Proposed plan would force drug testing for some food stamp recipients

Trump administration proposal would allow states to require drug testing for some food stamp recipients

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sued in 2015 to be able to give drug tests to adults applying for food stamps

With the United States facing an opioid epidemic, McGovern further raised concerns about what would happen if SNAP recipients failed drug tests under the administration's plan.

Scott Walker speaks in Madison, Wis., on January 30.

Under the Trump administration, states may soon be allowed to require some people on food stamps to pass a drug test before they can receive their benefits, reviving a pointless and stigmatizing policy that has always been favored in conservative circles. "The courts have found that drug testing someone is a search and it's not a justified search; it's not a reasonable search". A federal judge tossed the suit in 2016, but Walker renewed his request for permission later that year, after Donald Trump had won the presidency but before he took office.

"Those that are able to work should be drug tested before they get food stamps", said Oscar Ross".

The proposal under review would be narrowly targeted, applying mostly to people who are able-bodied, without dependents and applying for some specialized jobs, according to an administration official briefed on the plan. The report cites internal emails that show United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials have been preparing for an announcement since February.

"Any kind of legislation you do to drug test people which is a common sense type of measure to make sure that the public assistance that the taxpayers are paying for goes to paying for actual food instead of paying for somebody's drug habit, but I think any kind of solution that we have has to be to help to make sure that person gets off drugs to get them the treatment they need; not be a punitive measure or a stick to be used against them".

This news comes as part of a much broader push to limit federal food assistance more generally.

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The Bank of England is nevertheless expected to raise its benchmark interest rates to 0.75% when officials meet next month. Meanwhile, retail inflation hit a five-month low at 4.28% in March compared with 4.44% in February.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, sued the USDA in 2015 for blocking the state from drug testing adults applying for food stamps. "It's costly and cumbersome".

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. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 20 states have introduced legislation to screen safety net program recipients in some way.

In December, Walker began moving ahead with a workaround, drug testing participants in the state's Employment and Training Program who also received food stamps.

"As a former governor, I know first-hand how important it is for states to be given flexibility to achieve the desired goal of self-sufficiency for people", he has said.

"I think if there's a red flag for certain people", one resident said.

Others disagreed. Some argued that there should be some type of reason behind the testing.

Conservative leaders have long pushed to make drug-testing a prerequisite for social welfare programs, including SNAP.

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