Wisconsin moves forward with drug testing food stamp recipients


Governor Scott Walker

From Fox 11: Gov. Scott Walker moved ahead Monday with his plans to make Wisconsin the first state to drug test able-bodied adults applying for food stamps, a move blocked by the federal government or found to be unconstitutional when other states have tried.

Wisconsin’s plan was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature more than two years ago, but it languished because it conflicts with federal rules prohibiting states from imposing additional eligibility criteria on food stamp recipients.

Florida had a drug test requirement for food stamp recipients that a federal appeals court blocked in 2014, finding it violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. Walker filed a federal lawsuit in 2015 seeking approval to test food stamp applicants, but it was rejected because then-President Barack Obama’s administration had not yet formally rejected the state’s request to do the testing.

Walker asked then-President elect Donald Trump’s administration in December 2016 to make clear that drug screening is permissible, but it has not taken action and now Walker is moving ahead anyway.

Walker approved a rule change to implement the screening and sent it to the Legislature for review Monday. Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said the governor believes he has the authority to implement the rule.

The Legislature has four months to review the rule and it could take a year after its approval before the testing would begin. Lawsuits by those who oppose the drug testing are expected once it’s implemented, assuming the federal government doesn’t step in and block it in the meantime.

Under the plan, childless FoodShare participants who fail a drug test would be eligible for state-funded rehabilitation treatment if they don’t have any other way to pay for it. FoodShare is Wisconsin’s name for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The Walker administration estimated that a small fraction of the program’s applicants — 220, or 0.3 percent, of the 67,400 applicants a year — would actually test positive for drugs. Walker has touted the drug testing as a way to put more drug-free workers into the workplace.

Opponents say that’s wrongheaded. “The state could do far more to expand the workforce by investing in broader access to effective drug treatment programs, rather than spending scarce state resources on the administration of drug screening and testing requirements,” said Jon Peacock, research director for Kids Forward, which advocates for children and families in Wisconsin.

Peacock said he was certain there would be a legal challenge over the constitutionality of drug screening food stamp recipients as well as whether such a move would be a violation of federal law governing the food stamp program.

Walker has pushed to expand drug testing for public benefit recipients. The budget he signed this year called for drug screening all able-bodied, childless adults applying for state Medicaid BadgerCare health benefits, pending federal approval. The budget also required drug test requirements for food stamp recipients would be expanded to parents of children ages 6 to 18.

Walker and 11 other governors in 2016 asked the federal government for permission to drug test food stamp recipients.


23 responses to “Wisconsin moves forward with drug testing food stamp recipients

  1. Yes, a class action move every state should follow. WE THE PEOPLE’s taxes should not go to recipients of food stamps exchange for drugs.

    Liked by 2 people


    Liked by 1 person

  3. If someone who goes to work every damn day has to submit to random drug tests then so should the parasites that live off of our tax dollars. Period.

    Liked by 6 people

    • EdK . . . . I think you have hit the nail on its head! Bravo for bringing up this fact. . . most of us who worked during the last let’s say 15-20 years had to take a mandatory UA before we even got accepted for a job. At least that was my experience when I started working for the Red Cross part time. When I started working for Fred Meyer, now a subsidiary of Kroger in 1974, there was no such thing as drug testing. During the last years I worked for Fred Meyer Dairy, new employees had to undergo drug testing, and if you were involved in an on the job injury, the first thing that happened is that you were sent to a local Urgency Clinic to offer up a UA. Since, it is the working men and women of the nation who are footing the billl for feeding all these folks who need/want food stamps . . . it is not an undue request that they also have to undergo drug screening. Although, in the Portland area we have plenty of jobs, but the reason so many people cannot qualify for a job is that they are not employable due to their personal choice to use drugs. The beauty of this particular plan is, that if they failed the drug testing, they would be eligible for state paid drug rehab if they could not afford it themselves. Most drug users who need food stamps are not in a position where they can pay for their own rehab. What greater blessing could anyone who is habituated to drugs possibly receive.It’s a real chance to rise above the the squalid circumstances of their lives, and become part of society. I had a guy who used to do some maintenance, and yard work for me, he was blessed to enter a six month drug rehab, not at his own expense. He did the time, they got him out in the job market, and he is now supporting his family. The approach that this governor is proposing is a win/win situation. I just wish that those who deem it better that we keep a certain segment of our society dependent on the government, could see that they are responsible for killing the hopes and dreams of those who wish drug rehab.

