Florida law requires it.
There’s a variation of it in Arizona and Missouri, too.
Just what is “it”?
It’s the requirement that people receiving welfare and food stamps submit to random drug testing.
And if some state lawmakers’ efforts pay off, West Virginia could be on that list, too.
The Mountain State wouldn’t be alone though. More than 20 states across the nation are seeking to adopt stricter laws that would require public aid recipients to take drug tests.
The issue is even gaining ground in Washington, D.C., where U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., has introduced a new version of the Welfare Integrity Act, which would require random drug testing to be performed on welfare recipients.
Closer to home, the bipartisan proposal in front of West Virginia lawmakers would impose random drug tests on welfare recipients and anyone getting an unemployment check. The proposal would stop a check going directly to the recipient after failing to come clean on a second test; the first positive test would direct a recipient to counseling.
The goal? Ultimately, the bill would prevent recipients from using tax dollars to buy drugs, helping curb the drug prevalence throughout the state. Plus, the measure takes steps to assure children in families where drugs have been detected won’t be denied money they need for essentials.
But officials are already voicing concerns that because the bill was assigned to three committees in the state Senate, it will be more difficult for it to reach the Senate floor for a vote. It first must go to the Health and Human Resources, chaired by Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone, a physician. From there it goes to Judiciary Chairman Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha. The final stop is Finance Chairman Roman Prezioso, D-Marion.
We hope the bill moves through the committees without the hassles of what freshman Sen. Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, described as a slowdown tactic.
“It’s obviously a mechanism to delay consideration of it by the full body,” Carmichael said. “I’m disappointed that it’s triple referenced. However, let everybody have a full and open debate on it. Send it to as many committees as they want to, and let’s get it moving.”
He referenced “overwhelming” public support for the bill, and it’s no surprise.
Think about it. How many people working in the public sector are required to undergo some sort of random drug testing? And don’t stop there — even some privately owned companies require it. Countless people in this state — and nation — submit to random drug testing and prove they are drug free in order to continue working and earning a paycheck.
Why should it be different for those receiving public assistance?
And it wouldn’t stop there. In an effort to “lead by example,” the measure would provide random drug screens for members of the Legislature. Lawmakers who test positive for drugs would face the forfeiture of their pay.
We think it’s past time for West Virginia to enact a law of this type. We hope each committee member — including Marion County’s own Roman Prezioso, if the bill makes it that far — gives the bill the careful consideration it deserves.
Passing this bill is a chance for the state to lead by example as well.
Florida law requires it.
Miner’s Day: Recognize contributions and sacrifice
We must always recognize the contributions and sacrifice of our nation’s miners.
That’s a message being reinforced today, the fourth annual National Miner’s Day.
The observance was the dream of Fairmont artist Creed Holden, a Doddridge County native who moved to Marion County to attend Fairmont State.
United Way’s success string can continue with county’s generosity
One hundred and five thousand dollars.
That’s how much the United Way needs to reach its 2013-14 goal.
That goal is $425,000. And it’s a goal that has been topped only once here in Marion County. A total of $320,000 has been collected thus far, and that figure is impressive.
Renovations, improvements key steps to safer schools
In the nearly 12 months since the horrific shooting of 20 innocent students and six staff members at an elementary school in Connecticut, school security has remained an important issue.
Should Black Friday start on Thanksgiving?
George Takei, once just a character actor on a hokey 1960s television show, has found a new life as a social media guru. A very unlikely one.
Giving people of county help bring magic to holiday season
We want to simply say thank you to the people of Marion County.
Dealing with local small businesses is win-win option to strongly consider
With Thanksgiving in the past, the thoughts of shoppers are now on Christmas.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become common terms for big shopping days as consumers rush to purchase those special gifts for loved ones.
Pondering our precious blessings on Thanksgiving
We have reached another season and the celebrated day of Thanksgiving.
Safe driving critical during busy holiday travel season
Many of our readers will be going over a river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house this holiday. And whether it be a couple of exits or a couple of states away, there will be some time spent driving to Grandma’s.
Generosity can make this Friday’s Christmas Toy Shop biggest, best in its five-year history
Every child deserves a good Christmas.
That’s the philosophy that led to the first Christmas Toy Shop on “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, in 2009.
Ready for some robust Christmas shopping?
Well, Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat.
Maybe not too fat. The goose may be a little thin these days. With all that’s going on right now — recovering from a government shutdown, furloughs, a budget battle — people don’t really feel good about the economy. And when people don’t feel good about the economy, retailers worry.
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- Miner’s Day: Recognize contributions and sacrifice