Bills Requiring Welfare Recipients To Pass Drug Tests; Do Volunteer Work Move Through Michigan Legislature

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The Michigan State Senate has approved a measure that requires able-bodied welfare recipients to show a little good faith if they’re willing to ask for, and receive, government assistance.

According to CBS Detroit, the State Senate passed a bill requiring those receiving public assistance to perform volunteer work. The House Commerce Committee, meanwhile, has vetted a separate bill that would require periodic drug testing, and that would revoke the benefits of any recipient who declines to take the tests, or tests positive.

“The whole intention is to make certain folks have some skin in the game, and I don’t feel that there’s any problem with making folks go out and do some kind of community service in order to receive their cash assistance,” said Republican State Senator Joe Hune, who sponsored the volunteer bill.

The legislation isn’t sitting well with some Democrats, though. “These people, they already need as much money as they can get, they wouldn’t be asking for it if they didn’t need it,” said Democratic State Senator Vincent Gregory. “… A lot of people are embarrassed to even be there [asking for benefits], and they have this put on them — It’s this feeling that ‘This is what the public wants.’ But the public doesn’t want to see people beaten down.”

The legislation has been written to allow for a lot of leeway in its implementation, with Hune noting that the State’s Department of Human Services is better equipped than elected politicians to implement the new programs on a functional level – should the two bills become law.

An accompanying viewer poll on the CBS Detroit website asked readers, “Should People Be required To Perform Community Service To Receive Welfare?”

At last check, the “yesses” had a slight lead over the “nos” – 97.23 percent to 2.77.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • rhcrest

    LOL!Slight lead over the no’s. It’s about time they did something like this!

    • CWA

      With such a slim margin, the “nos” will probably demand a recount.

      • Robert Messmer

        And then take it to court.

  • jaybird

    I watched a video of governors and Nikki Haley gave a speech, their state has gotten 18,000 people off welfare. They come into the welfare office and are set up with job counselor (which they were not aware that it was going to happen). Smart governor.

    • Amerikanisch

      Here in Cali we have millions on welfare. A third of the country’s welfare recipients live here.

      • mandinka

        and a 1/3 of them are illegals

        • Amerikanisch

          At least. The Dems want to make them legal so they can all vote…for more free stuff.

        • Dan Ketter is impotent and fat

          DANMandinkaKETTER is a lazy welfare recipient. Gets a big fat government pension with disability…all for just making coffee for generals and carrying their golf clubs around. Did he pay into it or earn it? Nope! Nuttin but a freeloader pickpocketing off the working taxpayers. That should be illegal.

      • Timothy Sullivan

        Among them Pelosi and Feinstein!

        • liz

          Pelosi needs the money to pay for her private jet!!!

    • MargaretJacobson

      Can we send governor Martin O’Malley there for lessons in common sense ? Please maryland needs a lot of common sense solutions !

    • Robert Messmer

      South Carolina has progressed since I was there attending USC at Columbia. And then my return visit to Ft. Jackson for both basic and AIT.

  • jimmie smith

    It’s only fair, if you’re going to test me for working to pay for your welfare…it’s only fair that you should be required to do the same…

    • liz

      Agree!!!!

    • Robert Messmer

      It is not the welfare recipients that are testing you, it is the company you work for. If you don’t like it, change companies.

      • jimmie smith

        You missed the point!

        • Robert Messmer

          No jimmie you missed the point because apparently since you don’t have to pay for your tests (employer does) you think they are free. They are not free. It costs more to test them than the state will ever save by eliminating one or two.

  • Dcp5674

    Finally, you want government money, you have to work for it. Best idea I’ve heard in awhile.

    • MargaretJacobson

      I hope someone from Baltimore Maryland gets the idea that everyone on welfare put a little pee in a cup !! Man, woman alike ! Also fingerprint everyone one of them too ! That way we can catch a few of those getting stamps in more than one name ?

  • CWA

    I am in favor of volunteer work.. When I was going to college, I spent four years doing volunteer work at City Hall. The government was paying for my classes and books, so I figured I was paying it back.

  • Vis Fac

    I don’t believe it: a republican in office for Michigan? What have they been ingesting? Smart water? We all know Detroit is the cesspool of Michigan being liberally controlled for 60+ years and the state was soon to follow Maybe there’s hope yet.

    Libertas inaestimabilis res est
    Semper-Fi

    • Alex

      Wow, Farce Recong—you REALLY do not follow current events at all, do you?

      You do not know who Rick Snyder is? Do you not get paper deliveries or cable in that dark, acrid space under the slimy rock you inhabit?

  • JimH

    I have a CDL. Drivers are randomly drug tested. If you are spending money on drugs, don’t expect the tax payers to provide that money.
    Welfare should just be a hand up, for someone down on their luck, to get back on their feet. It shouldn’t be a career path, or a hand out to enable a dead beat addict.

