Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that he was not opposed to requiring welfare recipient to undergo mandatory drug tests, according to CBS News.
“I don’t have a problem with before you get any dollars from the federal government that you’re drug tested,” Perry said at a meet-and-greet in Iowa. The presidential candidate noted that he was drug tested while serving as a pilot in the Air Force. “I don’t have a problem in the world with that,” he said.
Republican state lawmakers across the country this year have pushed for similar legislation. Florida and Missouri have both approved laws requiring low-income parents seeking federal cash assistance to pass a drug test. In October, Florida’s drug testing law was halted by District Court Judge Mary Scriven.
Critics of drug testing welfare recipients say it violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits the government from conducting warrantless searches.
Michigan previously tried to implement a welfare drug testing law, but it was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 2003.
U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts held that testing welfare recipients “could be used for testing the parents of all children who received Medicaid, State Emergency Relief, educational grants or loans, public education or any other benefit from that State.”
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore