Iowa State Sen. Mark Chelgren introduced a measure Thursday that would have required parents receiving child support to submit to drug tests at the request of the person making the payments, the Des Moines Register reports. The Republican lawmaker said that a constituent had come to him worried that his ex was using child support money to buy illegal drugs.
According to the Register, "some Democratic senators openly laughed as Chelgren made the proposal." Chelgren withdrew his amendment, but he still has a drug testing for state welfare provision that will be debated Friday.
"We shouldn’t be ducking our head and running away every time there’s a difficult issue coming up," he said.
It was not the first time Republicans have pushed harsh drug testing legislation. The Arizona Senate recently passed a measure that would require the jobless to pee in cups in order to receive unemployment insurance, and more than a dozen other states have considered unemployment drug testing laws. Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill last month that allows random drug testing of state workers, and his controversial drug testing for welfare law has opened him up to ridicule and scrutiny.