Republican State Representative Greg Morris has found his legislative “fight”, poor people; not fighting FOR the poor but AGAINST them. Instead of sponsoring legislation for more jobs or improved schools, he has presented a bill that would mandate all citizens of Georgia take a drug test when applying for food stamps under Georgia’s SNAP program, a program funded by the federal government. He also wants them, the food stamp applicants, to pick up the tab. Way to go Greg!
Georgia actually passed this same legislation two years ago under House Bill 861 and Governor Nathan Deal signed it into law. Georgia decided not to implement the law due to a federal judge ruling it unconstitutional in Florida. Has Representative Morris forgotten this fact? Of course not. He is playing partisan politics with Georgia families once again. Representative Morris is trying to “out conserve” his Republican colleagues and cares nothing for Georgia families or taxpayers.
If he cared how taxes were being utilized, he would have requested his House and Senate colleagues submit to the same drug test prior to assuming office, after all, they also receive a government check along with benefits and actually make important policy decisions that affect us all. Better yet, he would ask the many corporate CEOs who receive “corporate welfare” through the Georgia legislature to submit to the same test. Representative Morris would never do something so noble, because there are TOO MANY CORPORATE LOBBYISTS under the Gold Dome.
Representative Greg Morris said, “Hard working Georgians expect their tax dollars to be used responsibility and efficiently.” Has Representative Morris also forgotten that most people who are recipients of benefits programs actually have jobs and pay taxes; they simply do not make enough. Amazingly, conservatives tout a platform of less and less government, but consistently sponsor legislation to increase the role of government in the lives of those less fortunate.
Florida had this same law on the books before a federal judge overturned it, and less than 2% of all applicants failed the drug test. There goes your theory that the less fortunate are a bunch of druggies. This law makes many assumptions about a class of individuals who may be going through hard times temporarily. We would never impose these regulations on bank CEOs or a corporation’s board of directors who receive incentives from the government, only the ones under the poverty line. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for personal accountability and responsibility. No one should utilize taxpayer money through a federal or state subsidy program for illegal drugs. Florida has proven the abuses in the system are statistically small and do not warrant the unconstitutional intrusion.
I have overcome insurmountable odds to become a successful political strategist, community activist, and broadcaster. I came from the “hood” and discovered the power of self-sufficiency, but I also know the evils of targeting the poor with unfair legislation. WHERE DOES IT STOP? This isn’t about people smoking marijuana or using other drugs, this is about giving all people the same constitutional protections under the law; rich or poor, major corporations or on the fringes of society.
Companies who receive large amounts of “corporate welfare” have highly paid lobbyists to advocate for them yearly, the poor and less fortunate only have us. This bill does not require drug testing for the many CEOs that benefit from government incentives, this bill does not provide state mandated or state sponsored treatment for those living with the disease of addiction, and this bill makes no true provisions for the children, who would suffer most of all. When people like Representative Greg Morris choose to make war against the poor, he makes war against our democracy.
This is my opinion and you are welcome to share yours.