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Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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2011 House Bill 5223: Require drug testing of welfare applicants
  1. Introduced by Rep. Jeff Farrington (R) on December 13, 2011, to require drug testing of applicants for various state welfare benefits, and prohibit benefits if a person tests positive.
    • Referred to the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee on December 13, 2011.
      • Reported in the House on May 15, 2012, with the recommendation that the substitute (H-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the House on June 7, 2012. The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Tom McMillin (R) on June 7, 2012, to tie-bar the bill to House Bill 5527, meaning this bill cannot become law unless that one does also. HB 5527 would require drug testing for business executives whose firms receive subsidies from the state. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Alberta Tinsley Talabi (D) on June 7, 2012, to require additional screening before drug tests could be administered. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Fred Durhal, Jr. (D) on June 7, 2012, to allow a welfare recipient who tests positive for illegal drug use to keep getting benefits if he or she enters a treatment program. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Alberta Tinsley Talabi (D) on June 7, 2012, to allow a welfare recipient who has children and who tests positive for illegal drug use to designate a family member or other approved "protective payee" to keep getting the benefits "on behalf of the child". The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Maureen Stapleton (D) on June 7, 2012, to require the state to pay for the drug tests. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Maureen Stapleton (D) on June 7, 2012, to require drug tests for state legislators under similar rules as those proposed by the bill. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D) on June 7, 2012, to require drug tests for state legislators. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Dian Slavens (D) on June 7, 2012, to keep the drug test results confidential, and also the information collected under the proposed screening process. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Dian Slavens (D) on June 7, 2012, to discontinue welfare drug tests if less than 10 percent of those tested test positive. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Dian Slavens (D) on June 7, 2012, to require the welfare department to file detailed reports on the proposed drug testing program. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Maureen Stapleton (D) on June 7, 2012, to not apply the proposed sanctions if a person tests positive for a drug that has been prescribed or taken on under an order of medical practitioner. Presumably this includes medical marijuana. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Dian Slavens (D) on June 7, 2012, to delay the proposed drug test program for two years. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Maureen Stapleton (D) on June 7, 2012, to specify procedures for selecting the counties in a proposed pilot program for the drug testing. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Maureen Stapleton (D) on June 7, 2012, to require the drug testing program to have an appeal process. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Vicki Barnett (D) on June 7, 2012, to require the welfare agency to document the grounds for suspicion and provide these to welfare recipient they identify. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Dian Slavens (D) on June 7, 2012, to exempt welfare recipients age 65 or older from the proposed drug testing. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Maureen Stapleton (D) on June 7, 2012, to require welfare applicants to be notified of the drug testing program. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Jeff Farrington (R) on June 7, 2012, to require the welfare department to file detailed reports on the proposed drug testing program. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Jeff Farrington (R) on June 7, 2012, to keep the drug test results confidential, and also the information collected under the proposed screening process. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Jeff Farrington (R) on June 7, 2012. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Substitute offered by Rep. Dian Slavens (D) on June 7, 2012, to adopt a version of the bill that phases in the drug testing program gradually over several years, requires additional screening before drug tests could be administered, allows a welfare recipient who has children and who tests positive for illegal drug use to designate a family member or other approved "protective payee" to keep getting the benefits "on behalf of the child," and incorporates other provisions suggested by the other Democratic amendments to the bill. The substitute failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Jeff Irwin (D) on June 7, 2012, to drug test all welfare recipients, not just those suspected of drug use. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on June 7, 2012.
  2. Passed 71 to 37 in the House on June 7, 2012, to require drug testing of repipients of state welfare benefits if an "empirically validated screening tool" suggests a reasonable suspicion, and prohibit benefits if a person tests positive.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the Senate on June 12, 2012.
    • Referred to the Senate Families, Seniors & Human Services Committee on June 12, 2012.
      • Reported in the Senate on August 15, 2012, with the recommendation that the substitute (S-3) be adopted and that the bill then pass.

Comments

Re: 2011 House Bill 5223 (Require drug testing of welfare applicants )  by gypsy on July 13, 2012 
Requiring drug testing to get assistance is making the assumption people are poor because they are drug addicts. A person is poor for many reasons. Being judged a criminal because of your poverty is just plain wrong. It's the job of the police to catch criminals, not social workers.

Re: 2011 House Bill 5223 (Require drug testing of welfare applicants )  by TaterSalad on July 11, 2012 
When a person receives welfare payments from the government, paid for by the taxpayers and the taxpayers want drug testing on these recipients then it should be passed.

Welfare recipients can have all the drugs they want but not paid for by the public from public funds.

Re: 2011 House Bill 5223 (Require drug testing of welfare applicants )  by arduino123 on June 11, 2012 

Amazing how this passed which affects the 'poor' and 'underpriviledged' while not adding that LEGISLATORS should also be tested! Betcha there's allot of 'smoke' in Lansing between sessions along with 'vicodin' use for those who are disabled and in pain. I know that Mr. Damrow is 'disabled' and I'm betting his pain sometimes reaches the level where prescription painkillers are needed. I'm sure other legislators use 'drugs' (legal or not) to help them cope with the pressures of the job.


How about a program to help these folks get cured before throwing them and their chiuldren to the wolves.


Compassion, compassion - not rejection!



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