VA Senate Rejects Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients
On Monday, the Virginia state Senate rejected a bill that would have required screening and possible testing for illicit drug use in order to qualify for state assistance.
In a party line vote of 20-19, the state Senate rejected the bill proposed by Senator Bill Carrico (R-Grayson) that would require those applying for public assistance to undergo a preliminary screening for drug use. Recipients suspected of drug use would then be required to take a drug test. If an individual tested positive, they would lose state benefits for a year unless they attended a rehabilitation program. Senator Larry Blevins (R) did not vote.
While supporters of the bill argued that the intent was to prevent taxpayer money from being used to sustain drug habits, opponents argued that it was an attack on low-income families based on stereotypes. Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) said "Drug tests for welfare recipients are demeaning...Why are poor people singled out for testing? Why not legislators?...Why is it assumed the poor and only the poor are using drugs?" In a press release, Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) said "These are unfair and punitive measures that single out struggling Virginians simply because they are poor. In fact, studies show that welfare recipients have a lower percentage of illegal drug use than the general population. As a taxpayer, I believe money should not be spent on a problem that does not exist."
Media Resources: Office of Senator Favola Press Release 2/5/2013; Washington Examiner 2/4/2013; Washington Post 2/4/2013
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .