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Ohio bill would require drug testing for public aid

Published: Tue, August 30, 2011 @ 9:14 p.m.

COLUMBUS (AP) — A state lawmaker says he plans to introduce a bill that would require all Ohioans on public aid pass drug testing — and foot the bill.

Sen. Tim Grendell says taxpayers shouldn’t have to finance the illegal habits of people receiving public dollars.

His proposed legislation would require people to pay for their own testing. They would be reimbursed if they pass. If they fail, they could keep their aid by attending state-approved treatment services.

An advocacy group for the poor says the state should first prove that there is a drug problem among those who receive public aid before starting testing.

More than two dozen other states have proposed similar measures. A few, including Florida and New Mexico, would also make test takers pay for the test.


1VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Finally, some resonable solutions to our mounting drug problem within our public aid community. If I have to pass a drug test in order to keep my job, then it is only reasonable that those who are on public aid should also be required to do the same.

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2valleyred(1103 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Should pass with flying colors!

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3pgurney(296 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree completely, and I hope and pray that this bill passes.

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4northsideperson(366 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

This is about ideology, not about money - because money-wise, it loses more than it saves. Florida has found that only 2% fail the test. The cost of reimbursement for successfully-passed tests exceeds the savings for the relatively few denied benefits. ( http://usat.ly/qnakac ). Other states have reported the same finding.

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5AtownAugie(893 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Good to see the legislature catching-up with mosr employers -- both public and private. What working person *hasn't* taken a "whiz quiz?" Kudos to Senator Grendell. What are the odds of Representatives Gerberry and Hagan proposing the same in the House? (Okay. Okay. Stop laughing and get back to work. But do let Ron and Bob know they really won't have to stay up late studying for the whiz quiz.)

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6Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Bad news for Ohio. Florida just did this same measure, and what did they find out? That only 2% of the welfare recipients tested positive for drugs. Which means they spent millions of dollars on the testing, and saved nothing in the results. Taxpayer money spent on nothing, just because people are stupid enough to believe that poor people are drug users and nothing else.

Don't waste our taxpayer's money on silliness, especially when the results are in. Use our money to pay teachers well in order to attract the best ones to teach our children!


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7Bplus(103 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree and disagree. On one hand, I have to take regular drug tests to keep my job, so why shouldn't someone getting hand outs have to do the same? On the other hand, I can picture a working, responsible single mom or dad who receives some help from the government fail a drug test for marijuana that they maybe smoke once or twice a month. THAT is the downside of this testing. However, I know a lot of people in our area who receive aid and use hard drugs. These are the people who need to be cut off, or at least treated somehow.

@Tigerlily - those are just preliminary results and not even half of those receiving aid were tested yet...the testing just started last month.

@AtownAugie - Stop using the term "whiz quiz", it's annoying.

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8whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Instead of urine sample they need blood drawn or hair samples.

People use clean urine to pass those kind of tests.

While they are at it take some DNA samples and close some COLD CASE FILES.

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9Bplus(103 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

LOL, that's reasonable, yeah, since testing blood, DNA, and hair is twenty times as expensive as testing urine. Clear up cold case files? I don't think you understand how these things work. LMAO, Oh man. Typical, undereducated, unreasonable resident of our area.

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10AtownAugie(893 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

For the less than "A" grade sense of humor or ability to catch sarcasm -- or maybe it's true that "mean don't happen overnight" -- we'll call the program Senator Grendell is proprosing "Urine Or Your Out!"

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11Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

"An advocacy group for the poor says the state should first prove that there is a drug problem among those who receive public aid before starting testing."

Many in the hood consider drugs and malt liquor a staple . They have no problem in substance abuse . Drug testing will only cause bitterness and rank right along with arrests for crime and incarceration as things hated by the subculture . This aint gonna be good for the hood . . ..

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12VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

If everyone re-reads this article, you will note that the drugs tests must be paid for by the person seeking the aid, and not by the state.

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13Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

"They would be reimbursed if they pass. "

Only if they fail do they pay . . ..

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14northsideperson(366 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Vindy: "They would be reimbursed if they pass." If most pass, then there is some cross-over point at which it costs more to reimburse for successful tests, then is recovered from those that fail. I don't know where Ohio will fall on that scale, but preliminary reports from Florida and other states is that the drug problem is smaller than expected, and the test cost exceeds the recovery.

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15lumper(301 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

you know more than 2% will be positive in mahoning and trumbell counties. anywhere from 10 to 20 %. but, you have to have a reliable system in place. hopefully, the testee is sent to a experienced testing site.

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16CantStandYa(222 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Good Start. now make sure that any who are convicted of a felony have to wait five years before applying again.