      DCG . . . Wonderful article! In our drug infested world, I really like to hear of those who are trying to rehabilitate others who have fallen into the pit of drug dependency. If they will but grab onto the opportunity with both hands.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Absolutely, I have had two jobs where I had to pass drug tests, so I could work my rear off to pay taxes to support these slugs. Time for this was years ago, but good for Walker, I hope he succeeds. Maybe we can discourage all these invaders coming here to live off us with zero intent of ever working.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Glenn47 . . . . I certainly do agree with you. We need our drug dependent citizens to come out of the shadows, get rehab, and enter society as full fledged tax paying citizens. As far as the invaders flocking here to live off us with zero intent of ever working . . . their care and keeping should be billed to all the miscreants who voted to start bringing in the dregs of society just to bolster the Democratic base of voters. Let them personally foot the bill. I feel the same way about all the churches who “sponsor” immigrants, and once they are here, these invaders are also dumped on the rest of us to support. Sometimes, I feel like I am staggering under the weight of all those who wish me to support them. I didn’t bring them into the world, so I resent having to support people who are not pulling their own weight, and those who have no right to American taxpayer paid support due to the fact that they are foreign nationals.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a hard time understanding why anyone would oppose this, let alone think it a bad idea… if they find someone using money gained by selling food stamps to instead buy illicit drugs, that indicates a treatable disease. So find them, get them the help they need, and maybe they won’t even need food stamps anymore! Am I missing something?

    Does the American public truly think one’s ability to abuse illicit drugs is more important than the safety and social well being of its citizens to the point it’s willing to abscond the law and eschew personal responsibility? And then have others pay for that dereliction?

    Liked by 2 people

    • cogitoergosumantra . . . Bravo! Excellent addition to this article. What really speaks to my heart is . . . “. . . one’s ability to abuse illicit drugs is more important that the safety and social well being of its citizens to the point it’s willing to abscond the law and eschew personal responsibility? And then have others pay for that dereliction?” This is such basic, common sense thinking that I shudder to think that there are many who cannot grasp this idea. When we take away someone else’s free agency (free will) to do what they choose to do, and then have society take on the responsibility to make up for the catastrophic results of THEIR bad choices, this is absolutely against any kind of reasonable thinking. I do not have a problem in using public monies to fund rehab, on a one time basis, to pull them out of the pit, but at some time, they must become responsible to shoulder the consequences of their own actions. I think this is very much in line with Gospel Doctrine . . . we will be judged for our own sins, and indiscressions. If we choose unwisely, WE will bare the responsibility of our own choices. Those who have been enabled in continuing in making bad choices truly are doomed.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. These are able bodied, childless, adults. What’s the problem? If they have money for drugs, they don’t need food assistance. Sorry if it hurts someone’s feelings. Employers random drug test all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is a double edged sword. On the one hand, I understand how people feel about their tax dollars being used to pay for food stamps etc.On the other hand, the Government started these hand me downs years ago and many people, especially the children of the recipients depend on it for their survival.Its not the child’s fault that their parent is a screw-up and or a drug addict. I understand how some feel though; in Chicago many people sell their stamps as soon as they get them from the Government and buy alcohol, clothes, and drugs. I also know many poor young individuals who wouldn’t get a decent meal without public Schools (breakfast and lunch) which is why Public Schools in Chicago rarely close or Government provided food stamps.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Government should not be providing “charity” in the first place. It is not their legitimate role. Charity is the duty of individuals, and should be 100% voluntary or it is no virtue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sp[ater . . . I could not agree more. It is ridiculous for our government to be doling out charity. Charity is a commandment from Our God, and we are judged by whether or not we are willing to give to our brothers and sisters. It has also been shown that “charity” which is administered by charitable institutions are better able to distribute aid, and avoid scammers that the government is.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Able bodied adults without children however, that’s another story.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. They should IQ test cheesehead voters.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have seen many here were I live and they sell the stamps for money many have been caught here but there has to be a happy medium and try to stop the fraud of the American people. As usual a few destroy it for the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well gee–if California followed this path, it could save itself probably 90% of it’s welfare payment output!!!!!! Which is why it will never happen…b/c those 90% are voters…legal or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent!!! This is LONG OVERDUE!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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