Video: Texas Governor Rick Perry Wants to Drug Test Unemployed People


Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) said, on Tuesday, that he’s supporting State Senate Bill 11, which would require applicants for unemployment benefits and food stamps to submit to drug screenings (video below), reports

Gov. Perry said: “We have to remember a core mission that has been trusted to us by the people of the state: to wisely and prudently safeguard the taxpayer’s dollars and empower every Texan to reach their potential."

“This will help prevent tax dollars from going into the pockets of drug abusers or drug dealers, and instead ensure this money goes to someone who truly needs it. Every dollar that goes to someone who uses it inappropriately is a dollar that can’t go to a Texan who needs it for housing, for child care or for medicine.”

Senate Bill 11, proposed by Texas Sen. Jane Nelson,  focuses on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, but companies that receive subsidies and government money will not be required to submit to drug tests.

Similar state drug testing laws have been struck down in other states, or blocked in Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott tried the same thing.

ACLU Texas Policy Director Rebecca Robertson said in an statement: “Drug tests are particularly invasive searches, and under our Constitution, the government cannot conduct such searches unless it has a good reason to believe a person is actually engaged in wrongdoing. This [proposed] law authorizes government over-reach by allowing arbitrary searches without any suspicion that a crime is being committed.”


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