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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal
Here we go again, this time in Georgia:
The state legislature passed a bill last week imposing drug tests for anyone who raises a “reasonable suspicion” of drug abuse in the minds of state program administrators. Once an administrator decides to make a suspicious person pee in a cup, the law requires the accused party to cover the $17 cost of the test that will exonerate him.

The governor is expected to sign the bill into law “based on the fact that he did sign a similar drug testing bill a couple years ago,” a civil liberties lawyer in Georgia told MSNBC’s Ned Resnikoff.

A Florida bill requiring all welfare applicants to be drug tested was ultimately struck down by a federal judge, but not before it cost the state nearly $120,000 in reimbursements for negative drug tests. Georgia plans to avoid the cost of reimbursements for negative drug tests by just not offering them; even if someone tests negative, they still shoulder the cost of testing. The Georgia bill may still run into a legal problem, though:
The email from Robert Caskey of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the food stamp program) to Georgia officials on March 7, citing federal law, said that “no state agency shall impose any other standards of eligibility” beyond the provisions of the federal Food and Nutrition Act, which does not require drug testing.

“The addition of a drug testing provision of any type is prohibited in the SNAP program,” the email said.

This obviously isn't deterring Republicans in the Georgia legislature. Anything in the rush to join the recent Republican hotness of stigmatizing poor people as probable drug users.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kos Georgia and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, at least (5+ / 0-)

    you can bring your gun into the pisser with you now.  

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:45:08 PM PDT

  •  This is profoundly stupid. (6+ / 0-)

    You can't buy anything except food with food stamps. I, unfortunately, know this for a fact.

    They Killed Will? Those Bastards!

    by blueoregon on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:16:19 PM PDT

  •  You know, if Joe Biden can say what he said (5+ / 0-)

    about workplace discrimination against LGBT persons, why can't he and every other Democrat just come out and say that this is barbaric.

    Why do Democrats, at a national level, keep letting these people get away with this?

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:18:38 PM PDT

  •  perhaps it's time to turn the tables (6+ / 0-)

    how about drug-testing before you stick your hand out for the farm subsidies?

    sometimes the dragon wins

    by kathy in ga on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:21:56 PM PDT

  •  'Cuz it's not a waste of money if you can (5+ / 0-)

    humiliate people.


    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:41:45 PM PDT

    •  Ex-fing-actly-Punishment for needing help (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, Dodgerdog1

      First of all, if you use food stamps, you are in Mitt's 47%, that's a given. Just one more itsy bitsy shot of dread when you get up in the morning. 'Cause who knows what a drug test might show? Just means the kids have no food. These things are notoriously inaccurate in Doctor's offices and people are refused prescriptions all the time on bogus test results for controlled drugs. No telling where this could end up but it sounds quite a bit like a movement toward totalitarianism, possibly in retaliation for recent changes in marijuana and gay marriage. This is Georgia.

  •  Why stop there? IQ Texts for Legislators! (6+ / 0-)

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:03:34 PM PDT

    •  No, testing Legislators for Narcissistic or (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skepticalcitizen, worldlotus

      Sociopathic Personality disorders would certainly be a good idea but an IQ test or a drug test for anyone does not help anything.  

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:19:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most of the people receiving Food Stamps (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RMForbes, worldlotus, StillAmused

    are children and seniors.   I think it might be "educational" for the public to see the long lines with young children and seniors waiting to get their piss test.  

    •  It might be educational for the "public" at large (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but what a terrific pain in the butt for the people required to do this. There are so many time-wasting and invasive requirements. The health and human services department already knows pretty much everything about all their clients. All of their assets (belongings, vehicles, bank accounts- if they even have them), all of the personal relationships for the household...

      And now you want them to pee in a cup, just to have a little QED moment that would be wasted on whomever happened to see it in whatever downtown area that might happen to inconvenience?

      The people who want this sort of thing will just send their victims to a lab and inconvenience other people waiting for their blood tests, etc.

      Darling, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

      by JrCrone on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:24:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Haven't these kinds of laws been struck down as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    unconstitutional in federal district courts in other jurisdictions?

  •  I believe it will not stand constitutional scrutin (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RMForbes, Anna M, worldlotus

    Forcing welfare recipients to pay to prove they are not on drugs based upon suspicion is counter to everything the American judicial system stands for. It requires a standard of proving innocence rather than the state being required to prove guilt.

