MNGOP Rep. Drazkowski blames liberal media after report rips apart his useless pet law

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In Sunday's Star Tribune, reporter Chris Serres took a tough look at a law sponsored by Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, that requires some welfare recipients to take random drug tests on pain of losing their benefits.

SEE ALSO: Pine County Sheriff's refusal to enforce new gun regulations has Draz's support

As Serres writes, the findings of his investigation indicate that the law, which was approved in 2012 by the then-Republican-controlled Senate, "could end up costing taxpayers far more than it saves, while inadvertently denying assistance to poor families simply because they are unable to comply with its complex paperwork."

The piece quotes Heidi Welsch, director of family support and assistance for Olmsted County, as saying, "I don't think anyone is under the illusion that this is about saving taxpayers money... This is punitive."

Serres cites data showing that less than 1 percent of participants in the state's largest welfare program have felony drug convictions, which is actually a smaller percentage than the state's adult population as a whole. In sum, it shows there's absolutely no good reason to believe drug abuse among welfare recipients is a problem requiring a legislative fix.

But on his Facebook page, Draz, who told the Strib he decided to push the testing requirement after hearing reports from Mazeppa (population 842) that some welfare-receiving residents were using their benefits to buy drugs, doesn't back down an inch.

Here's how he defended his law against liberal spin and the "government-media complex":
The spin placed upon this law by the government and compliant liberal media is astonishing. They didn't mention the abuse of the taxpayers' generosity by drug abusers, they didn't mention the young kids whose aid is intercepted by drug addicted adults and used for buying drugs, leaving the kids without food - and they are doing all they can to make it appear as if this is a money-losing proposition. The desire to make everyone dependent upon the government is clouding their original perception of right and wrong. Thankfully, the people of Minnesota understand - we need hard-working Minnesotans from every corner to stand up to the government-media complex and repudiate their agenda.
We challenge Draz to cite one specific case of welfare dollars being used to purchase drugs. Just one. And even if he can (color us skeptical), it should be kept in mind he'd still have a long way to go to demonstrate that drug abuse among welfare recipients is a serious problem warranting a legislative fix with negative consequences for innocent families -- especially as a "small government" Republican.

h/t -- Bluestem Prairie

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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32 comments
Ericka Stewart
Ericka Stewart

People running for political office should be required to submit to drug testing.

greenthinks
greenthinks

And Dayton signed it. Get rid of this pampered rich boy so far out of touch. Bush's fraternity mate. Dayton is a tea party conservative in liberal clothing .

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

additionally drug money props up international banks-- who are we kidding 

Brian Mazur
Brian Mazur

considering we have a government whose agents break into the homes of peaceful citizens, execute their pets and hold their families hostage all in attempts to take prohibited substances from them, isn't it logical the same government would test people to be sure they were free of these same subsances before issueing them payment?

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

So , it's a bad thing for welfare recipients be required to take drug tests ? I have to take drug tests to work to pay for their sorry asses.

LynniAnn
LynniAnn

I have read this article three times.  There is nothing about pets in there, contrary tot he headline.  Hipster media gets it wormg again.

amiller92
amiller92

Much better to have aid intercepted by the government so a child can't eat, apparently.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

The simple answer is get rid of welfare and legalize all drugs. Problem solved.

Rajean Moone
Rajean Moone

If he says it enough per GOP rules it will become reality.

Daniel Wolter
Daniel Wolter

Ummmm... wasn't this law passed by a DFL Legislature and signed into law by a DFL Governor? I think CityPages would be more effective in asking those running the government why they enacted something so horrific.

Kurt Hendricks
Kurt Hendricks

All great legislative accomplishments are based squarely in gossip and hearsay.

robert.moffitt
robert.moffitt

I'm disappointed. I thought the law dealt with "useless pets." A statewide Sea Monkey ban.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@greenthinks It is really shameful Dayton signed this.   I'm pretty disappointed.  The DFL owes an explanation and a fix.  This isn't what I voted for.  

LordInfamous
LordInfamous

The cost to the state for providing drug testing far outweighs the cost of providing benefits for the miniscule amount of recipients abusing drugs.  learn the facts, Jack! 

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@LynniAnn  Use a /sarc tag, please.  Your spelling of "worrng" tipped me off, but maybe not everyone got it.

Onan
Onan

@LynniAnn  - You're just not all that bright, are you?

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

@mingtranNot at all problem solved, but thank you for your generalization that fixes nothing.

DBCooper
DBCooper

No, it wasn't.  Read the article as to who controlled the Legislature at that time.  It's in Paragraph II. 

greenthinks
greenthinks

@MicheleBachmann @greenthinks  I really would think that its drug addicts that you would want on welfare. Instead of them sticking a knife in your ribs and wanting your wallet. Isnt that what methadone programs are for by the way? One SERIOUS assault can cost the system hundreds of thousands of dollars. And its pot that they test for  drug testing would fall apart if it wasnt for this very valuable medicinal herb. Michelle are you aware that marijuana is the miracle cure for cancer ? Research this yourself.. We are all learning as we go along thru life  I think you may make a very good advocate  for legalization seeing you are an educated person that doesnt seem to shy away from controversy. . Look into this will you please Dayton says he would have to ask the police  about legalizing  it....what a twit. We are the end of the trail once again here in Minnesota twenty some states have legalized it in some form. A plant that grows like a weed a complete food with 50,000 uses. A tremendous painkiller that nobody has ever died from! With zero deaths ZERO! It has been proven to kill tumors  it kills cancerous tumors but we cant study it here in America because of the prohibition!

Alirox
Alirox

I betcha she's hawt.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Yes, equality does suck chazdanger. Moron

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@greenthinks Things change over time.  I'm glad you are mad.  Try not to be so cynical.  Keep electing smart reasonable politicians and eventually we will make better laws.  I'm disappointed in Dayton but overall I think he's a good person so I hope he will change his mind.  I know he's better than anyone the Republicans put up. 


Marijuana should definitely be legal.   I even tend to agree with you that harder drugs should be legal.  Creating a black market causes more problems than drug use.  I'd much rather buy drugs from a regulated legal market than the cartels.  Now that gay marriage has won I think reforming drug laws will be the next big social cause for progressives.  I think most people know what a horrible mistake the War on Drugs has been.  

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Yup. Asian hicks are crawling out the woodwork in Pine City

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@mingtran You only say crap like that because you are from Pine City more than likely. 

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

You are my sunshine

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@mingtran All you post is insults and weird theorizing.   If you want people to listen to what you have to say why not back it up with facts and logic supporting your belief?   No one wants to read you guessing that Chaz is from Edina like the world's stupidest 8 year old.  

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Your tinfoil hat theory that social welfare programs and criminalization of drugs actually PROMOTE equality is absolutely assinine and shows how out of touch you are with reality. Look around you....wait, don't. You probably live in Edina, in which case you really have no business having an opinion on the matter.

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

@mingtranThe amount of tin foil hat theories that you think will all fix our problems should get you sponsored by Reynolds Wrap.

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