The state of Georgia has hopped on a conservative agenda that is sweeping the nation. If you are on food stamps or receiving welfare, you may have to take a drug screen to receive or continue benefits. The decision will be up to the individual caseworker. The bill was sponsored by Georgia Legislature member republican Greg Morris and passed in the Georgia house with a vote of 107-66.
The original bill stated that anyone who gets food stamps had to pass a drug screen first. This original provision was removed because it is unconstitutional. The state of Florida had tried a similar bill in 2012 and it was challenged in the federal courts.
The bill allows a Department of Family and Children Services employee to determine if there is reasonable suspicion if the applicant has used drugs and should be tested to see if they are still using drugs. Being fired from a job in the past for drug use would be one determining factor for testing. However, the state is not requiring any special training or standards to identify a drug user or protect the person’s right to privacy. This bill, if it passes a Georgia Senate vote could be used as a backdoor way to strip food stamp recipients of benefits based on an untrained employee’s opinion of an individual.