House Bill 1076 had a lot of crash and thunder surrounding it, but after testimony today, it died an appropriate death as we learned some things about the measure.
First, we learned that the measure sponsor Lynn Hix-DiSanto puts a lot of stock in facebook, as she based popular support on the measure on how many people viewed her facebook page, and how people commented.
Next, we learned that the sponsors of the measure probably didn’t bother to consult with DSS when they wrote it, because they dropped the bombshell that the 100,000 people the bill wanted to drug test are barred from it under federal law. Because SNAP is a federal program, and states cannot put further restrictions on it under federal law. Oops.
We also learned that the genesis of this measure came when people went to Senator Betty Olson concerned about drug use on the Cheyenne and Standing Rock reservations. It was actually related that someone said “if they had to drug test, they wouldn’t get their welfare checks.” I doubt that helped their case today. (I gasped when I heard that one).
I also learned that you could have taken all of the Democrats from the room, and the bill still would have been rejected by a strong Republican Majority of 7, as they and 2 Democrats voted against it, and it was only supported by 4 Republicans, three of which were sponsors.
It’s done. And with good reason. It was bad legislation which would have been worse law.