Indiana Assemblyman withdraws urine-testing for welfare bill when colleague adds urine-testing for Assemblyman amendment

Rep. Jud McMillin, a Republican in the Illinois Indiana General Assembly, has withdrawn a bill requiring mandatory drug-testing for welfare recipients. The withdrawal was occasioned by an amendment introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Rep. Ryan Dvorak. The amendment would require mandatory drug testing for members of the Illinois Indiana General Assembly, as well.

"After [the amendment] passed, Rep. McMillin got pretty upset and pulled his bill," Dvorak said. "If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy. ... If we're going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money."

Legislators Totally Cool With Required Drug Testing Unless It Applies To Them

(Image: Urine storage in different types of Cans, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from gtzecosan's photostream)


  1. I remember hearing, shortly after Giffords was shot, that a Republican Congressman was pushing a bill that would make it illegal to carry a gun within X number of feet of a Congressman.  I assume someone pointed out to him precisely how that sounds, because I never heard about it again.

  2. Sometimes there is evidence of intelligent life in politics.   It’s not conclusive quite yet, but perhaps there is the faintest glimmer…

    1. The institute for the Search for Intra Political Intelligence (SIPI) would like you to contribute to this effort with the SIPI ‘at’ home program. The program is available at your local community center during election times and comes in the form of a voting ticket.

      You will help finding the first signals of intelligence in politics and perhaps resolve some of the big questions in political science, among them the Democracy Paradox eloquently stated by an unknown disgruntled voter as: “If there is really intelligence in politics, where are all the intelligent politicians?”.

      A promising signal has been detected coming from the constellation IGA-D, it is identified informally as the “Wow” signal by notes scribbled on the sides of the plot by the Politonomers at Boing Boing.

      As with all scientific inquiry it is now necessary to reproduce this observation, so we’d ask all capable voters to make use of the SIPI at home program to try to repeat this signal.

      1. we need a Drake equation analogon for political intelligence. and some BOINC project for finding common sense in legislative texts…

    1. “Obamacare”

      Yawn. Buzzwords created by the media, designed for people who don’t actually want a workable system.

      Tie it to Romney, Obama, Clinton and watch the right-wing swarm to tear it to shreds.

      1. I wonder why they haven’t turned it into a positive word yet.
        You know, like “gay”.
        “Obamacare – ‘Cause Obama cares!”

      2. I’m confused why the right, which is so gung-ho when it comes to issues of spending and waste, for some reason is opposed to any reasonable plan to reign in healthcare costs.

    2. You mean the guys who already get really, really good taxpayer funded healthcare and have for decades?  I mean, of course the new minimums don’t apply to Congress – the health care that Congresscritters get is already far and away better than the minimum guarantees the stuff that passed recently provides.

    3. How quickly we all forget:

      Not sure if more than 16 of the Congressfolk/other politicians who continue to beat the drum for repeal (“on day 1 of [their] administration”, no less) ultimately decided to not be hypocrites, but I’m guessing not many.

      Also, let’s also remember our Libertarian foremother, Ayn Rand, and what she did when facing mounting medical bills:

      If everyone’s really worried about the economy here in the US, the cost of decent medical outcomes has to be one of the first adult discussions to be held.  Private health insurers have taken from us all long enough and our health, as a country, is deplorable for all their efforts.  It’s not regulations that are the problem; it’s the policies that these crooks come up with to not cover reasonable medical expenses.  (Yes, this is oversimplifying: plenty of docs have taken to performing unnecessary or redundant tests to make up for declining reimbursement, but that’s just being a good businessman [and thereby, a good American], right?  It’s not against the law, per se, so it must be fine, right?)

      The recent efforts of private insurers to rebrand themselves as “wellness” companies is laughable.  What’s going to happen to them when we’re all perfectly healthy and the only people who need them are those with chronic illnesses that they’ve done everything in their power to eliminate from their plans through policy rescissions?

    1. Yeah, I came in to also say that this was *Indiana*, not Illinois.

      Indiana has been a kind of workshop lately for imbecilic, anti-labor, class war by the rich, legislation.

      1. Particularly egregious for its sheer senselessness: the Indiana “sing the National Anthem like we tell you to or we’ll fine you $25” bill. 

  3. I would say you’d get a better Keynesian multiplier out of taxes –> welfare than taxes –> politicians.

  4. Heeeyyy  – my wife works for the feds. I think she has to submit to a test if asked, and had to to get hired. Why shouldn’t senators?

