Michigan State Rep. Jeff Farrington Wants to Drug Test Welfare Recipients

Michigan State Rep. Jeff Farrington (R) has introduced legislation that would require low-income families with children and pregnant women to pass a drug test before receiving temporary government assistance.

In his proposed legislation, Rep. Farrington did not include wealthy people who receive government aid in the form of corporate tax breaks and subsidies.

The legislation requires applicants to the state’s Family Independence Program to pay for the drug test, even if the test fails to uncover drug use.

The Family Independence Program helps impoverished families pay for living expenses, including rent, heat, utilities and personal care items.

Michigan previously tried to implement a welfare drug testing law, but it was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 2003.

At the time, U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts stated that testing welfare recipients “could be used for testing the parents of all children who received Medicaid, State Emergency Relief, educational grants or loans, public education or any other benefit from that State.”


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