Senator Tim SchafferToday, Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) introduced SB 69 which, if passed, would say that if you request the following from the State government:

  • Heating assistance
  • Housing assistance
  • Medical assistance
  • Food Assistance

Then you must first agree to submit yourself to a urine screen.  If you refuse or if you test positive for any controlled substance that is not prescribed to you, then you are ineligible for any aid, but unemployment. (Yeah, I don’t know why that was the only one exempted either.)  The bill has no exception, even if you tested positive but are currently undergoing treatment.  Relapse? Too bad.  Freeze and starve, Ohio doesn’t care.  Never used drugs, doesn’t matter.  You want government help, you gotta give the government your pee.

What I do know is that simply asking for government assistance does not make one a suspect of a crime.  I also know that in 2003, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, en banc,  ruled that the only State law in nation like this, Michigan’s, was unconstitutional as it constituted as violation of its citizens Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures under the U.S. Constitution in the case, Marchwinski, et al v. Howard.  Given that the Sixth Circuit is the federal Court of Appeals over Ohio as well, it’s unlikely that SB 69 would be upheld by the Sixth Circuit given Marchwinski.

LotsoUrine However studies done while Michigan’s law was in place found that… drug use among welfare recipients is no different than the population at large.  Also, instead of saving money, it actually cost more because, well, someone has to scientifically collect and test all that urine.

 A recent study issued this month calculated that at a cost of $35-$76 per test, testing every applicant regardless of any lack of suspicion, and given the percent likely to actually test positive, it’ll cost a State somewhere between $20,000 to $70,000 per actual welfare recipient who tests positive.  Seriously, it’s just not worth it. 

The good news is that unlike the unconstitutional “heartbeat” abortion bill, this bill only has one other co-sponsor and is likely to die in committee.

Hey, maybe they’d get more support if they required business executives who apply for RobsOhio assistance to be tested, too.  I mean, shouldn’t corporate welfare recipients be suspect, too?  Oh, that’s right.  White businessmen never use drugs.

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