Wisconsin’s governor Scott Walker is sending a message to those who receive food stamps and Medicaid: If you want to continue receiving government benefits, you’d better be drug free. According to Fox 6 Now, Gov. Walker is proposing a new plan that would require welfare recipients to undergo drug testing in order to meet the minimum requirements needed to receive government funding for food stamps and Medicaid.
On Thursday, January 22, Gov. Walker revealed more details about his two-year budget proposal for 2015-17. The potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate is reportedly planning to add the new plans to the new budget proposal he plans to present to the Wisconsin legislature on February 3. In his recent statement, he discussed the basis of his proposed plan, and why he feels it would be effective to drug test welfare recipients.
“We need people who are drug free,” said Walker. “Whether it’s unemployment training, we’re going to seek a waiver for food stamps, seek a waiver for Medicaid. We’re going to make changes in terms of W2 — in each of these areas of public assistance. This is about getting people ready for work.”
In addition to mandating drug tests for welfare recipients, Gov. Walker is also proposing limitations on the amount of time recipients can receive government assistance under the Wisconsin Works welfare program. All of the suggestions were reportedly introduced in 2014 as part of his reelection campaign.
According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Gov. Walker spoke about his plan to rehabilitate those dependent on welfare benefits. His concept of restructuring the system reportedly consists of “moving individuals from government dependence to true independence and reducing the number of uninsured in the state of Wisconsin to the second lowest rate in the Midwest.”
“We know employers in Wisconsin have jobs available, but they don’t have enough qualified employees to fill those positions. With this budget, we are addressing some of the barriers keeping people from achieving true freedom and prosperity and the independence that comes with having a good job and doing it well.”
While Gov. Walker’s proposed drug testing plan has been supported by many, there are others who have raised concerns about the plan. Raising the criteria for welfare recipients has sparked a debate because some people feel it’s just another barrier to oppress those who are already impoverished. However, others feel drug testing is justifiable since it is commonly considered a requirement for employment.
“I do not have a problem with testing the people. What I have a problem with is the people who demands this. Our politicians. I think that they should be tested for drugs also. As we all know, many of them have had their bouts and struggles with various drugs. I hope that this take place, because after all, the politicians get a whole lot more free money than the welfare recipients. And I am a tax payer. Worked hard for what I have.”
“There’s a bit more to it than this. The cost of the drug testing to the state would be thousands more than any “savings” you would get from denying people assistance: as has happened in every other state introducing this policy. I want a smaller deficit- not a larger one. Also- if someone is struggling with drug abuse we should probably be helping them kick the stuff rather than throwing them out on the street and picking up their medicaid bill when they end up at the ER with an overdose.”
“it’s not just the politicians, it’s the people bearing the cost of the lazy breeders (note-that’s not all recipients). You have to get drug tested at your job, or if you take unemployment (at least here) but not if you’re receiving free (MY) money. It makes good sense to me, it’s protecting the children too from drug addled parents and making sure they are spending the money on it’s intended purpose.”
“Drug test all politicians because they are the biggest welfare recipients!”
Do you agree or disagree with Gov. Walker’s proposal to make drug testing a requirement for welfare recipients? Share your thoughts.
[Image via YouTube]