Gov. McCrory: Bill requiring drug testing for welfare is 'irresponsible'

Governor vetoes bill requiring welfare recipients to undergo drug testing

RALEIGH, WAKE COUNTY - A bill requiring welfare recipients to undergo drug testing was vetoed by Gov. Pat McCrory Thursday.

"Parts of this bill are unfair, fiscally irresponsible and have potential operational problems," said Gov. McCrory in a statement. "Similar efforts in other states have proved to be expensive for taxpayers and did little to actually help fight drug addiction. It makes no sense to repeat those mistakes in North Carolina. There are better ways to fight addiction and prevent criminal drug abuse."

In Eastern Carolina, residents shared what they thought of the drug testing bill.

"[The bill assumes] people that are on welfare are lazy drug addicts. They're not. They are regular people that need help," said New Bern resident Tim Perkins.

But Linda Murdoch disagreed.

"I feel that anyone getting any kind of assistance and not actually working should be drug tested too," said Murdoch. "I'm not interested in paying for someone's drugs."

State Representative Michael Speciale (R-District 3) said it's not out of the ordinary for a Republican to veto a Republican bill.

"A lot of these bills were battled out between the House and the Senate, because we all have different ideas. If it's a good bill, it's a good bill. If it's not, it's not, regardless of whether its Republican or Democrat."

The governor did sign an executive order that requires criminal history verification for welfare benefit applicants.  Executive Order No. 21 would disqualify any parole violator or fugitive from receiving welfare benefits.

Gov. McCrory said he is asking the Department of Health and Human Services and the state chief information officer to "develop a plan and recommendations to ensure that fugitive felons and probation or parole violators do not receive these public benefits, and that law enforcement has access to the most up to date information."

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