- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker said he would push legislation that would require working-age adults receiving food stamps or unemployment benefits to submit to drug testing.

Mr. Walker, who is in a tough re-election battle against Democrat Mary Burke, made the declaration in a 62-page plan for a second term released Sunday.

The governor said Monday during a campaign stop in Green Bay that the move is “really about compassion.”

“It’s our next wave of the Wisconsin comeback. It’s our plan to make sure that everyone who wants a job can find a job,” Mr. Walker told the Journal Sentinel.

Advocates for the poor and needy have argued that the proposal would violate federal law, but Mr. Walker said his campaign is prepared to challenge the federal government.



“We believe that there will potentially be a fight with the federal government and in court. … Our goal here is not to make it harder to get government assistance; it’s to make it easier to get a job,” Mr. Walker said.

Republicans have been advocating drug testing for welfare recipients for several years but continually run into confrontation from the federal government.

In 2011, federal courts struck down a similar law in Florida and in June the U.S. Department of Agriculture told the Georgia Department of Human Services that the state could not drug test people applying for food stamps.

In 2013, House Republicans unsuccessfully tried to pass legislation that would give states the authority to require drug testing for food stamp applications.

Recent polling data from Real Clear Politics shows Ms. Burke with a slight lead in the governor’s race by +0.3.

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