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Walker Confident Food Stamp Drug Testing Plan Would Survive Court Challenges

Similar Policies In Other States Have Hit Legal Snags

Food stamp assistance would be subject to drug testing under Gov. Walker's planned budget changes. | Photo: Dale Basler (CC-BY-SA)

Gov. Scott Walker told reporters on Thursday afternoon that his proposal to drug test food stamp recipients is designed to survive a legal challenge if the policy ends up in federal court.

Similar drug testing requirements have faced pushback in other states. Georgia dropped a proposal to test food stamp recipients after being warned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that it was illegal and a federal judge ruled a Florida testing law unconstitutional.

Speaking at a Mosinee factory on Thursday, Walker said Wisconsin’s program is different because it will offer addiction treatment to those who test positive.

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“We’ve not only had our budget team but our legal team look at it,” Walker said. “We believe the differences we have with other states is that ours are not set up from a punitive standpoint. What we’re set up to do is get people into the workforce, and in the rare cases where someone has a drug problem, to get them the help and assistance.”

Walker said that he’s fulfilling a campaign promise by including the new drug testing requirement.