Rep. Deshotel Challenges Gov. to Drug Test Elected Officials Not Just Needy Texans
My plan: Require Texas candidates to take an IQ test, that’ll really get ‘em sweating.
On Tuesday Governor Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst announced their support for drug testing applicants of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program. TANF was created to help families in need, particularly children, and already includes a provision that requires applicants to, “Train for a job or look for employment if capable” and, “not abuse drugs or alcohol.”
Texas has experimented with drug testing on a mass scale (High School athletes) and results have shown them to be a waste of taxpayer money. Earlier this year courts struck down Florida’s law that drug tested TANF applicants as unconstitutional, but the performance of the program itself makes the financial case for its failure. According to a New York Times report only 2% of applicants showed positive results costing the state almost 120,000 for a mere 4 months. The program ended up costing the state more to implement than it saved by denying benefits and did not reduce the total number of applicants.
Today (my father) State Rep. Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont) expressed his dismay that our state leaders would continue to propose laws that harass Texans who are struggling the most. He suggested that elected officials be drug tested to prove tax dollars aren’t going to “drug abusers”, but why stop there? What about students who receive financial aid, small business loan applicants or those seeking veteran benefits or Social Security?
See Deshottel’s full statement at link.