Today in North Carolina: Drug testing for welfare


From WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina, this report on debate for a bill to require welfare applicants to pass a drug test:

Tempers flared after Bill Rowe with the N.C. Justice Center told lawmakers similar legislation in Florida and Michigan has been struck down by courts as unconstitutional.

“Our Fourth Amendment doesn’t allow suspicion-less testing of people,” Rowe said. “There’s no decision that says this is OK.”

Rowe also cited studies that show drug use is no more common among TANF recipients than in the general public.

Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union, argued with Rowe.

“You’re OK with (drug users) getting federal dollars if they’ve had a doobie and get the munchies and need more food stamps?” Tucker asked. “Sit down.”

The Senate committee voted to advance the bill. The plan is for welfare applicants in North Carolina to foot the $100 or more for the testing upfront, then get reimbursed if they passed. WRAL says no one could say where the money for reimbursements would come from.