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Aldona WosArt popePat McCrory 4How much lower can the performance of the folks running North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services sink? By all indications, DHHS now stands for Department of Hell for Hurting Souls.

The latest outrage, of course, is the decision to give life to the late night fantasies of the Randians in the Pope Empire by using the federal government shutdown as an excuse to close the last vestiges of North Carolina’s already pitiable “welfare” program: Work First. The program has already been allowed to wither to the point at which it serves only a tiny fragment of those who should be receiving assistance. It cost less than $5 million for the entire state in September — barely enough to renovate two dozen nice bathrooms.

And still, the McCrory/Pope/Wos triumvirate can’t be bothered to do what the leaders of every other state in the union have done — states who, by the way, almost all have much, much larger bills to pay – namely, to stick a crow bar in their precious rainy day fund and free up a few hundred thousand bucks for a few days.     

The decision, of course, comes on top of similar decisions to halt  payments for several other programs serving the most needy, including WIC (subsequently rescinded in the wake of widespread public outrage), vocational rehabilitation and the TEACH childcare program.

All in all, it is just one more  toxic brick in the reprehensible wall being constructed by the nation’s most extreme administration that continues to divide citizens from their government and the haves of society from the have nots. 

 

The ACLU of North Carolina sent a letter to its members and suporters today asking them to urge their state representatives and senators to uphold Gov. McCrory’s veto of controversial drug testing legislation. This is from the letter:

“In announcing his veto, Gov. McCrory called H.B. 392 ‘a recipe for government overreach and unnecessary government intrusion … that is not a smart way to combat drug abuse.’ We agree.

H.B. 392 does nothing to rehabilitate people who test positive for drugs. But it would open the door to costly and unnecessary government intrusions into the physical privacy of North Carolinians who need public assistance to care for their families. It would also force people in need to pay up front for their urine test, likely deterring many families from even applying.

Our state and federal constitutions protect the privacy and dignity of all North Carolinians against unreasonable searches, and all available evidence has shown that welfare applicants are no more likely to use drugs than the general public. Forcing North Carolinians who need public assistance to care for their families to pay up front for an invasive test without reasonable suspicion of drug use would be cruel, costly, and constitutionally suspect.”

The General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene next Tuesday September 3 to consider the veto.

Kevin Rogers, an attorney with Action NC, has an excellent opinion piece in today’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer:

“For all the trouble they caused this session, N.C. General Assembly leaders lacked a certain amount of inventiveness.

Almost every bill they introduced was already being considered, or was law, somewhere else.Case in point, during the final hours in Raleigh, the General Assembly passed a foolish bill requiring those applying for public assistance to pass a drug test before they can become eligible. This unconstitutional idea has been tried before in other states, and it makes no more sense here than it did when it was first implemented, and failed miserably, in Florida. Read More

As you can see below, the good people at Action NC are speaking up and out against the General Assembly’s plan to make applicants for Work First assistance to take drug tests before they can obtain the pittance in benefits that the program provides.

Send the NCGA a Pee Cup

The North Carolina Senate has passed a bill requiring applicants of the welfare program known as WorkFirst  to first pay for, and then pass, a drug test before enrolling in the program.

cup1.gifThis bill is not law yet. With your help, we can send a strong message to our lawmakers.

You can send a pee cup to your State Senator with a small $8 donation to Action NC.

We will tell NC General Assembly that if they are going to require drug tests for North Carolina residents, then they should pee first. Read More

Just released:sb594

Mandatory drug testing of Work First applicants, recipients would be costly, ineffective, and likely illegal
New report finds universal drug testing could cost North Carolina as much as $2.3 million

RALEIGH (April 22, 2013) — North Carolina lawmakers are currently pursuing legislation that would require mandatory drug testing of all Work First applicants and recipients. Such actions would be costly, likely illegal, and ineffective at identifying and treating drug abuse, a new report finds.

North Carolina’s Work First program assists extremely low-income families in getting on the path to self-sufficiency. Suspicionless mandatory drug testing for Work First families, as proposed by Senate Bill 594, would place additional financial burdens on struggling families who receive assistance, not to mention the whole of North Carolina, according to a new report from the North Carolina Justice Center. Read More