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VA Senate Democrats Defeat Overreaching Republican Bill to Drug Test Public Assistance Recipients


Great work by the Virginia Senate Democratic caucus defeating this utterly disgraceful Republican legislation. In this case, when Republicans start requiring drug testing for recipients of corporate welfare, then we'll know they're not just bashing poor people and minorities. But, of course, they'll never do that to their corporate masters.


RICHMOND, VA — Today, Senate Democrats defeated SB 721, which would have forced some recipients of public assistance to submit to humiliating drug tests. On a party-line vote, Senate Republicans voted unanimously to continue forcing their radical, overreaching agenda on Virginians. The bill was defeated on a 20-19 vote.

Senator Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton) said, “Drug testing for welfare recipients is demeaning. Why are poor people singled out for testing? Why not legislators, or the CEOs of companies the taxpayers have bailed out? Why is it assumed that the poor, and only the poor, are using drugs? This bill is belittling and demeaning, and I am glad Senate Democrats have rejected it.”

Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax), “In Florida they found only $230,000 of savings, and it would have cost them millions to implement if a federal court hadn't ruled it unconstitutional.”

Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) said, “Targeting low-income Virginians for drug tests stigmatizes people with the simple fact that they're poor. These are mean-spirited and punitive measures that single out struggling Virginians.” 


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