Candidates seeking the office of state representative or state
senator may be required to take a substance abuse test as a condition
for filing nomination papers, thanks to legislation introduced by State
Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth).
However, the real target of
Mitchell's bill is welfare recipients. Under the proposal, HB 174, an
individual who tests positive for controlled drugs would be ineligible
to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits for one
year. Testing for lawmakers is a red herring.
“In the next few
years, we could have 4 million people out of 13 million Illinoisans on
some form of public assistance. We simply cannot afford to do nothing,”
Mitchell said to the press.
In addition to Mitchell, House sponsors include State Reps: David Reis (R-Ste. Marie), Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon), Adam Brown (R-Decatur) and Brad Holbrook (R-Charleston).