Wisconsin Gov. Walker moves ahead with plan to drug test food stamp applicants despite legal challenges
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) speaks to WFRV-TV on Jan. 10, 2016. (screen grab)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) is pressing forward with plans to make his state the first to drug test food applicants despite legal challenges in other states that have found similar proposals unconstitutional.


According to WGN, the Republican-controlled legislature approved the plan two years ago, but it was put on hold because it conflicted with Obama-era federal rules prohibiting the denial of benefits. Following the election of President Donald Trump, Walker asked the incoming administration to provide his state with a waiver to proceed with the plan. The report goes on to state that the Trump Justice Department has yet to weigh in on Walker's request, but that he is proceeding nonetheless.

In 2014, the state of Florida attempted to implement a similar drug test requirement, only to have a federal appeals court block the plan, saying it violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. Following Florida's failure, Walker filed a federal lawsuit asking for approval to begin his own testing, but was blocked by President Obama's administration.

Under the plan, childless food stamp applicants who fail the drug test would be eligible for state-funded rehabilitation treatment if they can't pay for it.

On Monday, Walker submitted a new plan to the legislature, which has four months to review it, with the hope that the Trump administration won’t step in to block it.