Rep. Fredrick Love (D-Little Rock) has introduced legislation to drug test legislators. If a legislator tested positive and refused treatment or failed a repeat test, he or she would lose pay for six months.
Love told KARK/Fox 16:
“It’s not one of those things where I’m just filing late in the session because I know it’s not going to pass.”
Rep. Love says it was born out of the idea that SNAP recipients be drug tested and he feels strongly that elected officials should do the same.
“It’s something that if we’re going to charge the citizens of Arkansas with being drug-free, I think we need to lead by example,” says Rep. Love.
Republican Rep. Robin Lundstrum (she who’s trying to roll back the voter-approved minimum wage law) passed a bill in 2017 to make permanent drug-testing of recipients of welfare payments known as temporary assistance for needy families
About 19,000 people applied for TANF in Arkansas in 2017. Of those, 3,430 were given a survey intended to screen for drug use. And of those:
Just five were given drug tests and only two of those admittedly recent drug users tested positive. Another eight refused to take the test. Though the testing itself cost just a couple hundred dollars, with staffing costs included the cost was $32,506.65, a spokesperson told ThinkProgress — an effective cost of more than $6,500 per test.
Love’s bill essentially duplicates the 2017 law, substituting legislators in relevant spots for TANF recipients.
We also need a bill requiring a three-day waiting period; consultation with a board-certified urologist; warnings about sexually transmitted diseases; pre-payment for doctor services; required viewing of photos of swimming sperm; hospital admitting privileges; offices outfitted with resuscitation