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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bill to Require Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients in Ohio

State Senator Tim Grendell (District 18) will be introducing a bill that will make it a requirement for people receiving state assistance to submit to drug testing.

You can expect the usual howling from the left about how this bill is racist, will harm the poor, and of course -- will hurt the children.

From the News-Herald --
State Sen. Tim Grendell announced Thursday that he intends to introduce a bill that would require any Ohioan receiving state assistance to submit to a drug test.

“Hard working taxpayers of the State of Ohio should not have to pay for the drug habits of illegal drug users,” Grendell said. “This assistance from the state is for those who need these funds for food and shelter, not illegal drugs.”

Under the potential legislation, state welfare and unemployment applicants would pay for their own testing. People who pass the drug test would then be reimbursed.

Applicants who fail the test would be required to enter into a drug treatment program approved by the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.

As long as the program is fully complied with, the applicant would continue to receive his or her benefits.

Noncompliance would result in the person’s benefits being revoked immediately. The applicant could not reapply for benefits for six months from the time they are revoked.

Anyone who fails a second drug test would be banned from receiving their funds for three years.

Children of applicants who fail a drug test would still be able to receive their benefits.

The parents could name a state-approved person to receive and administer cash benefits on behalf of the children. That designated person must also pass a drug test.
Dismissing the expected howls from the left, the proposed bill is not racist as it requires drug testing for ALL recipients of State Assistance, allows those that qualify (the poor) to continue receiving State Assistance as long as they are not drug users, and has provisions safe guarding support for children of drug users.

One would think with Ohio trying to save every penny we can and trying to cut future costs this bill should fly through the Republican led Ohio Senate. Sorry to say that is not the case, and we will have to fight to get this bill passed out of the Ohio Senate.

Under the leadership of former OH Senate President Bill Harris and current OH Senate President, State Senator Tom Niehaus, (both Republicans) it should come as no surprise that several versions of this type of Bill have either died or are sitting stagnant in Committee. 

Last year, an alternate version of this Bill died in the GOP-led Senate Finance Committee. Currently, SB 69 as introduced in February of 2011 by State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) and co-sponsored by State Senatot Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville), is sitting stagnant in the Ohio Senate Health, Human Services & Aging Committee and has yet to even have one Committee hearing.

So as you can see, even though Ohio's State Senate is GOP-led this year - as it was last year - there is no guarantee the new version of this bill will make it out of  the OH Senate. 

Please contact your State Senator and urge them to support Senator Grendell's Mandatory Drug Testing for Ohio residents receiving state assistance bill.

Ohio Senate Leadership


State Senator Tom Niehaus
Phone: (614) 466-8082
Email: SD14@senate.state.oh.us

President Pro Tempore

State Senator Kieth Faber
Phone: (614) 466-7584
Email: SD12@senate.state.oh.us

Majority Whip

State Senator Shannon Jones
Phone: (614) 466-9737
Email: SD07@senate.state.oh.us

State Senators from the Cuyahoga County area --

Senator Shirley Smith / District 21
Assistant Minority Leader (D)
Phone: (614) 466-4857
Email: SD21@maild.sen.state.oh.us

Senator Michael Skindell / District 23
Phone: (614) 466-5123
Email: SD23@maild.sen.state.oh.us

Senator Tom Patton / District 24
Phone: (614) 466-8056
Email: SD24@senate.state.oh.us

Senator Nina Turner / District 25
Phone: (614) 466-4583
Email: SD25@maild.sen.state.oh.us

For contact information for OH Senators outside Cuyahoga County, please click here.

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