News12 First at Five/ Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW)-- A new bill making its way through the Georgia House is causing a big stir.
It would require anyone on food stamps in Georgia to pass a drug test.
The Georgia Lawmaker behind the bill is speaking out. State Representative Greg Morris (R-Vidalia) called News 12 to defend Georgia House Bill 772.
If it passes, people getting food stamps could lose their benefits if they fail consecutive drug tests. He said one out of five Georgians used an EBT card at the grocery store.
"I can't think of any more wrong than the misuse of taxpayer dollars, than to subsidize drug abuse," Rep. Greg Morris said.
Georgia already has a law on the books requiring those who get cash assistance to undergo drug testing. It's not being enforced because the Florida courts called a similar law unconstitutional.
In a News 12 web poll taken by more than 1,000 people, about 80 percent support the drug testing.
We found voters on both sides of the issue.
"I really think this is an attack on the lower class," voter Daniel Felter said.
"If you on the system and that's what they require then that's what you have to do," voter Jacquelyn Christian said.
Barbra Martin believes if the bill passes it will hurt kids in need the most.
"Who do we really hurt? It will hurt the children. The program is mainly for children," voter Barbra Martin said.
"No child does not receive food stamps because a parent is using drugs," said Rep. Morris.
He said if the parent fails the drug test, a surrogate would be appointed to receive the benefits for that child.
The surrogate still has to pass a drug test.
Whether his bill passes or not, what happens in Florida could shape the future here in Georgia.