Quick ruling sought for food stamp drug testing

CAPITOL NEWSLETTER
Matt Pommer • Wisconsin Newspaper Association

State officials are pushing for a quick federal court ruling that will allow Wisconsin to drug test single, able-bodied adults who get food stamps.

The plea to the courts came shortly after Gov. Scott Walker signed the 2015-2017 state budget bill which included the drugtesting idea.

Republican Walker is seeking to be the next president of the United States, and he often mentions his drug testing provisions in stops across America. He suggests it is a way to help people in his state. Those who test positive would need to get help or eventually lose food stamp eligibility.

But it also plays the “resentment” political card. Many citizens resent tax money going to those whom they think ought to get out and get a job.

That’s probably especially true if they are a different color. These folks are among the people former GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney called “takers.”

Wisconsin already is phasing in tough requirements that these same people actively get training and seek jobs. By mid-2017 fiscal experts estimated 114,000 single able -bodied citizens will be fully covered by those new training-job search requirements.

Earlier this year the state’s religious leaders unsuccessfully urged the Republican-controlled Legislature to reject Walker’s drug testing ideas. They noted there already are long waiting lists for treatment to drug addiction.

Those waiting lists mean that citizens may be punished rather than helped by the drug testing.

“We also do not believe that


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