GOP Governor Pushing Trump To Let Him Discriminate Against His State’s Poorest People

A Trump Administration Has Breathed New Life Into The Wisconsin Governor’s Desire Of More State Control Over Essential Programs

The Republican Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, is wasting no time in taking advantage of a Trump presidency in order to make life difficult for the state’s most vulnerable residents.

According to the Journal Sentinel, Walker sent a letter asking the president-elect to give more power back to the states that will allow him to perform drug tests on welfare recipients among a long list of other things.

“Too often, states have become mere administrative provinces of an all-powerful federal government in Washington. Now is the time to reverse that trend. These requests are the first of many my administration will make as Wisconsin leads the effort to restore balance between state and federal government.”

As Think Progress reports, at the moment, individual states are not allowed to perform drug tests on citizens who receive food stamps under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) although they do have some power to do so for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families financial assistance program. Walker would like to have full power across these programs to deny services based on failed drug tests.

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Scott Walker has been trying desperately to drug test SNAP participants, going as far as suing the Federal Government and asking Congress to pass legislation that would allow him to carry out his wishes. Both attempts failed.

Related: On Food Stamps, Republicans Eat Their Own

He continues to argue that implementing the policy will save taxpayers money, this despite all evidence to the contrary, as Salon points out.

“According to a 2015 report from ThinkProgress that analyzed seven states with similar programs, states that have implemented drug testing measures “are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to ferret out very few drug users.” Although states have “collectively spent nearly $1 million on the effort,” the report found that the tests have turned up relatively little evidence of substance abuse.”

Walker sees Donald Trump has his new hope for making the changes he deems necessary, and, as Associated Press reports, has been leaning heavily on vice-president-elect Mike Pence, in hopes that he will push Trump harder on the issue.

The Governor’s list of demands also includes more state power over refugee resettlement, environmental regulations and Medicaid.

Feature image by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Chris Hearn is an ageing freelance writer located in wintery Winnipeg. He is a stay-at-home-parent, amateur stand-up comedian, and a guy with a lot of opinions, much to everyone's dismay.