Michigan’s GOP governor Rick Snyder, who’s known for being at the helm of power as thousands of Flint residents were poisoned with lead, now has to explain why his drug testing program for welfare applicants was such a total failure.
Out of the 303 people tested by the “Family Independence Program,” exactly zero tested positive.
The experimental program is set to end on September 30 and has received $300,000 in state funding. A state spokesperson, however, said that only $300 of the funding has been spent so far. According to the Guardian, Wisconsin congresswoman Gwen Moore said drug-testing welfare applicants is “blatantly unacceptable” and promotes the stereotype that people in poverty are more likely to be drug addicts than “wealthier individuals who are beneficiaries of government programs.”
“Congresswoman Moore finds it shameful that states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida continue to push these discriminatory policies under the guise of fiscal responsibility,” Moore’s communications director told the Guardian.
“Drug-testing struggling families and individuals as a condition of eligibility for vital, life-saving social services is blatantly unacceptable and the insinuation that those battling poverty are somehow more susceptible to substance abuse is as absurd as it is offensive.”
From Raw Story:
The program allows health department officials to require applicants to go through a drug test based on the results of the 50-question screening process. Refusal to do so disqualifies them from receiving financial assistance for six months. However, none of the applicants reportedly refused to go through the test.
Other states with similar programs also netted little evidence of drug use among welfare recipients. According to Think Progress, out of 2,783 applicants in Kansas, 11 tested positive for substance use.
As the Guardian reported last week, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) recently proposed a measure that would make drug tests mandatory for people reporting deductions of more than $150,000 on their tax returns.
Featured image: Michigan Municipal League (Flickr)