A bill that would allow random drug testing of welfare recipients was the subject of legislative boycotts and hearings today. House Bill 26 is sponsored by Republican representative Lonnie Napier, who says the bill does not unfairly target anyone and would help rid drug abuse from those who benefit from government programs. The bill was never expected to come for a vote in committee, leading Napier’s fellow Republicans on the panel to boycott the meeting.
And despite being told by House Health and Welfare Committee Chairman Tom Burch that his bill would fail in a committee vote anyway, Napier pushed for that vote to happen.
“The people across this state think this bill deserves a vote up or down. And Mr. Chairman they feel like with 64 co-signers on the bill it should go to the House floor and be voted on,” Napier says.
Democrats on the committee, including Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, contend Napier’s bill unfairly attacks the less fortunate.
“I think that, Lonnie, this bill sort of kinda reeks of some discrimination against poor people. And Jim said it very eloquently, are we going to test Wall Street they got a trillion taxpayer dollars,” Marzian said.
State Representative Darryl Owens suggested an amendment requiring lawmakers to undergo random drug testing.
Napier says he’s in favor that proposal and Marizan’s suggestion as well.