Supporters say the measure is designed to break the cycle of poverty by helping drug users find treatment. But opponents say it’s all just a punitive attack on low income individuals who rely on state assistance to get by.
Some low-income Michigan families would have to pass drug tests and make sure their children don’t miss too many days of school in order to qualify for welfare benefits, under legislation being considered by the state Legislature.
Michigan lawmakers are planning to consider a bill that would require welfare applicants and recipients to pass drug tests.
Michigan has a new law making it illegal for prison inmates to participate in the state’s food stamp program.
The state of Michigan can take away welfare benefits under a five-year federal limit even if recipients still might qualify for cash under state law, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.
Jackie Doig, of the Saginaw-based Center for Civil Justice, says only about 100 of the 11,000 families that lost benefits starting last October have had them restored, despite a March court order telling the state to do so.
The Detroit Public Schools district has lost millions of dollars in state aid after attendance fell below 75 percent on 10 days during the 2010-11 school year.
The Michigan Supreme Court won’t immediately take up a case involving when welfare benefits can be ended.
In Michigan, a bill that would require a clean drug test as a condition of cash assistance eligibility is pending in the state House. The measure does not specify suspicion-based testing and appears to be broader, potentially applying to all applicants.
The latest Economic Security Bulletin shows that food aid in Michigan rose in the third quarter of 2011 compared with the third quarter of 2010, with nearly 967,000 people in Michigan using the Food Assistance Program.