Drug-Testing Bill Withdrawn When Amended to Include Lawmakers

Drug-Testing Bill Withdrawn When Amended to Include Lawmakers

A Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly withdrew his bill to mandate drug testing of welfare applicants after a Democrat amended the measure to require lawmakers be tested for drugs as well.

“There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill,” said Rep. Jud McMillin,  R-Brookville, sponsor of the original welfare drug-testing bill.

“I’ve only withdrawn it temporarily,” he said. McMillin insists he carefully crafted the original bill to survive legal challenges. He believes the measure would avoid any constitutional problems, he said, by setting up a tiered screening scheme for those who opt-out of random testing. Those welfare recipients who did opt out would be screened if they behaved suspiciously, were convicted of a crime, or missed required appointments.

Despite a lack of evidence that there is a correlation between government assistance and increased drug use, Republican lawmakers in more than 30 states and in Congress have introduced bills requiring drug testing for recipients of certain government assistance, including unemployment insurance and food stamps.

Democrats in several states have countered by introducing bills requiring drug testing of elected officials. Indiana state Rep. Ryan Dvorak D-South Bend, followed their lead by amending McMillan’s bill to include lawmakers.

“After it passed, Rep. McMillin got pretty upset and pulled his bill,” Dvorak said. “If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy. … If we’re going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money.”

McMillin insists he will reintroduce the bill on Monday, with the lawmaker testing amendment intact.

“I would think legislators that are here who are responsible for the people who voted them in, they should be more than happy to consent,” he said. “Give me the cup right now and I will be happy to take the test.”

All this manufactured outrage over welfare recipients receiving assistance to buy drugs is a ruse.  This is a multibillion dollar industry. Follow the money trail. It leads to the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these tests, and the politicians who are heavily lobbied and financially supported by them. –kathleen cross

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