes, it does upset someone that goes out & works their butt off every day to try to make ends meet when others are sitting @ home living it up drawing a check, doing their drugs, drinking their beer, or whatever their vice may be. Then you hear them whine that they can't pay their bills. Why not? They have their housing paid, they have food stamps, they have a medical card, they get help with heating, etc. Why can't you pay your bills? Spending too much on your luxuries? It does make a working man/woman a little upset. No wonder the state budget is in such a mess!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 28, 2008 at 04:51 PM
    It appears the real concern of the majority posting is on money instead of children.
  • by Angela Location: LEXINGTON on Jan 25, 2008 at 01:55 AM
    I think this is a wonderful idea. I have to be drug tested for my job. If people on welfare are not doing drugs then they shoudl not worry about taking a test. If they complain about it then there is a problem. These kids are not getting anything from welfare, theie parents are to high to care.It is showing the children how to work the system jsut like they do!!!
  • by Scott Location: Lexington on Jan 25, 2008 at 01:30 AM
    Cindy Somerset very nice comment
  • by karen on Jan 24, 2008 at 08:25 PM
    I agree they should have to be drug tested . That is the best thing ever . we will see how many gets off the system now !!so much money being wasted on drugs . so little on the childern that need it ...
  • by JC Location: NORTHESTERN on Jan 24, 2008 at 04:28 PM
    The government is finally doing something right. I have recieved welfare at one point in my life. Due to divorce and 3 kids. But, I worked and went to back to school so i did not have to live like that. Welfare is for temporay use not a way of life. If you don't do drugs you have nothing to worry about!!! Almost every job that you start work for has a drug testing and alot have random testing. what is wrong with welfare reciepts doing this nothing. I work in a hospital you would not believe the drug seekers that come in every day looking for drugs. If they don't get them at one hospital they go to another. 9 out of 10 are on welfare. ACLU needs to stay out of this. They have cause enough problems--no pray in schools, no Ten Commandments.
  • by SR Location: Foothills on Jan 24, 2008 at 04:20 PM
    I know this would be a long drawn out process, and exspensive, but we have to start somewhere. Could anyone tell me if you have to look for work to draw a check, like you do if you draw unemployment? Maybe if when someone applied for a check they could drug test them at that time as part of the process. at least it would be a start..and every county should have to randomly drug test so many a month, even if it is say 50. why would that not work, I am sure there will be those out there with an answer.. does anyone have any suggestions of ways this would work? maybe we should start a suggestion box..
  • by tammy Location: hustonvill on Jan 24, 2008 at 04:06 PM
    i believe there are alot of poeple out there on drugs who recieve food stamps and who get that check yes the children are very much affected by it they go with out food and lights hell half or more go with out baths becuz their moms and dads abuse i feel if i got to take a test to get a job then these poeple out there that are to high to get a job should take a test i also feel that if they dont pass the test their kids should be removed from their home and they should go to jail for child neglect and it is just that if they are high then their not taking care of their children their only worry is themselves and its not a safe place for their kids to be anyways all those babies are to them is a free high ticket its not a meal ticket its a shame that you cant trust some poeple for the likes of others but this is life as we now know it so test them and save the kids

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