By Bonita Wilborn
Jackson County Representative, Tommy Hanes, has introduced a bill that is currently in the hands of the state legislature proposing drug testing for SNAP (food stamp) recipients. The ultimate goal is to insure the children of those receiving benefits are getting healthy meals and the money doesn’t go to other things. Haynes is concerned that monies intended to help feed hungry children, could possibly be being sold for the purpose of using the money to purchase drugs.
According to Hanes, this current legislation has already passed in 13 other states. While there has been some concerns about the cost of testing everyone who receives SNAP benefits, Hanes’ belief is that anyone wishing to receive benefits should be required to be tested and that anyone who fails the drug test should be denied SNAP benefits. He further feels that people who are already receiving benefits and are suspected of using drugs should also be tested, and if they fail they would be required to designate a responsible party to oversee the benefit to insure the children are getting the necessary nourishment.
Hanes’ bill could get out of a committee sometime this week.