Friday, April 13, 2012

Iowa Senator: Parents Receiving Child Support Should be Required to Take Drug Tests!

Iowa Senator Mark Chelgren, a Republican from Ottumwa, is very concerned about children who receive child support from their own parents. One of his constituents reportedly told him that he believes that his ex is using child support payments to purchase illegal drugs. Instead of encouraging this father to address this concern in a family court, he decided to push for an amendment to a Senate budget bill that would require those receiving child support on behalf of their kids to submit to drug tests at least twice annually:
A person paying child support under Chelgren’s proposal could require the recipient to a drug test every six months as long as they pay the costs.

Some Democratic senators openly laughed as Chelgren made the proposal.

Sen. Jack Hatch, who is leading discussion on the state’s health and human services budget bill, told the Senate that he believes the proposal is anti-woman and could unfairly be used by vindictive spouses. He further expressed concerns that the proposal would clog the court system.

Chelgren rejected that argument but ultimately withdrew his amendment. “We shouldn’t be ducking our head and running away every time there’s a difficult issue coming up,” Chelgren said. Chelgren then withdrew his amendment, noting it’s a policy issue and doesn’t directly pertain to the area of law in the bill, Senate File 2336.
I never did hear what would happen if someone came back with a positive test result.

Am I wrong in thinking that somebody who believes that his/her ex-husband, ex-wife, ex-girlfriend, or ex-boyfriend is using around their kids already has options at their disposal? They can go back to family court. They can turn to the police. They can call the DHS. The problem, I would guess, is that they don't have enough circumstantial proof to request a drug test.

This amendment would force any person to require their ex (regardless of even a hint of truthiness) to undergo a drug test in order to continue receiving the financial assistance they need to raise their child. What an invasion of people's personal rights and privacy! This is the antithesis of Republican "small government" policy.

Thankfully, this amendment was laughed off the Senate floor. Ultimately, it's just another reason why Iowa benefits from having a legislative system controlled by two separate political parties. It doesn't stop the intrusive craziness from showing itself. But it does (usually) prevent the intrusive craziness from actually getting passed through both houses and sent to the governor!

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