Feds Tell Georgia Food-Stamp Drug Testing Illegal

Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 07:23 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The federal government has warned the state of Georgia that its new law requiring some food-stamp recipients to undergo drug testing is illegal.

In a letter to Georgia's attorney general on Tuesday, Robin Bailey, regional administrator of the Department of Agriculture, told Georgia that drug testing to qualify for food stamps "is not allowable under law." The letter did not specify a possible penalty.

Georgia Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and state Attorney General Sam Olens, also a Republican, declined to comment on Wednesday on the letter.

But the measure's Republican sponsor said he believed the drug-testing program should begin as planned on July 1 even if that prompts a court fight with the federal government.

"Some bureaucrat in the Obama administration shouldn't be dictating policy in the state of Georgia," state Rep. Greg Morris told Reuters on Wednesday. "We should implement the law. I believe it's constitutional," he said.

Under the bill, testing could be required if authorities have a "reasonable suspicion" of drug use. People failing the test would temporarily lose benefits, although their children could receive assistance through another adult.

Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, said the Republican-controlled Legislature was warned when the bill was being debated that it violated federal law.

"They didn't care," Seagraves said. She said the law violated the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and would be challenged in court.

"If they require a drug test of anybody, we are open to represent that person in court," Seagraves said.

A federal judge late last year struck down a Florida bill requiring drug screening for welfare recipients, ruling it violated the constitutional prohibition of unreasonable searches.

Last summer, North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed legislation that would have required some recipients of cash welfare benefits to undergo drug screenings, saying it had been ineffective in other states.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Taxpayers 'Gouged' by Obama's Unnecessary Travel

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 16:10 PM

President Obama's Labor Day 2014 weekend trips for fundraising, personal business, and politicking ran up a tab of $1,53 . . .

US Tells Iran to Consider Nuclear Talks Extension

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 12:23 PM

The U.S. told Iran Sunday that it's time to considerextending nuclear talks, in the first formal recognition by Washingt . . .

Albert Hunt: Democrats Must Address Americans' Economic Anxiety

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 14:28 PM

To recover from their debacle in the midterm elections, Democrats have seized on two questionable propositions: They los . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved