Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Plan would allow drug testing for some food stamp recipients

Plan would allow drug testing for some food stamp recipients

The Trump administration is considering a plan that would allow states to drug test some food stamp recipients. Conservatives support the idea.

It would apply to about 5 percent of people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), according to the source. "If you have a job you have to get drug tested, so why not when you get food stamps?" one resident said. Viral petition asks for food stamps to pay for pet food Back in 2015, a lawsuit filed by Wisconsin's governor against the USDA for blocking drug tests was eventually thrown out.

In states where drug testing for welfare recipients has been successfully implemented, the success of such programs, especially when measured against their cost, remains the subject of dispute.

Current federal rules prohibit states from imposing additional requirements on SNAP-eligible families, and previous attempts to do so have not fared well in the courts. At least 15 states passed laws allowing drug testing for recipients of temporary assistance.

He said if lawmakers were to write legislation that'd allow for individualized drug testing that could stick; however, they'd have to prove that wouldn't be unconstitutional.

Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not taken a public position on drug testing under Trump, Secretary Sonny Perdue lauded the president for signing an executive order this week that "calls for lifting American citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence and from poverty to prosperity".

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The emails obtained by the AP suggest that a plan could be forthcoming.

For an officer to do this or to seize your property they need probable cause; in this case, a reason to force someone to take a drug test.

"In the area where I live, a lot of people do a lot of drugs, and I feel if you can afford those drugs, maybe you wouldn't need food stamps if that is where your money is going", Robinson said.

If approved, it would not be the first time drug testing was used in a safety net program.

The emails also show that USDA is weighing the possibility of scaling back a policy now enacted in 42 states that automatically grants food stamp eligibility to households that qualify for non-cash assistance, like job training and childcare. The food box plan was tucked into the Trump administration's proposed 2019 budget, which included cutting the SNAP program by $213 billion over the next 10 years.

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