Walker is pushing for the GOP controlled legislature to move forward on a bill that would require everyone receiving or applying for unemployment insurance benefits and foods stamps (FoodShare/Quest Card) to undergo drug testing.
By H. Nelson Goodson
September 14, 2014
Madison, WI - Governor Scott Walker (R) wants for everyone applying or receiving unemployment insurance benefits and foods stamps (Quest Card) to be tested for drugs. Walker's reasoning, because employers require for employees to be drug free.
He also wants to cut off a year in unemployment benefits and funding for programs offering public aid. If Walker really wants drug testing, then he and all public elected officials, state workers and police should also get drug tested as well. Governor Walker, state elected representatives and senators including state workers get paid by the state from taxpayer revenues and should get drug tested. Walker should also move and propose for a cut in salaries for the GOP elected officials, himself and compensate the cut with food stamps. But one thing for sure, that will never happen during Walker's term.
Some states and the Wisconsin GOP controlled legislature attempted to enact drug testing for those seeking state aid, but the federal government halted the GOP drug testing move. Extended unemployment benefits and food stamps are funded by the federal government.
Will Governor Walker also propose for state citizens that are now required a state ID or license to vote in November to also get drug tested? Will the state now require for those applying for Conceal Carry and driver's licenses to get drug test? How far can citizens seat idle and allow their elected representatives, senators and governor intrude in their private lives?
Walker and the GOP legislature should focus on job creation and investing more revenue into programs that help the unemployed find jobs and those who apply of food stamps, so the recipients can spend more in their local communities to boost the state economic.
Governor Walker hasn't projected the cost of drug testing thousands of food stamps and unemployed recipients receiving benefits. The drug testing approach by the Walker administration can end up costing Wisconsin taxpayers millions.
Governor Walker is facing a strong Democratic challenger, Mary Burke and most who are receiving unemployment benefits and food stamps will most likely vote to replace Walker in the upcoming November election. Walker's timing in proposing drug testing for those who are unemployed not because of their own fault deserve better, than a governor trying to boost his ratings during election year. Maybe Walker is getting bad advice, since he will already have a difficult time convincing women voters to support him when he failed to approve a bill to penalize employers who continue to pay women less than men. Statewide Latinos who just became a majority and surpassed the Afro-American population will also have a difficult time supporting Walker, since he opposed in-state tuition for Wisconsin DREAMers and driver licenses for the undocumented in the state.
In late August, the Legislative Physical Bureau reported that revenue collections fell by 2.0% ($281M) during the fiscal year that ended in June. Tax collections fell by 1.0% instead of the projected rise of 1.0% the Walker administration had anticipated. The 2013-2014 revenue shortfall is blamed on Walker's tax breaks for wealthy employers.
Wisconsin is facing a $1.7B projected structural deficit for the next budget and a $115M deficit for this budget.