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Gov. Walker approves rule requiring those receiving unemployment benefits to pass drug test

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Governor Scott Walker

MADISON — Governor Scott Walker on Wednesday, May 4th approved a rule requiring certain Wisconsinites receiving unemployment insurance benefits to pass a drug test.

“This new rule brings us one step closer to moving Wisconsinites from government dependence to true independence,” Governor Walker said in a statement issued to FOX6 News. “We frequently hear from employers that they have good paying jobs, but they need their workers to be drug-free. This rule is a common-sense reform which strengthens our workforce by helping people find and keep a family supporting job.”

According to a statement from the Governor’s Office, under the new rule, if someone receiving unemployment insurance benefits fails a drug test or refuses to take a drug test from an employer as part of an employment offer, he or she can be denied unemployment insurance benefits.

Those who fail the drug test must comply with substance abuse treatment and a job skills assessment to remain eligible for benefits, according to the Governor’s Office.

According to Governor Walker’s office, by being good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollar and fighting fraud and abuse, Wisconsin transformed its unemployment insurance trust fund from a $1.3 billion deficit in 2010 to a $743 million positive balance, and employers now pay less unemployment insurance tax as a result of these efforts.


  • Joy

    Drug testing should not only be to collect unemployment but welfare and food stamps as well. I don’t want my tax money helping to fund drug use. I am subject to drug tests in order to work but those receiving my hard earned tax money don’t have to be subject to the same? Messed up system.

    • ProR8d

      Business owners pay for Unemployment. So if you think you’re entitled to Unemployment just for showing up to collect, you’re mistaken. Employers also pay insane amounts of money to insure their place of business and the employees that work there, so if you think “the man” is trying to “keep you in your place” by not wanting to hire someone who can’t be responsible enough to pass a drug test then YOU’RE the liability that no one wants to hire. …nor waste benefits on.

  • Fed Up with Poor Reporting

    You know what’s wrong with this? We pay into unemployment, by we, I mean people with jobs. When we lose those jobs, that money that we have been paying into our own account is legally and rightfully ours to collect. Unlike food stamps and other welfare programs, we’ve already earned that money. Make no mistake here, I am a staunch conservative, but I can’t see how spending more tax payer dollars to fund these drug tests is going to remedy nor relieve any financial burden on the state. Don’t even get me started on this being a direct violation of our 4th Amendment rights. For shame Scott, for shame. And I will happily discuss this with you Scott, but I believe at a certain point, you start overstepping your bounds and the people of the state start losing faith in you. In other words, why don’t we just legalize all drugs and let Darwinism take over…. that would probably save th state a lot of money anyway.

    • Randy D.

      Hey Joe, Go Back To School ,
      We Pay Into The Fund Thu Deductions To Our Income From The Employer.
      Who Sends The Fund’s Into The State. Sorry Joe..

    • Steve O

      Off the website
      “How is the UI Program Financed?The UI program is jointly financed through federal and state employer payroll taxes. The Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) is used, in part, to finance the administrative expenses of each state’s unemployment insurance program and certain federal costs related to extended benefits. Employer payroll taxes collected under the Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance law and all other state unemployment insurance laws are used only to pay benefits to unemployed workers. The program is financed solely through employer contributions (taxes). The UI program is not operated as a part of the Federal Social Security system, the state Worker’s Compensation program or any federal or state welfare program.

      Wisconsin UI law requires each covered employer to fund an account with the unemployment reserve fund based on a payroll tax formula. UI benefits paid to a former employee are generally charged to the employer’s reserve fund account.”

      You go back to school Joe and Fed up

    • Scottyisstupid

      As someone who lives is Wisconsin and voted for Scott I find this to be a stupid law I don’t think the government should be making people take drug test for any benefit that the the federal government mandate this is so wrong and will penalized people who have worked and lost their job due to no fought of their own like plant closings someone on here said that employers pay the benefit true but what about when they shutdown and leave the community everyone on the right that is fifty and up and everyone who thinks the poor is just trying to get over has never been a poor person or minority.

    • Jay Stack

      The very few dollars that it will take to test these people will cut your tax dollars. They won’t be on the street buying drug getting arrested spending time tying up our police officers then needing to be medically cleared at a hospital and then sent to the county jail. Trust me that small amount for a drug test every 3 to 6 months is much cheaper.

