Press release from Tennessee Citizen Action; March 26, 2012:
CLEAR PLASTIC CUP? YOU FIRST.
Last week a bill requiring Tennesseans receiving TANF benefits (Temporary Assistantance for Needy Familiee) to be drug tested was approved by a Senate committee. This is just one more legislative solution in search of a problem.
People who are unemployed are not criminals. Let’s just start there. So when Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, supporter of a bill that would require anyone getting any kind of government assistance to be drug tested says, “I’m in favor of drug testing for people that are on any kind of benefits. Whether it’s unemployment compensation, workers compensation or whatever it is, because I don’t think that we need to be supporting that kind of lifestyle,” we have to wonder, why does the Lt. Governor of our state think so little of the people he has sworn to serve?
Here’s an idea, instead of this monumental waste of time what if our legislators worked just as hard to figure out how to provide meaningful employment and reemployment tools to those who are out of work? Crazy, we know.
(This Daily Show clip features a trip to Florida to dispel the myths perpetuated by supporters of this bill – that all poor people working hard to pull themselves out of povery, or who have slipped into poverty because of a wretched economic downturn – are on drugs. They found Floridian Luis Lebron, a Navy veteran on public assistance. How many Luis Lebrons are there in Tennessee?)
So without further ado, we dedicate this Tennessee Citizen Action sing-a-long to our state legislators, who also receive government benefits. Just sayin…
SUNG TO THE TUNE OF “RED SOLO CUP“
Now a clear plastic cup is the best receptacle
For drug tests that placate your accusations of chemicals
And you, sirs & madams, sit up on your pedestals
While you target the struggling middle class
A clear plastic cup is cheap and disposable
And what’s stored in it is certainly not potable
But who’s asked to fill them is certainly notable
Targeting the working class. Boo!
Clear plastic cup, Let’s see YOU fill it up
Your bill is malarkey, Your bill is horse hockey
Don’t ask for a filled up, filled up clear plastic cup
Unless you do it first…
(Our apologies to Toby Keith)
SB2580 / HB2725
SPONSORS: Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville), Rep. Julia Hurley (R-Lenoir City)
SUMMARY: Requires applicants for TANF benefits to undergo a drug test before receiving such benefits
UPDATE: Sent to Senate Finance Ways & Means Committee; To be heard in House Health Subcommittee for Tuesday, 3/27, at 10:30 in Room 29. See the committee members and watch the live video here.