Drug testing food stamp recipients?

NATIONAL (WCIA) -- Wisconsin is looking to become the first state to drug-test people who receive food stamps. Governor Scott Walker (R) is leading the push.

If approved, Illinois may try to follow suit. It's been brought up in the General Assembly previously, but never gained enough support. It's an idea most Republicans support.

When hearing the idea, some GOP members say people who get money from the state should be held accountable. However, it's not as simple as it sounds.

On a federal level, these bills have been shot down in other states and deemed unconstitutional. Florida passed and implemented a drug-test requirement, but a federal appeals court blocked it, stating it violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.

One GOP lawmaker says, without enough research, it's possible it could end up costing more to drug-test people.

Despite problems in the past, Governor Walker intends to move forward and hopes President Trump will be on his side and prevent a federal court from blocking it.

The Wisconsin legislature has four months to review the change. It could take up to a year if it passes before testing would begin.

Of course, it's expected lawsuits will follow, unless the federal government doesn't step in first. Illinois will be watching to see what happens and could spark the debate in the Statehouse next year.

Under Wisconsin's plan, people who use food stamps and fail a drug-test would be eligible for state-funded rehabilitation treatment if they don't have another way to pay for it.

Illinois had similar legislation like this previously, but it never received enough support.


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