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On Opponents of drug testing for welfare benefits see it as hassling the poor; Brownback says it will help

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bigskyblueman 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Republicans only believe in government regulations when it suits their own selfish purposes.

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Kirk Larson 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Everyone I've ever known who did drugs was an honest, hard working person. That's how they could afford the drugs. Are they going to test for nicotine and alcohol? Of course not.

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bunnyhawk 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The TAF program is Temporary Assistance for FAMILIES. Very, very adults qualify for TAF assistance without having at least once child in the household. Any efforts to restrict TAF payments to qualified FAMILIES for any reason will have an adverse affect on the children in the household. Sam;s plan is fine tooled to make children pay for their parents' sins. This is what pro-life looks like in the formerly great State of Kansas.

With the 'suspected' crap.........parents will be vulnerable to the whims of the TAF worker. If the worker doesn't like them........if the worker's in a bad mood..........and so on.

The only drug that is readily detected by UAs alone is marijuana. Very little marijuana will yield a positive result. Meth, the drug we are the most concerned about, only shows up on the UA if the person is high at the time or has recently used. Not difficult to fudge on this one.,

If reducing drug use in Kansas were the goal...........why would our illustrious Governor and Legislature chose this approach over funding more drug and alcohol treatment programs? And why leave alcohol out of the requirement? There are many more Kansas children at risk because of the misuse of alcohol than there are from the misuse of any illegal drugs. What about prescription drugs? It's bad policy. The policy will put children in danger of removal from their homes. The policy will cause drug users to avoid TAF benefits and deprive their children of a much needed social safety net.

Once again, I have to ask our "Christian' Kansas leaders............how do you square this crap with the Golden Rule.............I suspect the Kansas GOP has long ago torn that page out of their Bibles!! Matthew 7:12. Read it!

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Satirical 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I can’t believe we hassle the poor and violate their 4th Amendment rights by requiring them to give personal information, such as how much money they have in their bank account! You radical republicans claim that unreasonable search and invasion of privacy is just to determine eligibility for the program, but we liberals know it is just to shame the poor and a way to deny them benefits.

Mandatory drug testing, even if it can’t be used to prosecute, shouldn’t be used as a basis to determine eligibility, just like it shouldn’t be a basis to refuse to hire a federal or state employee. In both cases it would be an unreasonable search, an invasion of privacy, and a violation of someone’s 4th Amendment rights!

However, when purchasing a gun, requiring a background check and drug testing is completely reasonable, wouldn’t be humiliating or an invasion of privacy, and in no way violates the 4th Amendment . In that case, the ends justify the means.

I don't understand why you radical republicans can't make these clear distinctions! The 4th Amendment is clear!

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2manyshoes 11 months, 4 weeks ago

It is a mistake to get government benefits. It is a trap that is extremely hard to get out of. But by all means, if one is getting even food stamps, test them. Test them even for alcohol.

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jafs 11 months, 4 weeks ago

jhf.

Your apathy is staggering to me.

It's because of a combination of the fact that those in power often tend to abuse it, and that many, like you, are apathetic and defer to authority too much, that our rights have been watered down so much.

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Scut Farkus 11 months, 4 weeks ago

I am beginning to also blame the apathy of many Democrats who have resigned themselves to be token representatives of liberalism. They talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Lawrence is proud of the fact that they are an island of blue in a sea of red, but doesn't bother to try and create other islands. The Kansas Democratic Party is an unorganized, poorly structured, leaderless entity that should be ashamed of itself.

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1Dem 12 months ago

"Drug addiction is a scourge in Kansas. This is a horrific thing that hits so many people," Brownback said. "What this effort is about is an attempt to get ahead of it. And instead of ignoring the problem, is to start treating the problem."

Testing could start in January, 2014. We will see after a year and after a second year if this experiment is successful after spending over 1 MILLION DOLLARS in this effort of which about 1/4 million is for new staff, 1/4 million for training, 1/2 million for computer programing at est $90 per hour. Testing estimated to cost $50 per test. No increase in treatment costs expected though 3 months treatment will cost. We just don't know how much or how successful treatment will be. And savings are expected in 2015 due to recipients temporarily or permanently ineligible due to positive tests or criminal drug convictions. - It remains to be seen how successful the Gov and the legislature will be in this wildcating adventure. Sort of like drilling for oil and we will see how many dry holes the program comes up with. The wildcat investment is well over 1 MILLION DOLLARS in FY2014 less in future years. Lets find out how "horrific" a problem we have in the TANF program and how success the Gov is in "treating the problem." Stay tuned in 2015 for the results.

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bd 12 months ago

Luvin every minute of it!!!!! :)

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Bug 12 months ago

Great, test welfare recipients. I have to drug test for my employer too and my employer pays for the test. Who pays for the testing of welfare recipients and the administration of that program? Oh right....tax payers do. Fantastic.

