To the Editor: Requiring drug testing for Ohio welfare recipients just not right
Written by Esther Nagel   
Saturday, 02 November 2013 08:57
To the Editor:
A bill has been introduced in the Ohio legislature requiring drug testing of welfare recipients.
I object. If this law passes, will welfare recipients be subjected to drug testing because they receive money from the state? I went online to and clicked on the Business tab. I then clicked on Business Grants, Loans and Tax Credits. A long list came up of agencies that receive money from the state of Ohio. Two agencies listed are Business Incentive Grant Servicing and Ohio Vacant Facilities Fund. Do the persons receiving these monies need to take a drug test?
This bill reflects a negative view that people receiving welfare are up to no good. This is not true, loads of people who are on welfare are not on drugs. And, from all the news reports on drugs, there must be people who are not on welfare but are on drugs.
From Gene King, director of the Ohio Poverty Law Center, says the bill is more about politics than policy. He says "There's no evidence that drug addiction is more prevalent in Ohio Works First populations than in the general population, it's a bill based on bias against poor people ... is invasive and subject to legal challenge." Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, calls is a punitive bill. "It assumes guilt before innocence and imposes expensive testing on those who struggle the hardest in our state, we should be exploring ways to address unmet needs, not ways to take away eligible benefits."
Please join me in contacting your state legislators and urge them not to pass this bill.
Esther Nagel

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