Drug Testing Proposed For Michigan Welfare Recipients

By: Hannah Saunders Email
By: Hannah Saunders Email
A proposal to tie welfare benefits to clean drug tests is not sitting well with folks who deal with people looking for a helping hand.

The Michigan Capitol is shown at twilight Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009, in Lansing, Mich. Lawmakers continue work on budget bills that deal with a $2.8 billion shortfall before an Oct. 1 deadline. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Lansing's Advent House Ministries has been helping the needy for over 20 years. People who are down on their luck depend on people like Executive Director Susan Cancro to help them overcome difficult situations, unemployment and drug use. She is frustrated about a possible law in the works to require all welfare recipient and applicants in Michigan to take a urine test to screen for drug use: "If you want people to address those issues, make sure they have the resources. Don't pull those away."

The proposal is still in the early stages. Lawmakers say they still must decide whether to test all recipient and applicants or only those suspected of using drugs. State Representative of Frankenmuth explains why he believes this will push those who need welfare in a positive direction: "We need to give the tax payers of the state of Michigan the confidence that their tax money is being spent wisely, and the recipients need to know that they are going to be treated with dignity."

A measure similar to this was put through the system a decade ago and failed. Lawmakers say this one is more likely to pass, because this time around, they are only pushing for one-time drug testing instead of random. Details of the possible law are not expected to be hammered out for at least another few months. In the mean time, details will be analyzed and compared to similar laws passed and proposed in at least 40 other states.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Sara Location: Lansing on Jan 6, 2012 at 06:46 AM
    Really, How about the medical marihuana in the state of MI. Or that you only have to pay $25 for you medical card instead of $125 if you are on state assistance. I agree some testing needs to be done but fear judgement and reprecussions. Don't judge if you have never walked in their shoes and don't assume you know everything about everyone on state assistance. Especially since some only receive food or health benefits and NO FINIACIAL ASSISTANCE.
  • by ARG on Jan 6, 2012 at 04:42 AM
    I have to take one to get a job...why not, makes sense to me. If they come up positive then help those folks find the resources needed to take control of the addiction. At some point you have to take responsibility for yourself and the choices you make.
  • by andy Location: jackson on Jan 6, 2012 at 03:15 AM
    it's about time,
  • by alice Location: ny on Jan 5, 2012 at 11:51 PM
    Earning a college degree from High Speed Universities online is one of the most effective ways for individuals to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families
  • by Chris Location: Lansing on Jan 5, 2012 at 11:13 PM
    Very good idea to have the citizens tested. But what about State workers. And State Reps. They should all be tested.
  • by smk on Jan 5, 2012 at 08:56 PM
    they need to do randoms Not a one time thing i have to take random drug test in order to work they should have to take them as well after all they are looking for employment ! and if there getting assistance employers will know they will pass a drug test and if they don't pass ether F.I.A or an Employers Drug test then they should be kicked off the program for a min of one year!
  • by Don Location: Stockbridge on Jan 5, 2012 at 06:52 PM
    I say this is a good law........if you want help with the money "I" contributed to help you with then you should not be on drugs........as a matter of fact "I" had to get a drug test to get my job to help the less fortunate.......if they have money for drugs then they need no help!!!!!! I also think that if they have money for Cigarettes they don't need the money that bad!!!!!! Lets just get the Drug law passed first and then we will work on the nicotine!!!
  • by bull dog Location: michigan on Jan 5, 2012 at 06:46 PM
    I would like to see Lawmakers have to have a Drug Test 3 times a year
  • by Anonymous on Jan 5, 2012 at 05:20 PM
    Way to go. state of michigone...Once again the kids suffer for what the parents may be doing. What the heck is wrong with the people we put in office? Are they considering the consequences of this?
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