Rep. Mike Regan, a Republican lawmaker in Pennsylvania, is leading the charge to ban drug dealers from welfare.
Regan is the same individual, who also wanted to exclude from public assistance sex offenders, who were violating Megan’s Law registration requirements.
Originally, the Republican wanted his proposed drug dealer ban to be for life, but after some objection that that would be too harsh, he scaled back this requirement in hopes of winning bi-partisan support, according to Opposing Views.
The site notes that the bill was recently voted out of committee, and while it does appear to be picking up steam, there are still plenty who oppose the measure.
For example, Democrat Rep. Kevin Schreiber said that the bill imposes a “once a criminal, always a criminal mindset.”
“If you peel back the layers, you quickly see this has the potential to degrade our corrections system, the rehabilitation process and increase recidivism,” he added.
Democratic Rep. Flo Fabizio of Erie also pointed out that the Department of Human Services already requires drug testing for welfare applicants who’ve been convicted on drug felony charges. “Frankly, I don’t think the bill is necessary,” she said.
Nevertheless, Mike Regan insists that the bill is a good one, and that it isn’t about “trying to be cold-hearted.”
“I think I’m being really agreeable to the other side,” Regan said.
Many on the RawStory coverage of this story didn’t see it that way at all, believing that Mike Regan was out to gut the welfare system regardless of what he says about being for it.
“Conservatives have this overbearing, gnawing, hate filled drive to see suffering,” wrote one commenter. “They want the world to be a Dickens novel.”
“A monster in a three piece suit. I think that pretty much describes the GOP,” wrote a second. “I don’t wish bad on anyone, but I hope some drug dealer that he cuts off (if this in fact becomes law) pops a cap in his a**.”
And one more.
“If these people can’t get government assistance, can’t get jobs or housing because they have a record what does this idiot think will happen? People need money to eat, if they can’t get it through legal means they are going to do illegal things to get it. This guy in [sic] endangering us. What a tool, these idiots should not be in power.”
Do you think Rep. Mike Regan has the right idea, or do his opponents raise good points? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image of Rep. Mike Regan via RawStory, linked above]