Wisconsin’s attorney general on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, asking a federal judge if the state can drug test some food stamp recipients, a policy supported by Republican Governor Scott Walker, a presidential candidate.
The lawsuit asks a judge to clarify whether federal law allows Wisconsin to drug test food stamp recipients who participate in the state’s Foodshare employment program, which is required for able-bodied adults without dependents.
The policy was included in the state budget and went into effect on Tuesday. Walker signed the two-year, $73 billion budget on Sunday, a day before he declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president.
“Our reforms offer a hand up to those who need it, so they can get back on their feet through drug treatment and access to employment training,” Walker said in a statement.
Attorney General Brad Schimel, who filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee, said state officials had been advised by the U.S. Agriculture Department that drug testing of state Foodshare program recipients was not allowed.
Schimel said in a statement the Agriculture Department stance is contrary to federal law that allows states to drug test food stamp recipients.
An Agriculture Department representative could not immediately be reached for comment. No lawyers were listed for the department in online court records.
The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to low-income individuals and families and is administered by both the USDA and state agencies.
Wisconsin joined 13 other states that have enacted laws that allow public assistance recipients to be screened or drug tested, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien; Editing by Eric Beech)
WATCH: Video shows NYPD beating anti-police violence protesters with batons
Protesters of police violence received a harsh reception from the New York Police Department on Friday evening.
The protesters had marched to the Barclays Center, where they were met with a large police presence.
Heavy police presence posted outside of Barclays Center. If you’re protesting, please stay safe.
Trump is enacting the presidency ‘George Wallace never had’: Conservative columnist
On Friday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist Max Boot tore into President Donald Trump's legacy on race.
"We know how a normal president responds when a white police officer ignites furious protests by killing a black man. It is the way President Barack Obama responded in 2014 after a grand jury refused to indict a white police officer who had fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the National Guard had to be called in to deal with looting and fires," wrote Boot. "Obama expressed sympathy for the protesters — their anger, he noted, was 'rooted in realities that have existed in this country for a long time' — while making clear that he had no sympathy with violence: 'Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk — that’s destructive and there’s no excuse for it. Those are criminal acts. And people should be prosecuted if they engage in criminal acts.'"
White House goes into lockdown as George Floyd protests in DC rage hotter
On Friday, CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang reported that the White House has now issued lockdown orders.
The development comes as protests against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota have spread to Washington, D.C. and crowds are growing angrier. Earlier in the evening, a protester scaled the wall of a federal building and spray-painted an obscene anti-Trump message above a window.
The White House is currently under lockdown orders. https://t.co/LasnCIjkum