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17Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

"An advocacy group for the poor says the state should first prove that there is a drug problem among those who receive public aid before starting testing."

The poor??? Yes, I seen people who really need it and others that are using the system because they don't want to work. I shake my head when I'm behind a person that is wearing expensive clothes/jewelry/shoes etc buying steak and ribs and tons of brand name items and I have a loaf of bread and bologna in my hands and they whipped out there EBT card and walk to there expensive SUV with the nice rims and I walk to my 98 Toyota Camry. Upon leaving the parking lot they blast there rap music with the bass thumping heard from a half a mile away and I have my trusty factory stereo.And the funny part is that I work and they don't. How do I know that? They live in my neighborhood. Something is wrong with that picture.
As far as the ones that say only 2% in Florida failed, it just STARTED. You stat freaks need to open your eyes and see the whole picture. Guarantee that percentage goes up.
Drug testing for welfare, only good can from come from that. Weed out the useless DNA's that abuse the system.

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18NilesOhio(998 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree 100% that this should be mandatory. What I don't completely agree with is having the person seeking aid to pay the costs. An honest person will be seeking aid because they are in a financially difficult spot.

Being a taxpayer, I don't mind the thought of the state paying for the test for people who truly need aid. Compared to the cost of the aid people receive, it's a rather small drop in the bucket.

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19gingerspice(142 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Let's go a step further: those receiving public assistance and who do not file a W2-form at the end of the year,(because they are not employed) who have children in school, must work in their child's school/classroom three days a week 6 hrs a day in order to receive their assistance! Make this a bill!!

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20georgejeanie(1543 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

How about, you tell these people get a job, any job, if it does not pay as much as the welfare payment you are getting we will make up the difference between what you would get from sitting on your dead rear and what you make at your new job. If you get fired from your job, you lose your subsidy. What could be more fair than that? Forget this drug testing BS, they alreadhy are beating the system.

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21CassAnn(252 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

My problem with this bill is that crackheads do not care if their children eat and they themselves don't usually eat much anyway because they are only interested in drugs. How many children are we going to starve or send to bed hungry?

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22YoungerVoice(9 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

How well do you think those kids are eating currently if Mom's a crackhead only interested in drugs?

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23MzVirgoLuv(158 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I have to say that so many of you are uninformed or just plain blind to the fact. Most hardcore drug users aren't even on assistance, they hustle like crazy and do crimes to feed their habits. Talking from experience of a child of a hard drug user. And believe it or not, most people that are on welfare, work. They are called working poor. My husband and I both work and for a long while, still needed assistance to feed our children. Yes, we eventually got off and it's so hard that we are thinking about asking for food assistance again. Hide behind this thing called internet and comment boxes, cuz most don't have the guts to say this stuff outside to someone's face...pity how some talk and no action. Help more and you will less hands out for it!

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24whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

@ B-PLUS regarding your comment 11.

First off there is nothing to LOL about.

So you would rather give $1200.00 bucks out a year min. then have to pay for a $100.00 test ?

Your logic fails to humor me....

As I stated, blood or hair samples is the only way to go.

People will get clean URINE, heat it up and use it to pass urine tests.

This is where Florida messed up.

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25MzVirgoLuv(158 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Also, hair sampling is not the way either. Blacks and ethnic people hold more stuff in their hair follicles due to the thickness and slower hair growth than whites. So that's not a fair testing way either. I am so sick and tired of you who don't know real facts. More working people are on assistance than people who don't work. I agree to some extent but as an avid Marijuana advocate and smoker, I never used assistance to buy any of my 'weed' and don't do much purchasing of it anyhow. it was my old landlady that had horses, four cars and homes with pools that was getting government assistance and should've been penalized, but wasn't. And she was white. There are folks in Canfield Oh that get government assistance and dupe free clinics into thinking they need help. I know cuz I used to work for companies who specialize in fraud of the sorts. More 'rich' or well to do people milk the system than do the actual needy so called poor folks. Do your research.

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26Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago


"Hide behind this thing called internet and comment boxes, cuz most don't have the guts to say this stuff outside to someone's face...pity how some talk and no action. Help more and you will less hands out for it!"

And what action do you recommend?? This should be interesting......
And say what to someones face? You think acting tough and stuff changes everything. That might be your idea of being tough but not people in a "civilized world". Anger and hate and violence isn't the answer. You have to just laugh and shake your head. What comes around goes around.....always.

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27whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago


You going to try to throw the race card out thier ?

Black or White doesn't matter if your dirty you are dirty dont try to make it a race war.

