Wisconsin officials wrote a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Wednesday urging the secretary to reject Gov. Walker’s federal waiver for drug testing those seeking benefits from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and Medical Assistance.
The waiver is appealing a federal law, one which says states cannot impose more restrictions on food stamp eligibility.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., said in the letter they felt these drug tests would be disrespectful to low-income citizens and worried about their impact on these individuals.
“People who fall on hard times deserve to be treated with dignity - not presumed criminals,” Parisi said in the letter.
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The letter mentioned a plan similar to Walker’s that passed in Florida and ended up costing taxpayers unnecessary money.
“In Dane County alone, this would subject thousands of men and women annually to unnecessary and costly testing,” Parisi said in the letter. “Statewide this expense will be much greater – potentially exceeding $10 million.”
Parisi and Pocan said they believe Walker will try to implement the law, regardless of the federal waiver decision.