Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

January 17, 2013

Drug test lawmakers?

A state senator has reintroduced a measure this legislative session that asks welfare recipients in three yet-to-be-determined counties to consent to random drug tests.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, is designed to address a public perception that people on the dole are using tax dollars to support their drug habits.

Never mind that the state has no statistics to back up this assumption or that a similar program in Florida actually found just 2 percent of recipients tested positive for drugs.

And never mind that the targets of the measure might not be its only victims, that innocent children might be deprived of benefits because of a parent’s bad behavior.

The idea here is to make certain that hard-earned tax dollars aren’t going to support anyone’s destructive habits.

It’s a concept many of us can support. No one likes the image of poor people getting high on the public’s dime.

Frankly, saving individuals and families from the ravages of drug abuse is a worthy goal. If the state can accomplish that through this program, which was estimated to cost $1.1 million for a three-county pilot program during the last legislative session, it might turn out to be a good investment.

After all, if we truly can get drug-addicted welfare recipients the help they need to get their lives back on track, the result should be to reduce welfare costs and increase tax revenues.

Still, Kruse’s effort at this point is driven by perception, and given that, it might well make sense to propose these tests not only for welfare recipients but for the lawmakers themselves — just as legislators did in the last session.

That measure would’ve required legislators to consent to a test or give up privileges such as an office, a parking space or other amenities. It also would’ve given the Senate president or House speaker the authority to order a test based on reasonable suspicion that a legislator was using drugs.

The test results for lawmakers would’ve been a matter of public record, as would have the list of those who consented to a test and those who refused.

That still seems reasonable to us.

After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Shouldn’t lawmakers who are voting to test welfare recipients be willing to undergo the same tests?

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • 'Reads' panel narrows titles Howard County Reads, a program introduced in 2004 to cultivate a love of reading and promote a sense of community, is another step closer to selecting a book for its 10th anniversary.In February, county residents began nominating a favorite for consi

    August 1, 2014

  • LETTERS: Concert Series 'beautiful musical experience' Store employees should split prizeSeveral weeks ago, a winning lottery ticket was purchased at one of our larger grocery stores. What I’d like to know is why the upper-management get a large cash prize (which they don’t need) while the employees of t

    August 1, 2014

  • Work program requires buy-in from industry Good help is hard to find.That’s essentially what Indiana companies have insisted for several years. The state struggles with a “skills gap,” the firms explain. They need employees, but can’t find enough — or in some cases, any — qualified Hoosiers.

    August 1, 2014

  • Take a walk to school At the risk of sounding like “old fogies,” we remember walking to school when we were kids.Back in the day, that’s how it was. If it was within walking distance, you were walking to school.Today, like much else, it’s a very different picture. The vas

    July 31, 2014

  • DAN COATS: New Harmony marks its 200th anniversary Situated between St. Louis and Louisville, New Harmony is a small town in southwest Indiana smaller than 1 square mile in area. Fewer than 1,000 Hoosiers call this serene Posey County community home.Despite its size, the town has monumental significa

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTERS: Marriage culture in area must change Marriage culture in area must change Last week's article on the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Kids Count report caught my eye. While I'm happy that Indiana is improving in the educational domain, the poverty statistics are saddening. I was just s

    July 31, 2014

  • A lookat IU salaries Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 31, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Let's put lethal injection to sleep

    It was only a matter of time before this happened again; and I’m sad to say I’m not surprised at all.
    On July 22, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the killing of Arizona death row inmate James R. Wood III, who had filed suit requesting a delay until the state revealed the details of the drugs that would be used to end his life.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plot a plan to quit now OK, so maybe today isn’t the perfect day to quit smoking. For years, the experts were preaching any day was a good day to quit, and they had annual campaigns encouraging people to give up the habit.The campaigns raised awareness, and they led many sm

    July 30, 2014

  • LETTERS: City should celebrate its young track star City should celebrate its young track starCongratulations to Tionna Brown, who has given the city of Kokomo the platform to acknowledge what commitment, perseverance, sacrifice and determination can do.I find this a unique opportunity for her Common

    July 30, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll