The South Dakota legislature has voted against drug testing for welfare recipients. It was a close vote- 32-36, but the right vote nonetheless.  I was really happy to read this opinion piece in a local paper last week. It’s nice to see the media pushing back sometimes against the macho posturing of politicians:

This legislation appears to arise out of conservative antagonism toward welfare. We understand that viewpoint. In order to maintain our government’s fiscal discipline, welfare should be limited, and it should go only to those who truly need it.

But this legislation is conservatism taken to a dangerous extreme. If a family qualifies for assistance from TANF and a parent tests positive for illegal drugs, that doesn’t lessen the family’s need for help; in fact, it shows a need for additional help, probably from a drug counselor. Why punish the family’s children by immediately taking away their TANF assistance?

Following on from Raabe’s sacking earlier in the day, I can’t help but feel that today has been a good day in the war against the war against drugs.

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