Georgia is now turning into Florida 2.0. with a new bill that was passed aimed at food stamp recipients. Georgia essentially wants to make food stamp recipients pay to prove they don’t do drugs. The recipients who are deemed “suspicious” will have to grab a cup and pay $17 of their own money for the drug test.
Oh, Georgia. You ass-wipes.
H.B. 772 is now awaiting the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican.
The bill’s previous version had to be changed from making drug testing mandatory for all food stamp recipients, but you know, there’s this thing called the the Fourth Amendment that gave Florida’s similar law the boot after it wasted over $400k. But hey, Georgia is covering its ass by charging the recipients.
So what exactly is reasonable suspicion? Who the hell knows.
A spokesperson for the governor declined to comment on whether he would sign the bill. But Chad Brock, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Georgia, said he expected Gov. Deal to sign the law “based on the fact that he did sign a similar drug testing bill a couple years ago” which required drug testing of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) recipients. That law was never implemented.
If Deal does make the food stamp bill into law, an ACLU lawsuit is not out of the question.
“We still believe that the factors giving rise to individual suspicion are unconstitutionally broad and would likely be struck down in the courts,” said Brock. Under the proposed law, reasonable suspicion can be aroused by something as simple as the food stamp recipient’s “demeanor.”
The law never specifies what a suspicious demeanor would look like. Its sponsor, Rep. Greg Morris, R-Vidalia, told msnbc it would be up to the Department of Human Services to go into further detail regarding what constitutes reasonable suspicion. H.B. 772 was crafted to give the department as much “flexibility” as possible in establishing guidelines.
“I’m not a law enforcement officer,” said Morris. “I’m following the legal counsel to craft a bill that accomplishes what I want to accomplish.”
In a statement published shortly after he first introduced the bill, Morris described it as “common sense legislation.”
“Hard working Georgians expect their tax dollars to be used responsibly and efficiently,” he said in the January 22 statement. “Under no circumstance should the government fund someone’s drug habit.”
Apparently someone hasn’t done their research that shows that welfare applicants use less drugs than other populations. In summary, f*ck you Greg Morris.