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  • Virginia Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients and Personal Responsibility

    On Tuesday, the Virginia senate approved a bill that would require an initial drug screening of welfare applicants, followed by drug testing if officials suspected illegal drug use. Those who test positive or refuse to test altogether would lose Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (cash assistance) benefits for a year.

    As Robert Rector argued in U.S. News & World Report:

    Welfare assistance should not be a one-way handout or open-ended entitlement. We ought to provide such aid on the basis of reciprocal obligation.… [Recipients] should engage in responsible and constructive behavior as a condition of receiving aid.

    Requiring welfare recipients to stop using illegal drugs is a core element of reciprocal obligation.

    Virginia wouldn’t be the first state to implement this policy. Arizona currently requires drug-testing for welfare recipients, and Florida put into place a drug-testing policy last May.

    Since then, Florida has seen significant declines in welfare participation. During the first month of the program, 9.6 percent of applicants were deemed ineligible for welfare because of drug use. This produced an estimated savings of $9.1 million in the first year of the program. If every state had a similar drug-testing policy with the same rate of cost savings, the United States would save over $127 million annually.

    TotalU.S.welfare spending amounted to $911 billion in 2011.

    As Rector notes, “taxpayers have a right to insist that their financial help not only goes to those who truly need it but that it’s not wasted on frivolous or self-destructive activities such as drug use.”

    Virginia’s proposal to encourage greater responsibility among welfare recipients is a step in the right direction to creating a welfare system that promotes self-sufficiency. It goes hand-in-hand with other policies (such as work requirements and time limits) that discourage government dependence.

    As Rector asserts, “It’s just common sense that a well-designed program of drug testing is one of the important tools in any effective welfare-to-work strategy.”

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Virginia Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients and Personal Responsibility

    1. @cynd71 says:

      This is great news! It is about time there is accountability and stop the free-laoders. I am sick of those who expect all the hand-outs and are never checked.
      If all of the States did this, we would have such a surplus of money and make these people work for a living…
      Cell phones, EBT cards, housing, so why go to work?
      I say hurrah to those who are finally doing and not talking about it!

    2. sharonharris says:

      Welfare folks should be responsible of their actions and the free money they receive. Drug testing should be mandatory. Some type of work would not be asking to much.

    3. steve h says:

      Totalwelfare spending was 911 billion? Goot to know you lump in veteran benefits as welfare, or disability, or unemployment benefits. Someone has served the country or worked their whole life – and you call it welfare when they do need help? Great to see what Heritage thinks of our vets.Total tax expenditure spending in 2011 was more than 1 trillion. I think we need to drug test anyone who receives any taxpaer funded money, including policymakers, CEOs/board members of corporations who get subsidies, anyone who files for child taxt credit, mortgage interest deduction etc, uses public schools, etc.. If you get any taxpayer money, you should have to get drug tested first. If you get a dollar from taxpayers, you much get drug tested – please put forth this bill Congressmen and Senators!!!!!

    4. richie says:

      Amen I am so proud of virginia decision now I can finallly breath because I have been aying support for this child and her mama only wants a handout and she is a drug addict this is what I needed

    5. arthalia says:

      Am a 25 year old woman.I was raped at 18 n twin boys
      were born out tht situation. The only type of assistance I use is
      Food stamps. It is hard enough making ends meet with my boys
      I believe if yu r struggling enough to have to gt assistance
      Where would they find the money to spend on drugs.
      a lot of individuals judge people without knowing the situation
      I didn't ask to struggle am not happy I have to use assistance
      But the fatjer to my child is a rapest n mildly retarded. Drug testing I see NOTHING
      Wrong with it.but yu individuals tht dnt receive assistance.
      Are the ones tht think ur better n doing drugs but will mever admit it.
      Every dirt yu do eventually COMES TO LIGHT.stop judging people based of wut yu THINK YU KNO.

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