  • someday

    I think this is a great idea, but why stop there? Would it not be prudent to require the politicians who voted for this bill to also pee in a cup to receive their government check? And when they retire & start collecting their welfare check (oops, I mean pension) make sure they stay clean by making them get tested quarterly? It doesn’t matter to me whether you collect money from government through welfare, unemployment, government worker, or of course our perfect representatives, the people’s money should not go to anyone that can’t live up to that standard! There is no politician who would have the balls to ask there colleagues to live up to the standards that would be required of the poor.

    • mandinka

      Better still every MI resident who works in any capacity for the govt or receives 1 penny in city state or federal benefits should be required to pee in a cup and do community service

  • Chester

    One BIG question, WHO gets to decide who is able bodied and who isn’t? Also, who gets to decide whether the prescription medication you are taking should show up in your urine as a controlled substance or not? The way that is worded, an old man who has a bad heart CAN be put out sweeping the streets, as he CAN get up and walk to the bathroom. Have seen all that, and worse.

    • mandinka

      WHO???? OI can tell you those big fat asses sitting all day watching soaps are more than able bodied. Its incumbent on the RECEIPTENT to prove they can’t work

    • mandinka

      WHO???? OI can tell you those big fat asses sitting all day watching soaps are more than able bodied. Its incumbent on the RECEIPTENT to prove they can’t work

      • Dan Ketter is impotent and fat

        DANMandinkaKETTER gets a big fat government hand out every month from his military pension and disability…all for just serving the General coffee and bagels and caddying for him on the base golf course. How much did fatass Dan pay into his retirement? ZERO!

        • Chester

          Mr. Jones, will tell you right now that anyone who spent their time in the service, REGARDLESS of what you think of one of the jobs they might have had to do, deserves EVERY cent they get in retirement OR disability.

          • Dan Ketter is impotent and fat

            You can call me William;-)
            Nope, he’s a freeloader who never worked a day in his life. Playing servant boy to a general is not being a real airman, or serving your country. Probably got his foot run over by a golf cart for the disability. He’s just BLEEDING off us taxpayers, what he does best.

          • Chester

            Sir, you do NOT just step into a job like that, regardless of who your mom or dad might be. You either do boot camp, or you do, at a minimum, OCS, depending on whether you get to wear gold on your cap, or a plain black band. To get to that type of position, you do have to do your basic training, regardless of whether you are enlisted or officer, then you MIGHT get moved into an office setting where you can meet all those ranking officers. As I said earlier, ANY retired military, whether for time in service or disabled, earned every penny of his or her benefits. Sounds as if you are more that a little jealous, rather than having a legitimate beef.

          • Dan Ketter is impotent and fat

            Nope, anybody who wears a servant’s tuxedo or golf clothes instead of a military uniform is not an airman or soldier or sailor. His only hazard in battle was being hit by stray goofballs and runaway golf carts. He never WORKED a day in his life, and continues to bleed off the U.S. taxpayers with a BIG FAT pension for his recreational services to his country.

          • Chester

            Again, you do NOT get to that kind of position just by signing on the dotted line. Have a very strong suspicion that the man in question has spent a good amount of time IN uniform, long before being allowed to become a caddy, gofer, or whatever you prefer to call him. If he is drawing a MILITARY pension, disabled or whatever, he WAS in the service, NOT just a gofer for some general. Don’t see anyone going straight from induction to gofer, ever. Regardless of what you, personally think of the man in question, perhaps you should actually TALK to him, instead of jumping to conclusions about why he is where he is, and why he might or might not have been doing when you seem to have had some personal knowledge of him.

          • Dan Ketter is impotent and fat

            Nope, he didn’t serve his country like other men and women; he only served his general for recreational and servant purposes, like golfing and washing cars. He don’t deserve a cent of that big fat pension and disability he keeps fleecing from the taxpayers. With his work ethic, he should have been in the French Air Force.

          • Gib74

            ‘Never worked a day in his life’?

            Sounds a lot like the people living in the White House.

      • Chester

        Apparently the doctor’s statement that allowed them to be there in the first place isn’t worth the paper it is written on.

    • Robert Messmer

      Good point Chester. There was a two year delay between the time my wife’s regular doctor had said she was permanently and totally disabled and the time that SS agreed.

    • Gib74

      I saw lots of old men out on the streets in Krygyzstan, the other ‘stans, and Eastern Europe.

      Get over it.

      • Chester

        Funny thing is, this is the United States of America, or was the last time I looked, NOT one of the ‘stans, or eastern Europe. We used to care more for our elderly and disabled than that. Not so sure any more, with more and more being done to ensure they DON’T get to live a decent life.

  • Dave

    I’m a big believer in hand ups! Not handouts. Hope washington State gets the message.

  • Alex

    Like so many others, I too was quite surprised to learn that the incidence of positive drug tests amongst those receiving public aid was substantially LOWER than those who were NOT receiving same.

    The unexpected findings indicate that said testing would cost FAR MORE than any savings resulting from culling the welfare rolls of self-medicators.

