To: Pat McCrory, Governor
Gov McCrory: No drug testing for public assistance
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As a North Carolinian, I urge you to veto House Bill 392, which wastes State resources and infringes on the constitutional rights of those on public assistance. The bill is grasping at a problem that simply does not exist in the population of North Carolinians impacted by this legislation.
Why is this important?
During their final hours in Raleigh, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a foolish bill requiring those applying for public assistance to pass a drug test before they can become eligible for assistance. This unconstitutional idea has been tried in other states, but it has always been stopped by court order.
A group of civil rights organizations sent a letter to the Governor outlining the problems with the bill and asking him to veto it. We are asking him to do the same, but we think the Governor should hear from you.
HB 392 should be vetoed because it creates unnecessary hurdles for North Carolinians in need of public assistance. It imposes additional requirements on the Work First Program, which provides temporary support for families as they work toward self-sufficiency, and on Food and Nutrition Services, which helps low-income households buy adequate food. As state employees told legislators at legislative hearings regarding this bill, these programs already use a system of interviews and drug screenings to efficiently screen applicants who may be at risk of drug or alcohol addiction.
Research shows the differences in the proportion of public assistance and non-public assistance recipients using illegal drugs are statistically insignificant. A more thorough consideration of HB 392 would have revealed that Florida, before its own drug testing law was declared unconstitutional, found that the rate of drug use among these populations is lower than in the general population.
The bill is grasping at a problem that simply does not exist in the population of North Carolinians impacted by this legislation.