How many states pushed for people who receive state assistance, be it unemployment, food stamps, HEAP, or anything else, to go through mandatory drug testing first? And every single one of them backfired. In Indiana, a mere one percent – 1%- of those recipients failed the drug test. So in order for the state to save money by not alotting benefits to those who were “undeserving,” the state spent more money administering drug tests. Way to go!
Now, Republican Iowa Senator Mark Chelgren, brought this to the table: drug-testing for recipients of child-support.
Here’s the thing: I can understand where the fear comes from on state assistance. It’s government money that is being given to private citizens. But child support, is money being given from one private citizen to another, and exists solely because the child has a right to be financially supported by both parents until he/she reaches legal adulthood.
How does it make any sense to deny a child financial security (even though more than half of those ordered to pay never do) because one parent uses drugs? If the custodial parent legitimately has a problem, to a point where it is detrimental to the child, then how about the courts step in, and determine if the non-custodial parent is fit to take full custody, or find another family who will? This shows no concern for the actual child.
This is the entertaining part. Senator Chelgren’s idea indicates that the people who receive child support payments be forced to submit to drug tests on the whims of the person making the payments. Chelgren said he was pushing the idea on behalf of an “unidentified constituent” who believed his ex was using child support money for illegal drugs. A person paying child support under Chelgren’s proposal could require the recipient to a drug test every six months as long as they pay the costs.
Am I the only one who immediately drew up an image of a deadbeat dad, pissed at the world, pissed at his child’s mother, going “My baby momma uses my child support money for crack!”
Apparently, this proposal was met with laughter, and Chelgren withdrew the proposal. Sen. Jack Hatch (D) stated that he believes the proposal is anti-woman and could unfairly be used by vindictive spouses, and would clog the court system.