Indiana GOP Withdraws Drug Testing Bill Because Lawmakers Would Be Tested Too!

A bill proposed by one Indiana Republican has been withdrawn after its provision to drug test recipients of government largesse was widened to include lawmakers themselves.

As Care2′s Robin Marty wrote here recently about a similar plan in Florida, Florida quickly learned that regardless of the legality of their plan, the actual testing itself showed that despite the Republicans’ assumptions, very few welfare recipients actually were using drugs.  In fact, the percentage of welfare recipients using drugs was actually lower than that of the regular population.

But Back To Indiana

From Raw Story:

Republican lawmaker Judd McMillan (R-Brookville) removed the bill from consideration by the Indiana General Assembly after Democratic colleagues amended it, but, the Republican says, he intends to reintroduce it on Monday once he has reworked it.

“I’ve only withdrawn it temporarily,” said McMillan, stating that he crafted the bill to elude questions of constitutionality with regards to illegal search and seizure, issues that caused a Florida judge to overturn a similar rule earlier this year.

McMillan’s bill includes a “tiered” testing system, by which some people can opt out of random testing, but will be tested if the government deems that there is “reasonable suspicion” that they may be engaged in drug use. Testing could be triggered by an applicant’s demeanor, arrest or conviction for a crime, or failure to make appointments mandated by the welfare office.

Republicans In More Than 30 States Have Tried To Create Welfare Drug Testing Programs

No compelling evidence exists that individuals on public assistance or more likely to engage in drug use or other illegal behaviors and yet Republicans in more than 30 states have attempted to institute a drug testing requirement to receive benefits. Some laws have even attempted to make it impossible to collect food stamps or unemployment benefits without being tested.

From The Raw Story:

The amendment to the Indiana bill was proposed by Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D-South Bend), who said, “After it passed, Rep. McMillin got pretty upset and pulled his bill. If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy. If we’re going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money.”

The Indiana General Assembly will reconvene on Monday morning.

Republicans Have Pursued Welfare Drug Testing In More Than 30 States

In the past year Republican lawmakers have pursued welfare drug testing in more than 30 states and in Congress, and some bills have even targeted people who claim unemployment insurance and food stamps, despite scanty evidence the poor and jobless are disproportionately on drugs. Democrats in several states have countered with bills to require drug testing elected officials.

McMillan, for his part, said he’s coming back with a new bill on Monday, lawmaker testing included. He said he has no problem submitting to a test himself.

“I would think legislators that are here who are responsible for the people who voted them in, they should be more than happy to consent,” he said. “Give me the cup right now and I will be happy to take the test.”


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Photo Credit: Francis Storr


Jane R.
Jane R7 years ago

I don't think the majority of people receiving welfare are using drugs, however I do think there are a lot who do and they need to be cut off!! Many of them who smoke regular cigarettes, drink beer or wine etc. will spend any money they have to satisfy their need. I know food stamps can't be used for these things, but many of them work as cheap laborers, get paid cash that isn't reported as income and will spend this money for their vices. If they are addicted they will use their money for these things and don't care about the bills such as rent, food, etc.
Drug testing may be expensive but it would still save the Gov. and taxpayers a lot of money. It would also discourage drug users from applying for help in the first place. Then they would have to go to work to get what they need. Isn't this what they should be doing in the first place?
I say test them.

Richard B.
Richard B7 years ago

Feels like, by imposing laws on the rest of us, the lawmakers are trying to gain some competitive advantage. It's like a race where the lead runner got where he/she is by erecting barriers for the other runners to overcome. If the laws apply to everybody, it defeats the unfair advantage.

Jerry H.
Jerry H.7 years ago

no Law period, we need no new laws regarding this matter, too many failed laws have jproven only to be costly, unnessecary, mean spirited, and benefitting noone. just ridiculous expense to persecute those in need.

Richard B.
Richard B7 years ago

If the wand is used on lawmakers, it will be interesting to see some of them walking funny the next day. The "cowboy walk", where the legs are bowed to avoid friction with the genitals...

Richard B.
Richard B7 years ago

I think a remedy for the flurry of bills going through congress would be to make the bills apply to lawmakers too. No discrimination.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe7 years ago

I don't think the majority of unemployed are on drugs considering they are so behind on paying the house payment and other bills.
Of course there is a minority that could be on drugs who make it bad for the rest of them.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin7 years ago

WOW! 100% on the poll. If people that receive benefits should be drug-tested, then everyone that benefits from public money should endure the same treatment. The Koch brothers, Congress, billionaires, etc.

Robert H.
Robert H.7 years ago

Employed people have to take drug tests in most places. It's not that there is a suspicion of increased drug use in the unemployed, it's just that people everywhere use drugs, and the unemployed are currently receiving money and not being tested. I don't really agree with drug tests for anyone, but I don't think you should have to be drug tested to maintain a minimum wage job if you can be on welfare and not be drug tested. Maybe that is heartless of me.

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S7 years ago

LOL, not surprising from the average Republican.

Dijana D.
Dijana D7 years ago

haha i knew this would happen