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Voter Outreach

Voter Outreach

Concepts, strategies and objectives to move voters to action

Written by Peter Grear Educate, Organize and Mobilize: Each week over the past several months I’ve written about various aspects of voter suppression with the purpose of explaining its concepts,…

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Keatts A Keeper For New-Look Seahawks

Keatts A Keeper For New-Look Seahawks

New Head Men’s Basketball Coach was all smiles

New Head Men’s Basketball Coach was all smiles at Trask Coliseum. WILMINGTON, NC – Boldly proclaiming, “I’m a winner,” and promising “an exciting brand of basketball” newly-christened UNCW head men’s basketball coach Kevin Keatts said Tuesday that a new day in Seahawk basketball has arrived.

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Lied-to Children More Likely to Cheat and Lie

Lied-to Children More Likely to Cheat and Lie

The study tested 186 children ages 3 to 7

The study tested 186 children ages 3 to 7 in a temptation-resistance paradigm. Approximately half of the children were lied to by an experimenter, who said there was “a huge bowl of candy in the next room” but quickly confessed this was just a ruse to get the child to come play a game. 

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Unconscious Mind Can Detect a Liar When Conscious Mind Fails

Unconscious Mind Can Detect a Liar When Conscious Mind Fails

The unconscious mind could catch a liar

“We set out to test whether the unconscious mind could catch a liar – even when the conscious mind failed,” says ten Brinke. Along with Berkeley-Haas Assistant Professor Dana R. Carney, lead author ten Brinke and Dayna Stimson (BS 2013, Psychology), hypothesized that these seemingly paradoxical findings may be accounted for by unconscious mental processes.

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Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials: Educate, Organize, and Mobilize

Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials: Educate, Organize, and Mobilize

North Carolina Alliance of Black Elected Officials

Written by Peter Grear, Esq.  Since August 2013 I've continued to ask myself "what would an effective campaign to defeat voter suppression look like?” Well, on Friday, February 14, 2014, Valentine's Day, I got my answer from Richard Hooker, President of the…

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Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website

The FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website. No paper, no hasel, read on your laptop or mobile devices. 

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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Mandatory Drug Testing for the Poor

Written by Nisa Islam Muhammad on 22 July 2011.

(NNPA) – Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott recently signed into law a bill requiring adults applying for temporary cash assistance to undergo drug screening.  His rationale is to increase personal accountability and prevent Florida's tax dollars from subsidizing drug addiction, while still providing for needy children.  Parents failing the required drug test may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of the children.

“While there are certainly legitimate needs for public assistance, it is unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction,” Governor Scott said.  “This new law will encourage personal accountability and will help to prevent the misuse of tax dollars.”

However, this new bill flies in the face of research and evidence that proves such bills are ineffective and wasteful.

“Given the high cost of treatment programs and the waiting lists for services in many areas, mandatory drug testing of all applicants or recipients of TANF benefits is a poor use of resources.  In a time of tight state budgets, it is perverse to spend limited funds in pursuit of the small number of substance abusers who are not identified through screening processes, rather than on providing actual services,” wrote Matt Lewis and Elizabeth Kenefick of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) in their February report, Random Drug Testing of TANF Recipients is Costly, Ineffective and Hurts Families.

“Despite the persistence of proposals to impose drug testing at the state and federal levels, these proposals have consistently been rejected because the data do not support the money-saving claims.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures many states have proposed drug testing for welfare recipients since the passage of welfare reform in 1996.  Drug testing is expressly permitted in the federal rules governing the TANF block grant.  Michigan was the first state to implement mandatory drug testing, but the law was found unconstitutional in 2003 by a Michigan Court of Appeals.  The Florida legislation is the first to be passed by a state legislature since the Michigan case.

The bill seems to be based more on stereotypes than the facts of life for poor people.

“A lot of stereotypes exist about poor people and why they're poor.  People want to attribute their poverty to poor choices and not to our economy even though we're coming out of one of the worst economic recessions,” said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, CLASP Senior Policy Analyst.

The bill requires all applicants for TANF to be tested for controlled substance use and the applicant must pay for the drug test.  If they test negative the applicant will be reimbursed for the cost by adding the amount to their benefit check.

If an applicant tests positive, the applicant is ineligible for benefits for one year, but can reapply in six months if he/she completes an approved substance abuse treatment program.

A parent's positive test result does not affect the child's eligibility for benefits; however, any benefits received must be disbursed through a protective payee, who must also pass a drug test.

The Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union warned that the bill may be challenged in court and is headed in the same direction as its Michigan predecessor.

“The wasteful program created by this law subjects Floridians who are impacted by the economic downturn, as well as their families, to a humiliating search of their urine and body fluids without cause or even suspicion of drug abuse,” Howard Simon, the chapter's executive director told reporters.