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sully97 12 months ago

Yes, people abuse the system. It is naive in the extreme to believe that the poor are the only one who might take advantage of that system though. I wonder how many people would have tested positive for cocaine at Goldman Sachs and the rest of their bailed out, banking bretheren? This might be a less unjust law if every child who eats a school lunch, every veteran on disability, every granparent on Medicare, every hadicapped person on Social Security, every business and corporation receiving a tax break, every farmer with a subsidy, every employee of local, state, and federal government, and every politician with public benefits were also tested. Nope. Only the poor.

The argument that those who abuse the system give honest brokers of that system a bad name is a farce because this has nothing to do with ending drug abuse. The poor have always been singled out. Increasing poverty and insecurity in life have never resulted in a drop of substance abuse and more stable lives. Quite the opposite in fact. This has to do with ending public assistance programs and even if every recipient tests negative, they will still be demonized for something else by the elite, God-fearing citizens of Brownbackistan. Having children perhaps. Or maybe eating meat paid for by public dollars, because poor people should be only ever eat canned goods. The good Jesus-quoting people of Kansas love to gargle this kind of propaganda. Makes them feel better than someone else I guess. After all, there is no cry for fairness in the new Kansas tax code that Republicans recently rammed through. You know, the one where business owners and "professionals" pay no income tax while their secretaries and janitors do? Nope. No cry of foul against a professional class that profits from the net sum of our public investments without having to contribute a dime of their income to keep it going. I don't see business owners teaching their employees to count and read and I don't see them building their own roads, laying their own pipes or hauling their own trash. Only the poor get trampled on and accused of cheating the system.

I'm afraid all this will do is increase our problems. Throwing hungry people and addicts off of public assistance will likely only drive more people to commit crime in order to get by, and all that money we think we're saving from public assistance will seem like a pittance compared to the fiscal and social costs of the higher incarceration rates we're going to see. And if we're lucky, that will be the worst of it. No one broke into my home last night to steal food and I didn't hear gunshots in my neighborhood. But I do wonder how long that will last if we keep pushing people into impossible situations.

Way to go Kansas. You're brilliant.

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Kyle Chandler 12 months ago

Kansas isnt that smart, give us another century.......

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deec 12 months ago

Meanwhile I wonder how much money Colorado made in sales tax and hotel tax revenue over the last weekend? How much have they made from approving medical use of herb?

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lawrenceloser 12 months ago

Phyllis Gilmore can stick it up where the sun don't shine.

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lawrenceloser 12 months ago

Looks like all is well in Brownbackistan. So they want to prosecute weed users and not alcohol-related problems. Where to they get their information?

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Scut Farkus 12 months ago

New York and Maryland each considered a program to randomly drug test those receiving welfare, but abandoned the plan as not cost-effective.

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ezbreezy 12 months ago

If the goverment won't make it mandatory for random drug screens then they should give an extra benefit for people to volunteer to give a urine sample. Ex: a small bonus check at the end of the year for neg drug screens. or an extra $5 bucks a month... Then that narrows down the more suspicious people.

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kansas_cynic 12 months ago

Are the Koch's now running drug testing labs?

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Bruce Bertsch 12 months ago

Lets look at the record. Florida did the same thing. Results...98% of recipients were clean. The cost per drug user amounted to around $168,000 of state funds spent. Fairness is not the issue, cost effectiveness is. This is a feel good plan that will accomplish absolutely nothing. Are there constitutional issues, you bet. But the main thing that should irritate the public is the complete waste of public funds, unless you own the testing contract, then you make out like a bandit.

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Kyle Chandler 12 months ago

I think all poor people should be rounded up and put into poor camps. Be forced to compete for a few minimum wage jobs until they 'clean up'. Then maybe they'll know their place!

They are all just a bunch of druggies, the poor that is. Im so proud of Kansas and Sam Brownback for being the first state to stand up to 'loose' WOMEN, the ELDERLY, the DISABLED and now the drugged out POOR.

Can i Get an AMEN!

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georgeofwesternkansas 12 months ago

I have been in a random drug testing pool for about 15 years. Could be tested tomorrow or next month. It is all done at work, no one comes to my home or even talks about it, because no one that works here uses. They pay us way too much to do somthing stupid. I don't see what the big deal is, unless you are using ilegal drugs. It's what I have to do to get my paycheck

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Kyle Neuer 12 months ago

Looks like welfare for the drug testing labs to me. I wonder where their campaign contributions went?

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12 months ago

Hmmm. A post I made a few minutes ago was deleted because evidently because I used some common slang. I changed the wording. Here's the amended post.

