Well, at least Mike?™ McGavick is finally making an effort to talk about an issue:
Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Mike McGavick has proposed mandatory substance-abuse screening for welfare recipients with children.
In a speech to the Pasco-Kennewick Rotary on Wednesday, the former Senate aide and Safeco Insurance CEO proposed a “three-strike” requirement that could lead to mandatory drug-abuse testing and treatment, reduction of direct cash benefits and, in some cases, removal of children from the home.
Yeah… because… most people who have gone through the foster care system would tell you that they’d much rather do that than be with their parents and siblings.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for providing more treatment to parents with substance abuse problems, and I certainly recognize that there are times when removing the children from the home is in their best interest. But this “three strikes” crap is exactly the kind of pandering, simplistic campaign rhetoric that gets turned into pandering, simplistic law.
Washington state’s own assistance programs already include substance abuse screening, and uncooperative clients can be removed from the rolls. And of course Child Protective Services can already remove children from the home if the caseworker believes substance abuse is endangering their welfare.
Leaving aside the obvious irony of Mike?™ calling for a crackdown on substance abuse, I guess my biggest question for the candidate would be whether he has a dollar figure attached to his proposal, and how he expects to pay for it?
The Seattle P-I editorial board chimes in:
He talks about help for states that would implement his ideas. That’s fine, except that states are overwhelmed with foster care challenges without mandating that more children be taken from their homes. Then there’s the shortfall in mental health care and treatment for all forms of abuse (including alcohol, which he overlooks). We’d like to see McGavick confront those politicians who slight these needs.
(The emphasis is mine.)