While 10 Texas Republican Senators try to undermine Gov. Rick Perry’s correct decision to reject Obama changes to Texas’ unemployment compensation system, freshman Rep. Ken Legler (R-144)introduced a common sense bill that eliminates the perceived necessity of taking the $555 million in ‘stimulus’ funds. His bill, HB-1135, is being considered in the House Committee on Technology, Economic Development & Workforce this morning. The relevant text:
Sec. 207.026. REQUIRED DRUG TESTING; DISQUALIFICATION FOR BENEFITS. (a) Each individual who files a claim for benefits under Chapter 208 or receives benefits under this subtitle must submit to drug testing as provided by this section.
Too bad the wayward Republican senators that want to go against Gov. Perry didn’t think of that, isn’t it? The estimated savings easily offset the ‘stimulus’ funds and do not require Texas to change its unemployment insurance program such that it pays part-timers to sit at home. The estimated savings are staggering:
You didn’t realize so many unemployed workers were druggies, did you? And that is just the first five years. Unlike O’s ‘stimulus’, it continues the savings year after year, while the plan the 10 Republican Senators signed onto will cost Texans year after year, both fiscally and socially.
It is unlikely to get a fair hearing or to pass because major changes in law and policy generally do not come from freshmen legislators. As well, the drumbeat from the Democrats will be loud in opposing such a common sense fiscal idea and even though they are the minority party they seem to have the upper hand this session. There is also the separation of the general budget funds and the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund to deal with.
At any rate, kudos to Rep. Legler for trying. I’ll be letting my representative know that I support this bill.