    The idea to not have welfare go for drugs is an attractive one – but pointless. If people want to waste money on beer, cigarettes, and The Best of Lynard Skynard albums, there is little you can do.

    1. Heeeyyy  – my wife works for the feds. I think she has to submit to a test if asked, and had to to get hired. Why shouldn’t senators?

      IMO it’s really pretty simple: because your wife shouldn’t have to, either.

      Say what you want about George Shultz (there’s a lot to say), but when the Reagan Whitehouse first made urine samples mandatory, he refused on ethical grounds. And he kept his job as Secretary of State (could you imagine Clinton standing up, so publicly, that way?).

    2. It’s just not cost-effective, either, and it’s skewed.  I could take 10 lines of coke right now, and pass my drug test in 2 or 3 days.  If I smoked a joint 3 weeks ago, I might fail.  And what about alcohol?  That’s even harder to test.

      You need expensive tests to test accurately and fairly.

      1. But freethinkers are more dangerous to profits than addicts are. The war on drugs is doing exactly what it is supposed to. 

        1. You say that as if  “freethinker” and “addict”  are orthogonal measures.

          I don’t think they are, although the propaganda surrounding the WOD would like us to think they are.

    3. There’s precious little welfare money anyway, seriously.  People are arguing over a teeny portion of the budget because they can make it a big moral issue.  Most forms of government subsidy are pretty hard to turn into drugs (heat assistance, rent assistance, food stamps, etc).  TANF money is temporary and not enough.

      I’d love it if no one blew their tiny pittance of government money on a drug addiction, but I’d love it MORE if we could quit demonizing the poor people who have drug addictions and really pretty hellish lives.  And maybe help them have better lives.

    4. They already went through this in Florida — I don’t recall the extent of the pilot or whatever, but the basic conclusion was:
      Welfare recipients had almost NO positive tests for drugs, far below the average for the whole population.

  5. Said Judd before withdrawing the bill, “Does anyone know how long it takes meth to get out of your system? No. Uh, I withdraw.”

    (Some voices impersonated. Do not attempt at home. Closed course with professional driver.)

      1. Yet if you smoke a joint, you can fail for a month or even more depending.  Drug testing en masse is just not consistent, fair, or cost-effective.

        1. I would not take zarray’s advice too literally. I think zarray was responding to my string of disclaimers, rather than giving drug-test advice.

          Follow at your own risk. Side effect have been reported.

          1. Well, he was exaggerating a bit.  I believe most uppers will stay in your system up to 72 hours, but I’m not 100% sure and I don’t want to google at work, haha.  And of course it all depends on a lot of factors.

            I know someone who could smoke a ton of weed and pass a drug test in like, 3 days, because of his fast metabolism.

          2. One day I watched a judge yell at a defendant for not being able to go 12 hours without cocaine. The judge said he knew this because somehow the guy constantly failed his 3x a week drug testing regime.  He was put back in prison, which was sad, since he was clearly sick.

  6. I say any program designed for people recieving government care (be it funding, healthcare, foodstamp aid, or college funding, or anything i haven’t covered) should go to those that are in office, and that is what they should have to subsist off of.

    Why? Fair’s Fair right?

  7. “The Supreme Court ruled drug testing for political candidates unconstitutional in 1997, striking down a Georgia law. McMillin said he withdrew his bill so he could reintroduce it on Monday with a lawmaker drug testing provision that would pass constitutional muster.”  from HuffPost

    1. I don’t get how it is unconstitutional for political candidates but not for the general citizen   Now that is some fucked-up-ness.

      1. It is unconstitutional for the government to mandate drug testing without probably cause, but it seems each state must learn that expensive lesson for itself.  Just ask Michigan (SCOTUS shot it down in 2003) and Florida (Federal judge shot it down late last year).
        Even then, some states apparently need to learn this lesson more than once, because the notion is currently being floated in Michigan again.

      2. I don’t get how it is unconstitutional for political candidates but not for the general citizen

        Being baked is political speech, just like money.

    2. Yeah, but these guys aren’t *candidates*; they’re sworn-in *politicians.* Win the election, pee in the cup before you take the oath. Simple as that

      1. Before you take the oath you’re not in the legislative branch, so the separation of powers need not apply yet! Good thinking hassen!

