Target: Governor Pat McCrory
Goal: Support more just welfare policies
Pat McCrory, the Republican Governor of North Carolina, recently vetoed a bill that called for mandatory drug tests for welfare recipients. He cited his desire for a small government as one reason for stopping the policy.
The bill calling for the mandatory drug tests was openly opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union in North Carolina, indicating that it called for excessive governmental intrusion on a specific group of people, without any suspicion that the recipients of the programs were using drugs. They referred to the state and federal constitution in saying that individuals are not supposed to undergo unreasonable searches, and that this policy would fall under that umbrella because welfare recipients are not more likely to use drugs than people not on welfare.
The specific program for which Governor McCrory vetoed the drug testing is called Work First, and although he banned the drug testing, he signed an executive order demanding that individuals using Work First share criminal records, as he does not want “federal fugitives” to benefit from the program.
Despite other problematic policies that the Governor has supported, his very progressive decision not to mandate drug tests is a step in the right direction. He indicated that forcing welfare candidates to take drug tests would not be an effective way to stop drug abuse, and that doing so would just be an extra expense for taxpayers without actually helping to end drug addiction. He also agreed with the ACLU in that mandating these drug tests would be unnecessary intrusion on the part of the government and would be unfair and economically irresponsible.
By signing the petition below you will be praising Governor Pat McCrory for vetoing this bill and asking him to continue supporting welfare recipients in North Carolina.
Dear Governor Pat McCrory,
I am writing you to praise you for your decision to veto the mandatory drug tests that were suggested for individuals in the Work First program in North Carolina. Stopping this policy means that welfare recipients will not face unnecessary government intrusion, and also allows space for more meaningful and effective efforts to address drug addiction.
Studies have shown that recipients of welfare do not use drugs more often than individuals not on welfare, and forcing welfare recipients to take mandatory drug tests is not only an unnecessary breach of privacy, it also stereotypes and stigmatizes a specific group of people. I hope that in the future you continue to create policies that support the rights of welfare recipients.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Hal Goodtree via Wikimedia Commons