Lawmakers Back Changes to Welfare Benefits

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Low-income Michigan families would have to take drug tests and make sure their children don't miss too much school to qualify for some welfare benefits, under legislation in the state House.

A bill recently approved by the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee would allow for suspicion-based substance abuse screening and testing for people applying for and receiving some welfare benefits.

Another bill debated by the committee would codify current Department of Human Services' policy and strip a family of cash assistance if a child under the age of 16 doesn't meet school attendance requirements.

Supporters say the measures would protect against the misuse of taxpayer dollars and boost school attendance, but opponents say they unfairly penalize low-income families.


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  • by Elaine Location: Location on May 1, 2013 at 09:49 AM
    Anonymous you are so right; most of the people receiving the assistance will test negative for drugs. In Florida the Gov. actually had part ownership of the labs they were using to test the welfare recipients for drugs. Not only was it a waste of money but it was enhancing the wealth of a politician who backed this law.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 27, 2013 at 07:40 AM
    This has been tried in other states and has been a complete failure. The drug testing costs more than the savings they find for people who failed the test. This is just another attack on the poor, it has nothing to do with saving money.
  • by Bill Location: Mason on Apr 26, 2013 at 01:48 PM
    ALL..... How about we start by NOT giving away the store when an APPLICANT walks in and says I-WANT-I-WANT-I-WANT cuz my friend is collecting. ENOUGH is ENOUGH of how our system is manning the giveaway mentality. I'm OVER IT!!!!
  • by anonymous Location: howell on Apr 26, 2013 at 08:45 AM
    that is how the system works. If I pay my parents bills while they are on welfare/food stamps/medicaid it is considered as income to them. My brother cannot even live with my mom to take care of her as his income will count as what they call household income and she will be disqualified from medicaid and lose her cancer treatments. I can certainly understand for those who really suck the system but for those who are stuck in the cross fire wow
  • by Name Location: Location on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM
    How is someone being penalized on not getting something that they did not have in the first place?
  • by anonymous Location: lansing on Apr 25, 2013 at 09:16 AM
    This bill is to weed out all of the fleas that suck the city dry. They have kids they can not afford and sit on the backsides while tax paying people support them. If the government stopped paying everyone's bills we would not be in debt.
  • by Name Location: Location on Apr 25, 2013 at 05:33 AM
    about time they do drug test for the lazy
  • by anonymous Location: howell on Apr 24, 2013 at 07:39 AM
    good thoughts Name. it is as though recipients are considered criminals. My mom is getting assistance. She is 66 cannot work due to stage 4 cancer and yes she would test positive due to pain medications for the cancer hmmmm how is this right. how is it right that i cannot pay her electric bill without it counting as income for her- the system is broken. I do understand for those who are truely abusing the system but who is going to say what reasonable suspicion is?? I can see a bunch of law suits stating discrimination here costing the state even more money.
  • by Name Location: Location on Apr 24, 2013 at 07:34 AM
    @Dan: When this passes, and I believe it will, you will be able to hold your head high and be proud that a bill you supported has kids starving in the gutters because of there parents. Over something they had no control off. And just think it will all have been so the great State of Michigan could better serve your elitist mentality. Or are we going to make the kids wards of the state until 18. Got news for you. That would cost us more than is saved by these tests.
  • by Jake Location: Okemos on Apr 24, 2013 at 07:10 AM
    And what about those that have a medical marihuana card and receive benfits. Will the State try to kick patients off Welfare because they have marihuana in their system. It would be just like a snyder/jones and assorted repub bill.
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