Big brother has it just the way he wants it, people arguing (BPLUS WILL EDIT) with themselves.

whites,blacks (any race),religions, rich, poor as long as this continues, and the people are more dependant for existance we will always get behind.

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28VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Forcing people to work as a condition to receiving public aid does not work because the jobs are not there. We have too many unemployed workers still looking for work. In addition, I would not want non-professionals helping out at our schools simply to obtain public aid.

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29Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago


"Forcing people to work as a condition to receiving public aid does not work because the jobs are not there."

Cutting grass, collecting trash, shoveling snow, picking up litter, landscaping, etc. Manuel Labor, not talking about REAL jobs, leave that for the ones that want to do something with there lives and have a purpose in life.

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30Bplus(103 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm trying to be as politically correct as possible when saying this..Minorities are STILL recovering from America's terrible history of abusing minorities. OUR generation has become the most tolerant and integrated in America's history, so the race card doesn't work anymore. The younger generation (18-35) are the ones who got a black president voted into office. But I understand how the older generations in some families might still hold a grudge and think big government and the "white man" is out to get them because they were in fact treated so poorly in the past. I think this rubbed off onto their children which rubs off onto our generation today. No one is out to get you. I doubt you are well researched and educated on this topic. Before you start spewing critiques, really take a look at real research on drug abuse and the poor.
I think it is noble that you and your husband work and no longer need assistance, and asking for help while being employed is nothing to be ashamed of. When you say you are an "avid weed smoker" and don't use your assistance to buy it, you contradict yourself. Even though you don't use your assistance to pay for the weed, you use your money from your paycheck. This money could go towards things you need. I'm assuming you smoke a lot since you say you're an avid user. Take all the money you spend on weed per month and add it up. You probably wouldn't need assistance again and/or you might need less of it if you didn't spend some of your hard-earned money on weed. Think about it. You don't need to get angry at people posting. Nobody is hiding behind a "comment box". This is a forum to chat with one another via the internet. I'm not criticizing you, I'm trying to tell you why it bothers me that my tax money is going to someone who is using their own money for drugs. Now you need some of my money to buy food. You may have a better chance of more gainful employment if you stop smoking. What if you are randomly drug-tested at your job. Then you need to go back on assistance, and you need the tax money from the very people you are bashing. I am all about helping one another out. If you are an honest, hard-working person with values who needs a little bit of help feeding your family, I have no problem with the government taking some taxes. If you are an "avid" drug user, of any kind, even if you are working, you shouldn't get assistance. And think about this, the children are the real victims in this situation. The parents can't stop smoking something as stupid as weed, so the government is now taking away their food stamps. Guess who suffers the most?
I understand your anger is a defense mechanism, but take it easy.

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31Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago


Why you racist? Why all the hate? What has society did to you that you hate so much? Please give some examples of why you have to blame everyone and everything instead of looking in the mirror?? Should be interesting....

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32BusDriver(46 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

The whole system is a joke and out of control, there is no monitoring who is getting what, and in the end the children are being neglected. It makes me so mad when you see 300lb people using the EBT cards in line at the grocery store then you look at the kids that are with them who look very much underweight, so who is getting the nutrition they need. Use to work at the y-towns schools in the cafeteria, kids would look forward to the free breakfast and lunches because they are not being properly fed at home,maybe not drug testing but maybe a weigh in for the parents who think all the food should be for them and not their kids. And in no way am I being prejudice against obese people its a sad fact that these little ones are being neglected all the way around.

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33Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

The hood looks upon drug testing as a way to erradicate their culture . Drugs have become a foundation of that culture . The predominant family unit in the hood consists of a mother and her children . The male, when he isn't in prison, travels to several family units and is welcomed for biological needs . His main funding comes from usually SSI because he is a drug addict and or alcoholic . There is no work ethic to speak of in the hood because of the culture funded by tax dollars . Drug dealing siphons money from the monthly stipends of others who supplement their incomes by illegal activities . If caught they have nothing to lose because they have nothing . Incarceration only hones their hatred toward society .

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34UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I would prefer an end to all these taxpayer public assistance programs over time - medicaid, section 8, welfare, food stamps. Start with a 10% reduction and continue until they are all eliminated. It's time for them to get off that public assistance couch and go to work.

