To amend title III of the Social Security act to require a substance abuse risk assessment and targeted drug testing as a condition for the receipt of unemployment benefits, and for other purposes.
This was introduced by Jack Kingston, a Republican (obvi) from Georgia. There are a myriad of problems with this bill. One, we’ve already seen (thanks to Florida) that drug testing welfare recipients doesn’t work.
So why are we still so intent on treating the poor and the down-and-out like criminals? Kingston himself has made claims that companies want to hire people but “half” their options are on drugs. But that seems highly unlikely.
And why would we opt for a system that looses money on drug testing people, instead of using this money to help people get back to work?
The other thing that worries me about this bill is the wording that would allow it to randomly test people who are more “at risk” for drug use. And who would that be? People with prior drug charges? It doesn’t seem to specify, and so I feel like it wouldn’t be too bold of me to say this would likely effect minorities and people with a lower income. Right?
I know it’s actually a popular public sentiment to test recipients of government resources. But we need to think about what this would actually accomplish and how problematic this is. But those ideas are based off stereotypes and ignorance. People receiving unemployment generally already have guidelines they are following - applying for a certain number of jobs a week, etc.
Feel free to inbox me any comments/ideas, and I would encourage writing to your representative to oppose this bill.