Perry and Dewhurst Advocate for Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

Dallas Morning News photo: Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at an Austin glass factory today (Office of the Governor)

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst wholeheartedly support State Senator Jane Nelson’s (R-Flower Mound) proposed legislation to require drug testing of welfare recipients.

Naturally, liberals drag out their well-worn argument against drug testing. The argument: All state welfare is geared toward the children. Therefore, denying benefits to parents will deprive children of public assistance.

What about the kids? Let’s take a look at the Child Welfare Information Gateway’s website.

Abuse of drugs or alcohol by parents and other caregivers can have negative effects on the health, safety, and well-being of children. Approximately 47 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S Virgin Islands have laws within their child protection statutes that address the issue of substance abuse by parents. Two areas of concern are the harm caused by prenatal drug exposure and the harm caused to children of any age by exposure to illegal drug activity in their homes or environment.

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires States to have policies and procedures in place to notify child protective services (CPS) agencies of substanceexposed newborns (SENs) and to establish a plan of safe care for newborns identified as being affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure. Several States currently address this requirement in their statutes. Approximately 19 States and the District of Columbia have specific reporting procedures for infants who show evidence at birth of having been exposed to drugs, alcohol, or other controlled substances; 12 States and the District of Columbia include this type of exposure in their definitions of child abuse or neglect.

If the ACLU and columnists like Christy Hoppe of the Dallas Morning News genuinely care about the children, then I challenge them to look past their campaign to enable drug-addicted parents and examine the effects drug use have on the children.

Texas Fam. Code §§ 161.001; 161.002(b); 161.007 provides for termination of parental rights under several conditions, including,

Knowingly allowed the child to remain in conditions or surroundings that endanger the physical or emotional well-being of the child

News reports and court rulings routinely expose the full spectrum of child abuse due to the presence and use of illegal drugs and legal alcohol in welfare households.

I agree with Senator Jane Nelson, Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst – let’s require drug testing of all adults living in a household of welfare recipients. Let’s do if for the children’s sake.

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