  8. Hey, you know us midwesterners.  Illinois, Indiana.  What’s the difference?  Quebec, Toronto.  Same place, eh?  :-)

    1. While I realize that’s a joke, it’s not far from the truth.  I never was that good in geography…and I’m guessing a lot of other people aren’t either.

      1. To be honest, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa are basically the same state except Illinois has Chicago. Of course, that changes the politics, economics, racial make-up etc. etc. of Illinois versus the other two. Still, farm states with heavy manufacturing bases . . .

  9. Oh but you are missing the best part of this tale, Rep. McMillian’s past.
    Indiana’s Jud McMillin: A Tale of Glass Houses & Rocks

    An excerpt:
    “In one exchange, McMillin is alleged to have texted Stapleton that he was heartsick being separated from her and sent photos of himself masturbating with a string tied tightly from his testicles to the wheels of a rolling office chair to illustrate his pain.”

    1. When I read that a fanatically anti-gay male Republican lawmaker enjoys using a dildo on himself, but the pictures of this have apparently gone missing from the court records, my first impulse is to believe it.

      That’s sort of sad, I guess.

  10. I have no problem with drugs. If people want to use them go ahead. It is when the people take money out of my paycheck to buy their drugs with. Then I have a little problem. That money that I have no choice in giving away is supposed to go to food and clothing for their children. Not for drugs so they can get high and just continue the cycle.

    1. And the money that that you have no choice in giving away that goes to lawmakers salaries and perks? What are they using that for? Why is one different from the other?

      1. Oh, but I’m sure the right-winger zealots also hate those perks. It’s just their leadership who don’t, but one’s own leaders always have a good excuse for being how they are.

    2. 97% of Florida Welfare Recipients Pass Drug Test

      Of course, the actual testing ended up costing tax payers 2.7 million dollars. With endless foreclosures, and crashing economies you’d think lawmakers would have better things to do.

      Apparently this is about humiliating the people in this country that need our help the most, because it’s certainly not about fiscal responsibility.

      More class war on the poor and working classes.

      I’ve never needed welfare, but I’ve worked and paid taxes my entire life since I was a teen.  If I do need welfare someday I’ll use that money how I f’n please.  However, like most people I’m sure that will be on the basic needs for survival.

    3. I have no problem with drugs. If people want to use them go ahead. It is when the people take money out of my paycheck to buy their drugs with. Then I have a little problem

      The amount they’ve been taking out of paychecks to fight the senseless — and totally ineffective — WOD runs in the billions.

      That should give you a problem. Misuse of welfare funds pales by comparison. Truly and literally.

      Check it out sometime!

    4. I have a much bigger problem with corporate welfare, as it costs us more with less positive results for us to boot. And I feel that if a congressperson feels so strongly about where public money goes, they themselves should not only submit to regular drug testing, but also be beholden to not base their votes on lobbyists. Oh, and how about insider trading tips that congresspeople get? That should be out, too, if honesty is REALLY what these people are after.

  11. So here is your political trivia question for the day:  who owns Solantic, and how does it relate to this article?

    Well the governor of Florida did own Solantic, but he put it in a trust in his wife’s name before he signed the first “drug test for welfare recipient”  law.  Solantic is the company that actually preforms, and profits from, the drug testing.  They did an expert job of distracting from this fact by making it look like anybody that opposed this testing was in favor of crackheads and junkies getting a free ride on our tax dollars.  Even though having a drug conviction disqualifies someone from a good bit of public assistance already.   The idea of testing the legislators was a really good one.

  12. As a Hoosier, I have to say the “urine test legislators” amendment is about the only positive thing happening in the Statehouse this year. “Right to Work” legislation, for instance, is fast-tracking through both chambers, heading toward a guaranteed signing by Gov. Mitch Daniels, perhaps as soon as next week. There’s also legislation winging its way through that will authorize Creationism as an “option” in science class curriculums.

    1. As your immediate neighbor to the south, I don’t envy you one bit. We in Kentucky, however,  must suffer the likes of Rand Paul and the ever baffling re-elected presence of the “hemorrhoid-that-will-not-go-away”, Mitch McConnell.

      To all the decent people out there:  We cannot apologize enough for our ignorant brethren having ever delivered Mitch unto you.

  13. Urine testing for CEOs of corporations selling stuff or services to the govt. Say once a day – they’ve shown a pronounced tendency to be untrustworthy, as a group.

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