Republican legislators in Alabama are working on bills that would require drug testing for individuals receiving welfare payments. The bills will be patterned after those that became law in Florida earlier this summer.
At least one Alabama Democrat, showing that some Southern liberals actually have a pair, vows he will tack on an amendment to any Republican bill. Alvin Holmes, a state representative from Montgomery, says his amendment would require state legislators to take drug tests. In fact, Holmes would require all those who receive federal funds through Alabama to take drug tests.
Reports Sebastian Kitchen, of The Montgomery Advertiser:
Holmes said he would propose an amendment that would require state legislators to take a drug test and require others who receive federal funds through the state, including those who receive funding for not farming all of their agricultural land, to be tested.
"It wouldn't be fair to just pick out one group of welfare recipients because they are receiving federal funds and require them to take drug tests," Holmes said.
He has an interesting proposal for his colleagues.
"I'm going to volunteer to take one (a drug test) to set an example for the other members of the Legislature," Holmes said. "I guarantee you that I am going to pass it. If not, I will turn my resignation in to the secretary of state, which would make a lot of people in the state of Alabama happy."
I like the way Alvin Holmes is thinking. And I don't think we should stop there. Consider others who receive federal funds in our state:
* Federal judges--We already know of one federal judge in Georgia who got nailed for trying to buy drugs with his stripper friend. How many others are high as a kite when they don their robes?
* Lawyers--Attorneys practice in courts that are funded by taxpayers, both federal and state. Attorneys are "officers of the court," making mighty fine livings off facilities and systems that you and I fund. Don't you think they need to pee into a cup?
* CEOs--How many corporate types benefit from tax breaks and other forms of federal largesse? How many of them receive taxpayer-funded bailouts and the like? Shouldn't they be standing in line with welfare recipients, ready to take a pee and prove they are clean? I'm hearing persistent reports that one CEO, a fellow we have written about here recently, would have a real tough time passing a drug test. Let's have him drop his drawers--for the sake of our democracy.
* University administrators--State universities rake in millions of federal dollars, and one of the biggest cash cows is at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The fine folks on Birmingham's Southside are alleged to have committed some $600 million worth of Medicare and research fraud. They barely received a slap on the wrist from the Bush Justice Department, and one top administrator was rewarded with the presidency of the University of Kentucky. Don't folks like UAB President Carol Garrison and University of Alabama Trustee Paul Bryant Jr. need to be subjected to tox screens?
Let's break out the specimen jars! I think Alvin Holmes is onto something big.