Bill examines welfare, unemployment laws

By Chris Pugh - [email protected]

A Republican-led state bill introduced last week would force adult applicants for welfare and some looking for unemployment compensation to face testing for illegal drug use.

“We’re trying to break the cycle of drug addiction and also to make sure that families are taken care of, that the children and the other spouse have the resources to put shoes on their feet, food on their table, and clothing on their backs,” said Rep. Ron Maag (R-Lebanon), a co-sponsor of the bill told reporters.

Locally, AAA Bail Bonds owner Gina Powell, who deals with a variety of drug abusers, believes the law is a good idea.

“I think it’s a great idea,” she said. “People who go to work have to drug screen.”

According to a recent Associated Press story, roughly 115,000 Ohioans, most of them children, currently receive cash assistance.

Opponents say the proposal would not help society.

“This deprives people of public benefits,” Lisa Wurm, policy manager for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio told reporters. “This is merely perpetuating an ugly stereotype.”

By Chris Pugh

[email protected]