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Ohio Senate Wants to Drug Test Welfare Recipients

A pilot program that would tie welfare benefits to drug tests is making its way through the Ohio Senate, amid criticism that the state constitution bars the move.

Great. This program worked so well in Florida that it’ll be bound to work here, too.

The Senate Finance Committee set a Tuesday vote on a provision allowing three Ohio counties to administer drug tests to prospective welfare recipients. It’s among dozens of Senate changes to Gov. John Kasich’s midterm budget bill.

Backers say testing prospective recipients will make sure benefits are used for their well-being and the good of their families and not to subsidize a drug habit.

Opponents say the drug-testing program places an unfair burden on the poor and violates a section added to the Ohio constitution by voters last year.

The Healthcare Freedom Amendment, approved with 66% of the vote, was a reaction to a federal health care overhaul backed by President Barack Obama. The issue was broadly worded. It banned laws that compel participation in a “health care system,” which includes programs that enroll, manage or process individuals for health insurance, health care data, or health care information purposes.

So the Republicans argue that they must drug test, and that the state can have no participation in the health care system. I guess we should be used to them wanting it both ways.


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