(By Delegates Blair, Anderson, Andes, Armstead, Ashley, Azinger,

Border, Canterbury, Carmichael, Cowles, Duke, Ellem, Evans,
Hamilton, Ireland, Lane, Louisos, McGeehan, C. Miller,
J. Miller, Overington, Porter, Romine, Rowan, Schadler,
Schoen, Shott, Sobonya, Sumner and Walters)

Requesting the Legislature establish a Joint Legislative Committee on Substance Abuse and Public Assistance for the purpose of studying the use of random drug testing and other measures to reduce or eliminate substance abuse among recipients of public assistance, and proposing legislation that achieve this goal.

Whereas, The Legislature serves as custodians of the people's money, and incumbent in that responsibility is a duty to ensure that tax dollars are spent prudently and efficiently; and
Whereas, The Legislature is also responsible for protecting those in our state that most need government's help, and while substance abuse transcends social status, economic status, race and age, substance abuse disproportionately affects persons of limited economic means and their families; and
Whereas, Just as schools and the workplace are worth of protection from scourges of drug abuse, families in need are worthy of the same protection; and
Whereas, Sound public and economic policy requires that the Legislature attain the maximum efficiency of every tax dollar for the greatest good, making it a moral obligation of the state to ensure that moneys allocated for public assistance are reaching the persons who most need it and are used as intended for basic subsistence; and
Whereas, Drug testing in both private and public sector employment is becoming increasingly common, the Legislature has a duty to the citizens to assure those persons receiving public assistance are in the best possible position to reenter the workforce; and
Whereas, Current economic and unemployment conditions require a reinvigorated focus on the goals of public assistance programs, which serves as a safety net for those who need it, and ultimately returning those people back into the workforce; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That a Joint Legislative Study Committee on Substance Abuse and Public Assistance be created for the purposes of studying the feasibility of implementing a random drug testing policy for public assistance and unemployment benefit recipients; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Legislative Committee on Substance Abuse propose legislation for the Legislature's adoption creating a random drug testing policy and other measures as the joint committee may see fit to include; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the study committee analyze and consider the policies urged in this resolution, along with similar or alternative policies and proposals, including those from other states, for effectiveness, funding ramifications and constitutionality, for the purpose of inclusion in the committee's proposed legislation; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the study committee establish a mechanism, either via website or telephone, for public opinion to be voiced and heard regarding the issue of substance abuse and public assistance; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the study committee include in proposed legislation a finding that public assistance is a privilege, and that in consideration for receiving public assistance recipients must adhere to conditions as imposed by the Legislature.