    Awesome, what a little research can accomplish….

    • Robert Messmer

      Thank you Alex.

  • Leon Barber

    A great idea, would beat sitting at home doing nothing. Also like drug testing part, if the people still working and paying taxes to make your hand up possible are being drug tested, then you also should be tested.

  • http://stalkchron.blogspot.com/ Snobert

    It’s about time these free loaders are made to do some work for these welfare benefits rather than just sit on their asses, doing drugs, making babies, and causing trouble for those of us who do work. I however, do feel sympathetic toward Targeted Individuals (Google it) who had to be on welfare simply because their own government mobbed them out of work then blocked them from finding other jobs. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m starting to feel hopeful that you will pretty soon in light of that Navy Yard shooting incident (Google that plus “ELF weapons”).

  • rabs

    i think back in the early eightysthe gov started drug testingon the american workers ; then the american people said that the gov. workers had to take drug test also. Come to find out government workers were FAILING DRUG TEST ! THEN THE GOV. POLITICS SAID THEY DIDNT HAVE TOO. so again one way street.

  • IBCAMN

    this is a good idea,why would someone even think it’s not?the people/families that are on welfare,they have time to donate,some people could bring families to a daycare were as the kids can be with other kids while the parent does their part for the community!it all is good.time well spent,if they don’t want to do any work,somethings wrong!if their handicap does not allow it,get a note from the county doc!as for anyone who does not pass piss test,throw them out or put them in a drug program with a high success rate!applaud these people who support this bill!it’s a great idea!
    if they can sit around doing drugs,they don’t need gov’t help!!if they are handicapped,have proof from county appointed doctor!(or specialist)what’s the problem with any of that?

    • Robert Messmer

      The problem is that drug tests cost money Lets say they test 10,000 people at $100 per test, that is 1 million dollars gone down the drain. It could have gone to infrastructure, welfare, maybe a teacher’s raise but not now cause it has been flushed down the drain. Now some might say well let them pay for it. Excuse me, when you applied for that job that requested drug testing, did you pay for it or did the company? The company paid for it and in this case it would be the Welfare Department. Now pretty much all the posters say they have no problem with helping those that truly need help, just don’t want to help “cheats, and druggers”. So mommy and daddy fail their piss tests, no benefits and enrolled into drug rehab. So far, so good, but what about their four kids? They didn’t fail the test and they truly need help. Means appointing someone (at state expense) as caretaker to receive food stamps, etc for the children, do the shopping, and home inspections to make sure mommy and daddy aren’t selling the food for drugs. As to the volunteer community work, just how many uneducated, unskilled jobs are there that are not getting done already? Or are you going to fire minimum wage employees thereby driving them onto the welfare roles?

  • Bentrim

    Be up to me anyone except the disabled receiving any form of support from the government would HAVE TO do something to receive it. Some type of community service so the tax payers are relieved of their burden. I’m tired of hearing (and knowing) of those on welfare that live high on the hog (big screen TVs, expensive clothing, latest smart phones, and many other things that most working folks can’t afford). We need to get these habitual freeloaders of the dole. As for the “single moms” getting an increase with every baby–I would allow one “mistake” with NO increase for more. And if a father is not named or will not support then all support would stop!!
    As it goes they should receive what they need and will consume only. NO checks. Nothing monetarily.
    As for drug users. No test or positive test. NO “benefits”. Instant enrollment in a drug rehab and extra community service in a hospital, and NO benefits until proven clean. By the way I feel the same applies to our legislatures. They want to mandate how we live and party on for themselves. Just heard they again want to shut down the government, No body would get paid EXCEPT them!!! Vote them out EVERY election, and VOTE!!!!

  • liz

    It will never happen, too many gimmes will vote it down or too many liberals will stop it if passed, they will say it infringes on their rights and sue,

    • Bentrim

      Just maybe the paymaster (slave) should stop paying (taxes) If every one stopped the jails could not hold us all!!! AND what about the infringement of OUR rights?? Of paying unnecessarily high taxes and being able to enjoy the fruits of our labor?? I truly thought the slaves were freed. We are the slave, they are our Master. Just remember keep on working, and work harder and longer there are millions of freeloaders waiting for their next check after all they need that high def big screen or another fix. I don’t mind at all help folks that have a NEED, but do have an issue with those on the dole that CAN help themselves

  • Guest

    Not only that, if such recipients come up positive for drugs on their test, they should be banned for life from ever receiving welfare again in the future. Hit them where it really hurts, and add some brass balls to such a bill. It would be nice to see this kind of bill nationally. But, there are as many on welfare and other government programmes as there are taxpayers, so I will not hold out any hope that those of us who still pay taxes will ever be allowed to have a say in where our money goes, and whose mouths we feed. For the something-for-nothings, you-owe-me’s have more rights and representation than the taxpayers.

  • ChuckS123

    At times people say that people on welfare can’t find jobs. If that was true, they should definitely be willing to do some work.