2013 Legislative Sesssion
11:41 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Forget Welfare Recipients: Should State Officials Be Drug Tested Too?

Gov. Rick Perry is holding another press conference this afternoon to discuss possible changes to welfare and unemployment insurance – including the possibility that so called "high-risk" recipients be required to take drug tests.

Today Perry will stand alongside State Sen. Tommy Williams in Conroe to once again talk about his support for a bill filed this week. It's an issue Perry has pounced on and appears to be making a priority for the 2013 Legislative Session. Just yesterday, Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst held a rare joint press conference yesterday to praise the bill filed by State Sen. Jane Nelson.

Now, a state representative from Beaumont is throwing the bill's supporters a challenge. State Rep. Joe Deshotel wants Perry, Dewhurst and Nelson to support adding a drug test requirement to the application to run for state office.

Deshotel says many office holders in Texas draw larger incomes from the state than any welfare recipient. And, he says, officials should adhere to the same standard they impose on constituents.

Deshotel goes on to state his opposition to Senate Bill 11. He call it "both fiscally and morally irresponsible" – particularly after a period of economic struggle.

Nelson says Senate Bill 11 would also strengthen work and job training requirements and tighten rules to prevent funds from being used for alcohol, tobacco and other prohibited uses.