A compelling argument

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On Monday in the General Assembly, a Republican-backed Senate bill was defeated that would have allowed for the drug screening of welfare recipients.

The bill was defeated by one vote when Sen. Harry Blevins, R Chesapeake, did not vote on the piece of legislation.

The Senate passed the bill last year when Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling cast the tiebreaking vote, but it was ultimately defeated in the House of Delegates.

Opponents of the legislation have stated that it would unfairly single out poor people for testing. While we don’t believe that was the intent, technically it would, since most people who receive welfare benefits tend to be poor.

Supporters of the bill, however, claim it was designed to screen people going on welfare to ensure that the state was not supporting a drug user’s habit.

The argument being that if someone who works for a living can be drug tested, why can’t someone who’s income is paid by the taxpayers of the state?

Both sides have a compelling argument.