Nikki Haley ‘So Wants’ To Drug Test People Applying For Jobless Benefits


South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) doesn’t want Florida to have all the fun of drug testing suspicion-less citizens before receiving state benefits.

“I so want drug testing,” Haley said on Thursday, according to the Associated Press. “It’s something I’ve been wanting since the first day I walked into office.”

And now Haley is trying to make that dream come true, pushing for people applying for jobless benefits to first pass a drug test before receiving any aid, the AP reports.Her proposal is similar to a Florida law — which the ACLU recently filed suit against — but is focused on unemployment benefits rather than welfare benefits. Haley proposed the measure during her gubernatorial campaign, and now she’s trying to see if it’s within the state’s power to implement the drug tests. But, according to the AP, it doesn’t look like drugs are a big issue in jobless claims:

South Carolina’s unemployment agency has said that drugs are a minuscule factor in jobless claims. A 2009 estimate put the rate at 0.3 percent.

The state’s legislature is also considering legislation that would cut off unemployment benefits if a person applying for a job tested positive for drugs. Haley’s office did not return TPM’s request for comment.

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David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He’s a native of Minnesota. Reach him at