2nd and Final in a Series, apparently.
According to Emily Ramshaw at the Texas Tribune, the clock has run out on SB 11, a bill which would require TANF and other state benefit recipients to undergo costly drug testing before receiving benefits. As in other states, like Florida, the test was sure to cost more than the “savings” of taking away benefits from folks, but, mostly, it was the attack against the poor which really riled some Democrats.
State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said the bill was unconstitutional and invited future legal challenges.
“Are people using their food stamps to go buy drugs? I categorically deny that,” he said. “Let me just tell you, it’s hell to be poor. And it’s certainly hell to be poor in the state of Texas.”
Apparently, Republicans thought the delay would cause some of their other bad bills to die, so they didn’t really fight back. Call it a victory or simply a “whew!” moment, but it was good to see Dems stand up against this bill.
I noticed that one amendment was added that would require drug testing of legislators. I can’t say I was for that, either. I would support a breathalyzer test for legislators to be taken anytime they return to the floor, along with a new crime called LWI – Legislating While Intoxicated.