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35concernddavid(3 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I am a singal father that has been looking for full time, steady work for almost three years. I land jobs with these rip off temp. services and just when its time to sign papers to get in the actual company and recieve benefits, they let me go. they cut me and my daughters ebt card from $265 a month to $16, then they denied our medical benefits this week. I have worked my whole entire life and paid my taxes and this is what I get in return, gee thanks!! Shure give me my cup and I'll fill it up, show me a needle and I'll give them my veins, I just want our med, and food card back!!! David Fleischer

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36concernddavid(3 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

They also should pass a law stating that people that are collecting aid, should be on birth controll, why should these idiots keep having babies when they can not, will not supoprt them!!
This is the land of the free, "which means freedome to go where ever you may rome, freedome to your opion, freedome from terrer, not free to live off of other people, get off ypur lazy asses and work like the rest of the country does, show some honor to all thoes who gave their lives in Amercas Bloodiest War, so that you can live in"FREEDOME", NOT FREE!!!

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37USNBOY(76 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

99% of the people who collect their welfare checks are LOW LIFE SCUM who couldnt pass a drug test if their lives depended on it. They sell dope to pay for those expensive SUV's, the rims, and the stereo. I support this law 100%! The people who abuse welfare are parasites on the system. Its not that they dont want to work, they make more money than most working men and they dont have to worry about passing a drug test when theyre selling dope on the corner. We need to rid ourselves of these parasites and help the ones who really need it.

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38citizen(5 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

There is a couple things here that must be noted. First and foremost, if you are drug tested jobs I have no problem with others being drug tested for assistance. BUT, the myth that your regular welfare recipient is a lazy bum from the "hood", you are wrong. Most who recieve food stamps & cash assistance work their butt's off as the rest of us, sadly they are working for wages most could not live on. Now, I'm not saying it's not possible, most just cannot do it. ALSO, as someone who probably works more hours a week than anyone on this opinion board, I own a car with rims and a system in it. I am not a hoodlum. I am a full time college student who works sixty-plus hours a weeks. 1st myth busted. What alot of you don't realize is your judgements and views have NO merit. Do I think drug-testing the poor who change anything? Probably not. Do I think if all these people in this post went out and tried to help on kid each in the inner-city to graduate high school and enroll in college would that change the state of our neighborhoods in Youngstown? Yes. So before your quick to sit on your computer & b-tch about the local hoodrats of Youngstown, know you and only you have the power to make a difference. Not congress, not the state legistrator, only you. Most will choose not to participate with such rift-raft, so my view is to stop talking about the low-income families in our community as if you know them, because most ARENT drug users and abusers, most go to work everyday and make YOUR life easier (the retail clerk, the grocery bagger, the waitress, the cook, the dishwasher) without them you would not survive and without welfare THEY would not survive.

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39SkyKing310B(315 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I agree with this legislation also. Additionally, if they have children in school, they should have to produce a monthly report that their child was in school everyday and completed their homework assignments. This is the only way this country is going to survive.

As I read the post from concerned David I have to note the spelling and grammar in his post. I am not criticizing him as I commend him for being out there supporting himself and his daughter(s), but see kids graduating from high school who cannot communicate correctly.

Do they really expect employers to hire them when they don't know how to dress, talk and write? I also have no problem giving help to those who are working like Dave is. I have a real problem with the "professional poor" who know how to work the system, have multiple kids by multiple partners and expect the taxpayers to support this life style. These are their choices and I resent them thinking the taxpayers are responsible for their food, clothing, shelter, maintenance and upkeep. Before they receive any type of assistance they should be required to prove the paternity of these children and the father should be required to contribute to their welfare not the taxpayer!

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40taliwacker(54 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"An advocacy group for the poor says the state should first prove that there is a drug problem among those who receive public aid before starting testing."
I think they need to hang out on one of the corners on the south side, the first week of the month... I bet the get more than a few dozen crack heads, that ask them if they want to buy their food stamps... for half price..

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41taliwacker(54 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

they should set a 4 year lifetime limit, to one person collecting Any type of welfare... they should make them also go report to the local welfare office.. at that time, people who are employed by the welfare office, will hand out tasks for them to do, ie cleaning, cutting, sweeping, picking up trash, whatever they come up with... Those people who currently hold a job in such areas within the welfare office, will be tasked to train, supervise, and make sure welfare receivers work... Welfare receivers, must complete a minimum of 80 hours each month, in order to get paid on the first... while working your 80 hours a month, you will be required to pass two random drug tests a month.. or those who decide to enroll themselves into a trade school, or college full time will also be allowed to still receive welfare, as long as they maintain a C+ average in there classes. Anyone who fails any drug test, or is not recorded as submitting to 2 test a month, or does not meet the full time enrollment criteria, or fails to provide 80 hours a month , will not receive a check on the 1st, and will have to refile for benefits.. anyone whom has to refile for benefits more than 3 times, within the 4 years, because of failing to meet these criteria, will be cut from any government assistance for life..

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42knight(2 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Add all state appointed and elected office holders including anyone receiving Gov't pay.

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