Editorial: Drug testing for welfare recipients

Because of the economic downturn people are struggling to keep up with their expenses and getting through their day-to-day. Applying for welfare has become an option for many in need. Others argue that some welfare recipients take advantage of the benefits that taxpayers help fund.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 over 16 percent of Californians were living below the poverty line  $10,830 for an individual and $22,050 for a family of four, which is greater than the national level of 15 percent and amongst the highest in recent years.

With the state of California having to make budget cuts left and right, it is crucial to put the state’s finances where they are needed the most.

Having this step added to the application process will give the government the ability to filter out those who use the aid for unnecessary purchases.

Welfare applicants should be required to take drug tests before receiving government help. There should be stricter guidelines for being accepted into the welfare program.

Florida has recently approved a law that requires welfare recipients to pass a drug test.

According to Politico.com, in May, Gov. Rick Scott signed the drug-testing requirement into law.

The new law states that welfare applicants must pay for their own drug testing, which ranges from about $30 to $35. But if the results are negative, they will be fully reimbursed.

If California were to adopt the same law, the amount of applicants will be significantly reduced to only serious candidates.

Those opposing it argue that testing prices are unfair and that passing the law would make it okay to accuse those in need of drug abuse.

Records have found that state-issued debit cards are being used by welfare recipients for gambling.

The Los Angeles Times reported that “California welfare recipients are able to use state-issued debit cards to withdraw cash on gaming floors in more than half of the casinos in the state.” This is one of many examples of misused welfare aid.

There is a need for a stricter policy. Many who are currently a part of the welfare program are not necessarily as qualified or are not using the funds they receive in an appropriate way.