Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less



WELFARE: Drug-testing shown to be a bad idea

The recent proposal to require drug-testing for those seeking family welfare benefits is a bad idea for more than one reason.

• It will cost taxpayers far more than it will save. Florida’s 2011 attempt to drug-test applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) ended with two significant results: 98 percent of the TANF applicants tested (who were mainly women and children over 12) did not use drugs, and the cost of administering the program was far greater than any hoped-for savings.

• The word “welfare” is too often used without precision, resulting in ignorant judgments about actual recipients

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DRUGS: Testing should start small, with foster care applicants

Re: “Welfare recipients may face drug testing” (TNT, 2-14).

I am dismayed some of our leaders in Olympia are presenting bills to test welfare recipients for drugs. This is a complex issue both legally and financially.

Perhaps a more logical place to start drug testing would be the initial foster care applicants. DSHS foster care licensing does not test new applicants for drugs. First and foremost, foster care children deserve to be protected as much as possible. The cost of drug testing initial foster care applicants would be low. The number of foster care abuse court settlements paid out

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