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.
A complete commitment: When fathers become dads
On the third Sunday of June each year, we observe Father’s Day. This is extra special to Fairmont because the first celebration was observed here in The Friendly City. Over the years of annual observance, the role of father has taken on many new and varied duties.
What’s the solution for funding highways?
There was a time when the federal government put substantial highway dollars in the states to match funds for projects.
That was two wars and a recession ago, though. That was when Congress had its differences but could pass a bill or two every now and again.
Valley Falls great recreational area, but don’t ignore the rules on safety
The signs at Valley Falls State Park couldn’t be more clear:
“Danger. Rocks are slippery. Hazardous currents and rapids. Swimming and wading prohibited.”
The signs also note that alcoholic beverages are prohibited and that the minimum fine for violating the rules is $167.
Following court decision, let’s move on, see FGH ‘grow and thrive’
We don’t think anyone would argue the point that our community and its leaders need to be forward-thinking, forward-moving and focused on the bricks that will pave the pathway to the future.
Sometimes there’s a disagreement about that future. And sometimes those disagreements have to be settled.
Gary Price strong as superintendent, in position to bring stability to schools
“An evaluation of a superintendent is not intended to find fault, but is a measuring tool to see how effective one is doing and see if any improvement or concentration in any area needs to be worked out to make one better.”
This was Marion County Board of Education president James Saunders reading a prepared statement prior to going into discussion about the status of Superintendent Gary Price.
Livelihood of people at center of Patriot Coal case
The bankruptcy of Patriot Coal is far more complicated than many of us will ever understand.
What complicates it is people. This isn’t just about paperwork and reorganization. The livelihood of workers and those who spent years in the mine are at stake here.
Relay for Life: A reason to give thanks but much work to be done
The annual Marion County Relay for Life was held Friday inside the Falcon Center on the shared campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College — moved indoors for the first time because of weather. It was held three weeks after Mannington’s Relay for Life, also a growing, annual event held this year at Hough Park.
Judge’s ruling about Patriot Coal is ‘tragic’ and a ‘travesty’
We wonder how many readers were angered when they read the top story in the Times West Virginian on May 30.
D-Day reminder of ‘great and noble undertaking’ made during World War II
It was nearly 70 years ago that Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was offering the following words to soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force:
All must invest time, effort and funding to keep our children safe
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare — watching your child taken away in an ambulance following an accident, not knowing the full extent of their injuries.
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