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· May 16, 2012

Latest bad GOP idea thwarted by IO and the Ohio Constitution

Yesterday, Republicans in the Ohio Senate amended state budget legislation (HB 487) to create a pilot program to require drug testing of welfare recipients. We told you here  that the proposal was likely unconstitutional, thanks to last November’s conservative-backed amendment to Ohio’s constitution prohibiting “compulsory participation in a health care system.” While aimed at Obamacare, Issue 3 unleashes a number of unintended consequences, in this case prohibiting legislators from creating a system in which your health care data—drug testing results—is collected and tracked. Our analysis was featured in a widely-circulated Associated Press story that appeared across Ohio. It seems to have worked. Just 24 hours later, today the same committee removed the provision from the bill. While they are still clinging to the idea, vowing to bring the idea back at a later date, we’re sure their lawyers are scratching their heads to figure out how they’ll get around the Ohio Constitution.

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