From the article "But unlike the Kansas law, Florida's requires all welfare applicants take a drug test, instead of only those with a "reasonable suspicion" of drug use."

On the surface this looks "benign" for want of a better word. However, who determines the "reasonable suspicion?" Will The Guv hire someone new from Florida (as he has before) to determine reasonable suspicion? What recourse does someone have if they're taking a prescribed medication that causes them to test positive. Additionally, there's evidence that eating poppy seeds in food (bagels, lemon poppy seed muffin, etc) will cause the same thing. What's next on the agenda, making those applying for TANF maintain a food diary? All this for $282 a month.

Unemployment is another matter. Most applications are made on line with updates on line. What is Brownbackistan going to do in this case, randomly force people to go to a clinic to be tested, then wait until the results are sent to the State for review? I know seasonal employees who are out of work for 2 or 3 month because of lack of work; they can draw unemployment. Is The Guv going to require them to be tested?

I wonder if they'll establish a political / theocratic purity test to determine who will be tested. Sounds like something The Guv would do. Similar to what the KS DOL was rumored to be doing with interviews right after he took office.

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Roland Gunslinger 12 months ago

LOL @ all the people above willing to just let the government trash your 4th Amendment rights. But "hands off" our 2nd Amendment rights.

Hypocites.

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Haiku_Cuckoo 12 months ago

You mean people are opposed to peeing in a cup in exchange for free money? Heck, I'd do that! Where do I sign up?

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TongiJayhawk 12 months ago

I'm conflicted, on one hand I can see why people would want folks tested if they are receiving taxpayer money. But where do you draw the line? Farmers are getting my tax dollars with farm programs. How do we know they don't have a drug problem anymore then someone who needs welfare? How about other business owners who receive taxpayer money for one thing or another? Should they be tested? I don't want my taxpayer money going to feed a drug habits, just not sure this could be done in a just manner. If it's about protecting taxpayers, probably should be all or none.

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skinny 12 months ago

I have to be tested to earn it. The government then takes it from me to give to the less fortunate. They too ought to be tested to get (My Money) it!!! Also please note, they do not have to take the drug test, nobody is making them!!

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Bob_Keeshan 12 months ago

It is neither hassle nor a help.

It is a big, expensive government program that will cost millions in taxpayer dollars to achieve few if any results. It is literally more wasteful than a $600 hammer at the Pentagon.

Yay conservatives! Yay Tea Partiers!

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oldexbeat 12 months ago

weed smoked stays in body 20-30 days -- meth -- what 3 days or so. Yup, this is a program against those that smoke weed. Period. Even though it is now legal in the next state over.

Guess that means Brownback isn't a libertarian. LOL. Clearly, making people suffer is part of his religion. Brownbackistan is the Hell Circle of Kansas. Does Sammy wear those weird metal things digging into his white soft legs and back ? Are there photographs of Brownback in a swimming suit ? No ? Hmmmm....

PS why do these rightwing nuts only care about the 2nd amendment ? I mean, the 1st, 4th, the 5th, etc., just don't matter to them. In fact, I suggest they don't understand them at all. Just holding a big gun -- that they understand. Keeping their churches out of my government, no....that is beyond them.

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Scut Farkus 12 months ago

No worries, just switch to alcohol and drink yourself into oblivion. You will still get your benefits.

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Norm Jennings 12 months ago

"There are provisions in the law to steer payments through another person to ensure that a child's benefits are continued"

WELL! THAT ought to about solve any concerns for the children. As long as the kids have the "Benjamins" then ANY other affects on the kids should be minor and irrelevant?? Right??

Who could foresee this going wrong?

...and the Titanic was unsinkable, sorry I'm suffering from ignorance overload.

I'm a veteran of twenty years, and I'm drug-tested for work. I don't feel like that has anything remotely to do with the circumstance here. My former, and current employers OWE it to my current co-workers (and formerly my fellow soldiers) to make a reasonable effort to ensure a reasonably effective/ safe workplace (as safe as circumstances allow). It was, and remains advisable to ensure that my work is performed without any negative impact of drug use for the safety of the end user/ customer. What co-worker, workplace, or consumer is Gov Brownback keeping safe with this testing?

He doesn't even appear to have any merit to an assertion of saving money.

Is there something stopping the good Governor for offering drug rehabilitation to those on welfare without mandatory testing? If this were truly the ultimate goal?

Is there any data to back the presumption that a single stint of rehab is typically successful? Does the Gov truly care?

All of you Polly Anna excuse makers just keep it up. Brownback is certainly the kind of leader that needs yes-men (of any gender) and lots of them. Too many independent thinkers in the electorate, and the Koch brothers might have to find another stooge to run Kansas for them!

