Monday, January 25, 2010
South Carolina's state capital is reading a bill that could affect some 150,000 South Carolinians receiving unemployment benefits. The bill would require a negative drug test to receive the benefits they need. Senator David Thomas proposed the bill, requiring anyone applying for the benefits to be tests and a then subject to random testing in the future.
South Carolina is headed into debt due to the large number of people receiving benefits in the state. Last year, they paid over $934 million in benefits to the unemployed and had to borrow from the federal government to make ends meet.
"They should not be expected to pay taxpayer money with this when that unemployment is being used for drug use," said Thomas. "It's actually meant to be helpful to these individuals perhaps if they are misusing drugs to say to them, nope, that's not what you should be doing with your money number one. Number two, if you're on drugs and you go to apply for work, don't you understand that you're going to be tested very likely in that place of employment and you're not gonna be able to get work?"
Other representatives fear such laws would push the drug users in the lives of crime, "When someone has no income and you'll see crime begin to elevate," said House Representative Leon Howard.