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Controversy Over Drug Testing Of Welfare Recipients

Pennsylvania is one state in the country where the lawmakers have passed a resolution that makes it mandatory for welfare recipients in some categories to undergo drug testing. This has sparked controversy on how to pass a drug test among those who depend upon state assistance to survive as they are totally opposed to any drug testing to receive help. The law applies specifically to those who have been convicted of a drug offense that classifies as felony.

Authorities are of the view that if people who have been earlier convicted for drug related felony is to receive state assistance for living; they must pass a drug test to show that they are clean. Senator David Argall, who is a strong supporter of the law, has cited the examples of states like Arizona, Ohio, Louisiana, and Oklahoma that have initiated pilot programs to similar effects. Public Welfare department of the sate of Pennsylvania has chosen Schuylkill County along with 2 others to test pilot the program before it is applied to the entire state.

David Argall has said that this step will help save taxpayers money and also punish those who cheat the system by receiving state assistance and misuse it on drugs. He said that the people that he represented want to make it sure that taxpayers money is not wasted in any manner and not a single penny out of this money gets used for buying illegal drugs. Other 2 counties have not yet been named but the program will be initiated in the three counties in such a fashion that the law gets implemented across the state by coming August.

However, the law is being opposed by Carol Koursaros, executive director of Community Action Program, saying that this program may hinder reform of those found offenders earlier or those who are on their way of being reformed.