    Libertarianism is just Fascism with a facelift. Scratch the surface of Libertarianism and you will find the notion that corporations should rule supreme, just as it was with Fascism..

    by Walt starr on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:15:48 PM PDT

  •  fortunately (4+ / 0-)

    I don't live in Georgia, otherwise I'd demand that Governor Deal promise to drink my sample before submitting to that indignity

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:18:37 PM PDT

  •  What about drug tests for gun owners…? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    here4tehbeer, worldlotus
  •  Hungry people w/o options do not simply disappear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Nor do they decide to just stop being poor. They do whatever is necessary to feed their families. Whatever pittance Georgia saves by denying food stamps will be spent tenfold on prisons.

    "The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities" - Adam Smith

    by Jesse Douglas on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:21:08 PM PDT

  •  Conservatives Aren't Capable of "Reasonable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RMForbes, worldlotus

    suspicion" because they use their amygdalas (emotional, illogical, unreasonable, delusional, paanoid brains) to process information while liberals use their anterior cingulate cortexes (logical, reasoning, rational brains) to do it.

    Didn't the idiots in the Georgia state legislature relatively recently require the unemployed to take drug tests to collect their unemployment benefits only to find out that the unemployed weren't doing drugs at all totally unlike the Georgia state legislature fantacized they were?!

  •  Oh, presumption of innocence is only for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RMForbes, worldlotus

    REAL (ly rich) Americans.

    Darling, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

    by JrCrone on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:26:42 PM PDT

  •  and who owns a testing company (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that is going to make money off this state?, which will be far more money than the benefits of the few people who test positive as a result of this measure....

    Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

    by postmodernista on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:29:00 PM PDT

  •  Make Georgia Pay! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This clown act is going to keep going on and on in state after state until they are made to pay the piper.

    So, would it be in the recipients best interest to file a class action suit at the Federal level  for reimbursement and ask for punitive damages?  

    Would something like that fly?  I'm not a lawyer but clearly these guys are thumbing their noses by trying to shift the economic burden.  A suit that looks like those recipients could be instant millionaires at the State's expense would shut them up and make them very unpopular people.  

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:29:10 PM PDT

    •  In Fla the state tested 4,086 welfare applicants (0+ / 0-)

      for drugs.  108 or 2.6 percent failed the drug test.  State law required Fla to reimburse applicants who tested negative.  The average cost of the test was $35 or a total of $118,140. The result was a net loss of $45,780 by the State.  Reported in the AJC Feb 2014 by Ga. State Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, who based her report  on an article in the Miami Herald.

      It was Utah that also tested their recipients last year and only found a few that did not pass.  Another costly venture by a state.  I think it cost Utah somewhere around $35,000 for their mistake.

      These law makers are just evil and ignorant.  Reminds me of mobsters.  And the Pope said recently that "Mobsters will go straight to hell."  I can think of no better place for politicians who abuse those who are in need.

  •  Guilty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Until you prove yourself innocent. I don't think it works that way.

  •  Why do they care whether poor people use drugs? (3+ / 0-)

    And what exactly constitutes 'drugs'?  How many Georgia state legislators could pass routine alcohol tests?
    If I was a poor person in the former Confederacy I would think 'drugs' are an adequate remedy for 300 years of slavery and oppression.
    Of course they don't mean to stigmatize the poor WHITE people of Georgia who just do a little crystal meth which may not show up on their drug 'tests'.

    Armed! I feel like a savage! Barbarella

    by richardvjohnson on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:45:42 PM PDT

  •  Evidently you don't have to pee in a cup (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, marty marty

    to be eligible to be a state legislator. Passing legislation like this suggests that they're stoned. Just saying.

  •  This: (0+ / 0-)
    ...Morris’ proposal is more narrowly drawn, calling for testing only under certain criteria.

    These criteria would include an applicant’s demeanor, missed appointments and a history of arrests or other issues with law enforcement, according to the bill.

    Emphasis mine.

    I am so angry & disgusted that I am shaking.  

    This state currently has a class action lawsuit due to a food stamp processing back log, has untold numbers without access to healthcare or  insurance, refused to expand Medicaid, recently made it illegal for any government employee to assist anyone or talk to anyone about the ACA, has had school testing cheating scandals, sanctions/investigations by the feds over state mental hospitals & so much more.

    So now they will attempt to have unqualified, overworked workers discern another's demeanor for "drug use"???????????

