Getty Images By: Spencer Platt

Should Michigan's welfare recipients be tested for illegal drug use if suspected?

Well the Michigan Senate believes we must at least try this program out and see what happens.  Well I should say the Michigan Republicans believes so, the Michigan Senate Democrats believe we should enable drug users with your tax dollars.

On a 25-11 straight party-line vote Republicans supporting the testing and Democrats opposed it.  The Michigan Senate approved the bill, which would require the Department of Human Services to set up a pilot drug-testing program in three counties. The counties have yet to be selected.

The drug test would be administered if DHS had a suspicion that the welfare recipient was using illegal drugs. If they refuse the test or test positive, they would no longer receive their benefits.  Are you ok with this?

Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said the testing was needed to protect the children of drug users.  He stated The vote you’re about to take is not against the poor of this state. It’s for the children,” he said. “Children are starving, they’re hungry because their parents are abusing the welfare that we’re giving them.”

But Sen. Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield, said is it was wrong to single out poor people for testing thus he believe we should enable the drug user with your tax dollars.  He stated the following: I’m continually frustrated by the priorities of this Legislature and the ongoing attacks on the low-income residents of the state,” he said. “The companies we give tax breaks to are not required to be drug tested. We give out tax credits to schools, students and police and fire, and now the only ones subject to drug screening are the poorest of the poor.”

What the Michigan State Senator Mr. Gregory is not telling you, which means he is attempting to deceive you, is that the Senate approved amendments to the bill that would protect the benefits for children of parents who tested positive for illegal substances.  Also welfare recipients with medical marijuana cards or valid prescriptions for drugs will be exempted by the bill.

Those amendments will be sent the bill back to the House for concurrence.