We had a sizable writeup on this when it came out of committee last week, and we’ll have some interesting video from the House floor debate later tonight as an update to this post.
Whether the bill can pass the Senate or not is a question.
UPDATE: We’ve got video of the debate in advance of the bill’s passage which should make for some entertaining viewing.
But first, the vote itself is worth having a gander at. It was somewhat predictable that none of the 26 nays were Republicans; you can’t be a mean, heartless conservative if you support the idea that folks could be using welfare money to score weed or blow, right?
But there were a number of Democrats in the 65…
- Andy Anders, whose district in Ferriday was the scene a couple of months ago in which many residents became outraged about a drug sweep which wiped out economic opportunities in the area;
- Jeff Arnold;
- Mike Danahay;
- Jim Fannin;
- Jerry Gisclair;
- Dorothy Sue Hill;
- Katrina Jackson, whose vote was a surprise;
- Robert Johnson;
- Sam Jones;
- Stephen Ortego;
- Gene Reynolds;
- Harold Ritchie; and
- Major Thibaut
And now, to some video.
First we have Mack introducing the bill. It’s clear he’s learned some lessons on how to present legislation like this from the mistakes its former sponsor John Labruzzo might have made in trying to pass in in the previous term…
But of course that didn’t protect him from taking a beating by some of the 26 – like, for example, Barbara Norton…
UPDATE #2: And a couple more speeches on the bill. Here’s Pat Smith (D-Baton Rouge) going off on it…
And a lecture by John Bel Edwards about the 4th amendment – quoting Matthew and cloaking himself in “libertarianism.”
A quick word on that last bit – Edwards’ asking the House to put on its libertarian hat in voting against this bill is truly rich. He obviously doesn’t know many libertarians, because you won’t find very many who think programs like FITAP ought to exist in the first place. You could make the point that a civil libertarian would call this an unconstitutional search, and you can certainly find libertarians who don’t think drug use ought to be illegal. But if Edwards thinks that it’s a libertarian position to defend the freedom of welfare recipients to engage in illegal activity free from scrutiny on the government dime, he needs to get out more.
In any event, the bill will be in the Senate next week and we’ll likely see some of the same arguments made.