    Further disenfranchise & punish those unfortunates released from jail/prison by using their past records against them??????????????

    Make someone that is poor enough to even ask for food stamps or welfare to pay for the pee test?????????????

    How the hell is a parolee, a family that has lost their job, a senior citizen or person living with disabilities supposed to
    eat or stay alive if they have no freaking money or help??????????

    Anyone can lose their job.  Anyone can end up in jail or disabled.  Everyone ends up an elder.

    What does this bill and others like it say about our society?

    Where is the brotherhood of man; the compassion the glimmering of an understanding?

    I've signed petitions & sent letters in protest for weeks over the multitude of asinine bills presented or awaiting Deal's signature.  Bill after bill worse than another; one setting a precedence by being the freaking first time a governor has abdicated control over to state law makers (Medicaid expansion) that if signed will be law no matter who is in office.

    The law makers responsible for all this bullshite need to be shamed nationally & somehow voted out of office.

    I feel like the world has gone mad.

  •  Another Legal bound case (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Courts will toss this as unconstitutional. Next.

  •  Drug tests for corporate officers too, please! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They can do so much damage.

  •  Excuse me if I use the term Cracker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As an African-American who spent a few years of my youth in the state of Georgia, the term "cracker" has had a very special meaning for me. There are white Racists, KKKers, white separatists, skin heads, etc, and then there are the Georgia crackers. The difference is the Georgia cracker is uniquely extra mean spirited when it comes to dealing with the black people living in the state 0f Georgia. IMO the current Georgian Republican government is so obsessed with the mythological stereotype of Welfare and Food Stamp programs filled to the brim with fat lazy black folks just sucking up every dime of public money available that they are willing to pass any legislation that will punish this multitude of "Obama takers". This is the mindset of the Georgia cracker, who in his blind hatred of the "Negroes" around him that he never stops to consider the facts, such as in this case is the huge number of poor white folks who are also on food stamps. This is the irony of ironies - the real big "Deal" of ironies!

    There is a possibility that the $17 payment for the drug evaluation test might be (unofficially) waved (under the table) for poor whites by local white public assistance officials, who would impose the charge on black people needing the test, especially in rural areas This may be the reason the $17 fee was included in the law. However, I still think on balance a great number of poor white people and their children are going to suffer under this latest legislative move by the Georgia cracker Republican government.  

  •  OK. As long as all Georgia Elected office holders (0+ / 0-)

    are drug-tested before they're allowed to take their oath of office.  After all, these politicians are guiding our society's direction and culture in many ways.  We have a right to know if they're functional enough to know what the right thing is.

  •  from the moves (0+ / 0-)

    republicans make throughout america they would seem to be the ones that should be drug tested.

    save america defeatvall republicans and conservatives

  •  Nathan (Drug) Deal (0+ / 0-)

    that is all you need to say

  •  This is about creating a financial barrier... (0+ / 0-)

    more than anything else.  If you're poor enough to need food stamps, you probably can't afford the drug test.  These fuckers are exploiting that to prevent people from getting in the program.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 09:11:17 PM PDT

  •  GA...About to surpass... (0+ / 0-)

    AL,FL,TX and MS as the absolute stupidest state in the Union...a distinction that is well earned and and in no danger of being threatened any time soon...

  •  So since the conservatives want to drug test (0+ / 0-)

    all those moochers who take government handouts....can I go along when they go to BP an Shell and all the others to drug test the CEOs since they are getting millions or billions in government money

  •  All politicians should be drug tested. (0+ / 0-)

    At least once a month randomly.  They've got to be taking drugs given the BS they come up with.  If positive, I believe jail time is in order.

  •  In Fl. all State employees had to be tested too. (0+ / 0-)

    That was a benefit to our Gov. Rick Scott since he owned Solantic the biggest company that administered the tests.

    We picketed and protested that place all summer a few years back and managed to shut it down: although it probably moved somewhere else under a different name for all we know.

    My guess is that the R's here in Fl. didn't care that it cost the State so much money since it went into their own pockets.They also didn't care that it was unconstitutional because for the time it took to be officially shut down, they made a tide profit.

     As for Georgia, I'd say follow the money.

  •  Just when I was getting comfortable (0+ / 0-)

    with South Carolina (or, maybe, Florida) as the cultural armpit of America, here comes Georgia around the bend, staging a truly impressive rally in the sprint for the finish line.

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