Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Senator David Holt doesn’t want to take a drug test…

As Patrick pointed out in August, the Oklahoma legislature is determined to imitate the state of Florida by implementing a program that requires welfare recipients to submit to drug testing. Supposedly, the additional drug testing will save money even though other states have found that it costs more to administer regular tests to people who have no reason to be suspected of being users (aside from their lack of money), than it saves in benefits to those who do partake.

However, since logic is not a strong point among Oklahoma legislators, the bill was overwhelmingly supported by the state House of Representatives. The House’s minority caucus decided to take this as an opportunity to actually find out if the most recipients of public money were clean. Knowing the bill would pass, House Democrats introduced an amendment requiring that anyone who wanted to run for public office submit to drug testing. Surprisingly, it passed with bipartisan support.

According to this, that is not enough to make a bill a law. It also has to pass the state Senate and they are wary of having to pee in a cup.

Calling the provision a “stunt,” senator David Holt stripped the provision the bill before it was considered by the body at large. My question is this: How is it a stunt?

The issue, if you listen to a legislator in favor of the bill, is that the taxpayers of Oklahoma should not be supplementing the drug habit of people who ask the state to pay their bills. It has nothing, if you listen to a legislator in favor of the bill, to do with punishing poor people.

Except it has everything to do with the latter and little to do with the former. Someone who asks for TANF benefits (the program targeted by this law) is limited to $292 per month in benefits. If they remain in the system for a full year, that comes to $3,504 annually. Meanwhile, David Holt will make $38,400 from the tax payers of Oklahoma for his part-time job. And as far as elected officials, that makes him one of the lower paid employees of the state. Governor Mary Fallin (who is in line for a raise) made $147,000 last year. Then, if including federal offices, that means guys like Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe would have to pass a test to collect their $174,000.

I’d say that has a lot more potential for saving Oklahomans from supplementing drug habits.

It also costs taxpayers a lot of potential comedy. The first politician to bomb a test is bound to blame the liberal media (you know, The Oklahoman), or at least blame it on eating a poppy seed muffin (at a local bakery, naturally).

email

Comments

  1. He calls drug testing lawmakers a “politicians stunt”, but making TANF recipients foot the bill for a drug test is good public policy?

    Besides, a drugged-up Legislature can do a hell of a lot more damage than high TANF recipients.

    holt@oksenate.gov — to ask Sen. Holt what he has to hide.

  2. Just a slight correction, but the guvna is not in line to receive a raise unless first a salary increase is put into place and then would only be received if she were re-elected.

  3. We should probably point out that David Holt was Mayor Cornett’s Chief of Staff, and the guy who allegedly came up with the idea for Flaming Lips Alley. Not sure why he wouldn’t want to take a drug test…

  4. What an about face is one week before the election when they were begging for your support/vote/money…then one week after when they think they are gods walking the Earth.

  5. There is no reason to suspect me for taking drugs either, but I would have to take a drug test for a prospective job. If you are going to get money from the state because you have no job, I see no reason you should feel exempt from something everyone else has to do to get a job.

Previous Post Surprise! Oklahoma is the second worst state for women
Next Post That mom who was called a “slut” on Twitter was charged with assault in September…