Missouri lawmakers last year overwhelmingly approved legislation that mandated drug testing for some federal welfare recipients.
Gov. Jay Nixon signed the bill into law two months later.
One of the main arguments for the measure was the idea that tax dollars should never be spent on illegal drugs.
“Hardworking taxpayers don’t want their money to be subsidizing other people’s drug use,” Rep. Ellen Brandom, a Sikeston Republican, told The Associated Press last year when the bill passed.
This year, a Republican state representative from Harrisonville thinks its high time that lawmakers abide by the same standard.
Rep. Rick Brattin has sponsored legislation that would require members of the General Assembly to be subject to random drug testing during the legislative session.
Anyone who tests positive for illegal substances would be removed from office and prohibited from running for any elected office for two years.
“I think we should live by the same standard we are asking others to live by,” Brattin said. “Our salaries are paid by taxpayers, so we should assure them we aren’t using that money on drugs.”
The bill has been assigned to the House General Laws Committee, but it has not yet been scheduled for a public hearing.
If Brattin is looking for support for his bill, he may be able to count on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”
Comedy Central’s popular mock news program sent one of its correspondents to Florida last month to ask supporters of a similar law, including the state’s Republican governor, to submit to an on-the-spot drug test.
Last year, a federal judge blocked Florida’s law requiring anyone receiving welfare to pass a drug test, saying it could violate the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment ban on illegal search and seizure.