|83rd TX Lege: Making it Easier for Anybody…and I Mean ANYBODY…to Vote in Texas Elections||Obama’s European-style Austerity: Raise Taxes $3 for Every $1 in Spending Cuts|
The last few posts highlighting some of the bills that have been pre-filed for the 83rd Texas Legislative session were to mock some seriously bad legislation from the Democrat Senator Rodney Ellis.
But there is at least one new bill for which I’m firmly in the Hell yeah, pass this ‘mutha NOW! camp: SB 11 “relating to the administration and operation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program,” which was filed by Senator Jane Nelson (R, SD-12).
Also known as the Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients/Applicants bill.
Which means that this bill is getting the most media play right now and is likely the only one of the 257 bills filed on day 1 of pre-filing that you have heard a word about from local media outlets.
Key provisions of this common sense law:
Replaces the broad list of exemptions from TANF work requirements with a streamlined exemption process that more closely follows federal law and is tailored to each individual family;
- Requires retailers who accept TANF payments to ensure that TANF benefits are not used to purchase non-allowable goods or services such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco products,lottery tickets, or adult entertainment;
- Requires HHSC to study the feasibility of providing TANF benefits through an electronic voucher and report its findings by Sept. 1, 2014;
- Institutes a drug screening and testing process for TANF applicants; and
- Disqualifies applicants testing positive for drug use, and their families, from TANF for 12 months, but allows applicants to reapply after 6 months if they have completed, or are enrolled in, a substance abuse treatment program. Applicants who fail the drug test three times, and their families, are permanently ineligible for TANF.
And I say “common sense” law, because we shouldn’t need a law specifically prohibiting folks from using their food stamps to buy cigarettes, booze, and lottery tickets. Decent, honest folk wouldn’t need to be told that.
We need to ensure that individuals receiving these public benefits are on a true path to self- sufficiency and drug free in keeping with the mission of this program. Taxpayer dollars should not be used to subsidize a person’s drug habit — a destructive barrier to achieving independence.
Sounds reasonable to me. Which is why Democrats will fight this bill with every last breath in their immoral bodies.
And what’s the argument against this? WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!?!?!
But critics of the bill say the bill is needlessly punitive and will mainly harm innocent children, whose parents are found to have even a minor amount of drugs. “The purpose of TANF was really to help children,” said Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Texas. “If you don’t give the moms the money, then the children lose out.”
Except that parents who are using their welfare money to buy drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and lottery tickets are already harming their own children, and these kids aren’t getting the money intended for them anyway. I know…that’s tough logic for a Liberal to follow.
If applicants fail the test, they would not be eligible to apply again for a full year, unless they attended a substance abuse treatment program. Which Obamacare would pay for, right?