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Tony Kisner 12 months ago

My pay check would stop if I flunked a drug test. And they do test and need zero suspicion just random testing. Seems like a choice to me I could smoke grass knowing I could loss my job, pretty clear.

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autie 12 months ago

Breaking the cycle of what? Poverty? Drug abuse? You have to be kidding me. Jeff King and Sam Brownback don't have a friggin clue about any of that. Family friendly? The tweaker will be laughing...at you. Oh my goodness...send them to drug rehab and job training....that is incredibly short sighted and stupid.

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1Dem 12 months ago

The Brownback administration can let us know in a year and again in another year how this program is doing. How many were tested, the results, the treatment, and how this experiment worked out. If we can believe the Browback statistics in the future we will learn just how cost effective this is and just how effective the program is at finding and treating applicants with drug problems.

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grammaddy 12 months ago

How is this supposed to save money? Only 2.8% of those tested in Florida were actually "dirty". Drug rehab and job training cost a lot more than what the averaqge welfare recipient gets. Where do the children of those people live in the meantime and what are they supposed to eat? Judging by some of Brownback's decisions in the last couple of years, maybe he should be first in line for testing.

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dabbindan 12 months ago

i see big discriminatory problems with "those suspected of taking illegal drugs".

apply it uniformly (and that includes the legislature) or not at all. do they think the words "i never suspected so and so would be a druggie" have never been spoken? do they actually think their "suspicions" will really be a reliable guide of who to test and who not to??? idiots all.

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Irenaku 12 months ago

I have received public assistance in the past and am receiving housing assistance now. However, I do not use drugs, and although I consider myself fairly progressive and liberal, I support the requirement of passing a drug test to receive public assistance. Why? Because I have seen too many people who are on assistance abuse the system, and it makes people like me, who are working to get off of assistance, look very bad. If you have money for meth, crack, pot or RX pills that you are abusing, then you have money for rent and food. Period. If you are not doing drugs, then you have nothing to worry about. And as for the comment that this is an invasion of privacy, well I have news for you, you already lose some amount of privacy if you go on assistance. Your bank statements are checked regularly, any 401K, any savings accounts or 529 Plans for your kids must be reported, if you receive housing assistance then you have to let the LDCHA come into your home at least once a year to inspect the conditions (I personally do not mind this, as it holds landlords accountable), if you are in college or any kind of vocational training, you have to submit class schedules and financial aid statements, etc. It is how it ought to be. Just mho.

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Dec84 12 months ago

In order to serve in the Military, (those that put their lives on the line, if for no other reason than for us to enjoy the freedoms of being able to log onto a blog page, and air our weightless opinions), you have to submit to UAs. Those receiving assistance, should very well be Testedperiod.com.

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SusabelleGee 12 months ago

I have a drug test requirement for my job, I see nothing wrong with this and I am not a Brownback lover. However, I think this could be a step in the right direction. There must be services though if they are going to do this. It will take extra funding to follow through and we need to figure out where these people will live and how they will eat if there is no money and how their kids will survive. IF this is done correctly it could be a great thing for tax payers. The verdict is out yet for me.

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yourworstnightmare 12 months ago

More heavy-handed, big government tactics from Brownback and the legislature.

On the surface of it, preventing drug abuse by the indigent poor is a good thing.

However, given Brownback's record and ideology, one doesn't trust that this is his motive. One is more inclined to think that Brownback is using this as a means to deny access to the program, thus shrinking it and fitting into his narrative of smaller social services and less government spending.

In the end I suppose it is alright, if one doesn't mind stepping over drug-addicted, homeless, indigent sleeping on the street and dying on one's door step.

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Phil Minkin 12 months ago

How about drug testing for gun purchases. We don't want drug crazed folks having dangerous weapons.

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gumbipika 12 months ago

The State of Florida spent $178 Million on this type of program over the last two years. What they found was 98% of all recipients passes the tests. The total savings to the state was a little over $60,000.

Now tell me this is responsible spending of tax payers dollars. Someone should drug test the Kansas elected officials!

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kanzen2424 12 months ago

Substance abuse and jobs training for those on public assistance could prove to be positive programs. However, this certainly does not sound like small government. It sounds pretty darned socialist. Maybe Sam is coming around and will start implementing more programs designed to help people. That would certainly be a welcome change.

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justme2 12 months ago

If Kansans who receive state benefits have to take a drug test in order to receive benefits, I believe Kansas politicians should also have to take a drug test in order to get paid. And any state employees. ANY Kansan who receives any money from the state. Fair's fair, right?

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Paul R Getto 12 months ago

The real crock is at Cedar Crest. Waste of time and money.

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Cindy Whiteley 12 months ago

What a crock! Opponents simply view any oversight as an unlawful challenge to their inalienable rights to buy drugs with money taxpayers have given to them.

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