Veto No. 1: No Drug Tests For Welfare Applicants
Photo by Jim Bowen
CHAPEL HILL – Your North Carolina senator, Ellie Kinnaird, has one point of positive feedback for Governor Pat McCrory’s veto of the Welfare Drug Testing bill, but she says the Governor didn’t get everything right.
“He did the right thing,” Senator Kinnaird says. “Now, as far as the fleeing felons, is this a problem? We kind of doubt it. He’s probably on pretty good grounds that they can fix it later on. I just don’t think that there are that many fugitive felons that are applying for temporary assistance for needy families or any of these social services.”
Thursday, Gov. McCrory vetoed his first bill since being in office—House Bill 392—which would have required drug screening of those applying for welfare assistance.
The executive order Gov. McCrory signed along with the veto is entitled “Strengthening Fugitive Apprehension and Protecting Public Benefits.” In a release, Gov. McCrory says he wants to “ensure that fugitive felons are not on public assistance rolls.”
However, Senator Kinnaird says there are other ways to make sure the welfare program is protected.
“They always have background checks available; they’re not that hard to come by,” Senator Kinnaird says. “What it would do is make it more selective. So, I really think that this is a common sense veto on his part, and it will greatly relieve our departments or social services that are already stretched thin.”
Gov. McCrory also says he vetoed the drug screening bill because it would be a burden on taxpayers and that other states with similar laws showed little positive feedback for fighting drug addiction.
The bill passed the house and senate in overwhelming fashion. The Senate approved it 42-4 while the House approved it 92-21 with three no votes.