Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Drug Testing for Benefits: ‘What’s the right thing for the kids’

Ohio Governor John Kasich recently indicated that he would rather see welfare recipients who are on drugs get help for the addiction than have their public benefits pulled, reported the Columbus Dispatch. His stance appears to buck Republicans in Ohio and other states seeking to tie benefits to one’s ability to pass a drug test.

“There are a lot of people hurting out there, and so I’m not sure this is the time to start saying to them, ‘If you want to get something, you’ve got to go through these hoops,’  ” Kasich said, responding to a question from the audience after his speech in Columbus to a conference of Ohio county commissioners and engineers.

On tying welfare benefits to drug tests, Kasich listed a host of reasons to pause, including considering the children of parents who fail drug tests, sending people who fail tests to rehab, and privacy laws that could prevent the tests, according to the Dispatch.

“You’ve got to balance the taxpayers off about what’s the common-sense thing to do with the right thing to do, the compassionate thing to do,” Kasich said. “What’s the right thing for the kids?”

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