    • Michael Neils

      The employER pays all UI. The % paid is calculated by the # of years in business & how many have been laid off in the past (risk). The % paid is on every single dollar paid out to every single employee, whether they are office, shop, union, non-uninon, etc. So the higher the payroll, the higher the pay-in to UI the more risk of layoffs, the higher the %. The ONLY taxes EVER taken out of an employEES check are state income, federal income, SS and Medicare. If you also have local (city/county)income tax, those are also taken out. Your employER pays the governments (Fed and State) on a weekly or biweekly basis those income taxes. Quarterly they pay the gov SS and Medicare. I think UI is monthly or quarterly. So UI is NOT rightfully yours as you have never ever paid a red cent or plug nickle into it.

  • Fair Minded

    This should apply to all Government workers on the job or anyone receiving taxpayer dollars.

  • Ernie Andres

    Employees DO NOT pay into unemployment It is state mandated insurance paid by the employer! As business owner I paid it for 32 years. It is not included in any of the deductions from workers paychecks.

  • ProR8d

    yup. moocher. sounds like you’re trying to use the Unemployment system to supplement a part-time job. A seasonal job does not qualify you for benefits, otherwise all teachers would file for unemployment every summer. grow the f’up and get a REAL job, or at least educate yourself before you vomit your idiocy in public. No one believes your b.s.

  • ProR8d

    who spells addicts, as attics? someone that never gets taken seriously, i’d imagine. keep telling yourself that everyone else is the problem, while using your food stamps on cheeto’s and newports…

  • jim

    I agree EVERYONE no matter what job, should take a drug test before they get a check, from the CEO down the line, especially politician, whom we all pay there salary. I hope the politicians will lead by example, and include themselves in all bills and rules they put forth. Lets start with all politicians taking a lie detector test to prove he or she has not lied or mislead the public. Let see if Gov Walker steps up and be the first to take a drug test and a lie detector test.

  • R Hilsmann

    How about we start with drug testing for all state legislators first? Then we can weed out the hypocrites first. We should also make unemployment insurance payments optional for the workers with the savings going directly into their paycheck. If I recall correctly insurance payments cannot be linked to any testing. Same as disability insurance payments but I could be wrong.

  • fed up two

    The only way he has this excess in funds is from not taking money from taxpayers through there tax refunds right away. Then waiting eighteen years to collect them. This does not make since.

  • Jay Stack

    I am not a huge fan of walker although I am a conservative. On this one he got it right and it should have been done long ago. I also echo the majority on here who say that they should do the same for food stamps. They should also cap it when ever you started receiving it that’s the amount you get so popping out kids is no longer a full time job like it is for some. It also should be used for specified foods I’m not saying a young mother with kids shouldn’t be able to buy her kid a candy bar all kids should get to enjoy that I’m talking about the 20 year who smoked weed all day has no job and now went to the local gas station and just bought 20 dollars worth the crap food and has a pocket full of money. The sad part is they don’t even care what the perception is on them and how that affects the people who truly need that service. What a shame that as a society we are that selfish and small minded. God bless.

  • Truth Hertz

    Colorless communities will suffer profoundly behind this. Then there will be this outcry for support when this stupid rule does unnecessary harm as opposed to any good. This has been proven with the drug testing rule associated with social welfare benefits. Just ask Florida what stupid assumptions cost. Goo Scotty, get em all.

    • Klaatu

      You may be correct that this will affect the colorless community more because they are trying to collect unemployment benefits…i.e. they had a job. This won’t affect the colored community because they didn’t have a job and aren’t affected by this legislation. When legislation requires drug testing to collect entitlements then the colored community will cry foul.

  • Rob

    Absolutely 100% agree with drug testing recipients of unemployment and welfare assistance. To those who have stated that you have paid into these programs and it is your money, WRONG. You will collect much more than you paid in and thus you are on the tax payer’s dime. It is fair to request that recipients are not drug users to receive these benefits.

  • MikeHunt

    Go Trump! Apply this ruling to welfare as well! Us tax-payers need vindication, from pieces of sh1t.

  • Chad

    Maybe we should drug test the ceos he gives massive tax breaks too while gutting the normal worker. Run for president again and embarass this state some more

  • Gail

    I think this is great. Cause what you will find out is that most recipients aren’t on drugs and we’ve wasted money.

  • Living Deadone

    In my opinion I persionaly find it a disgrace to the humain race in my opinion whats did in peoples personal time is there busnies for your public disterbing discriminating haltering one self to kno in my opinion wasting tax payers money on this and your boges public disterbing law thats worse then tretshians being cops who are out discriminating others badgering and bulling for others better benifet gane your a joke in my opinion and a disgrace no wonder ass to why the anciants left your unholy ungiveing or uncarring ditch thing behind half the people on assistance cant work cause why one need grade 12 or G.E.D. Golege degree medical issues yet we are preventing that cause you need money to live to learn that for medical perpuses duck . Wow man putting them there in positions off sutch your a petty theif slash tens merdur in my opinion call for god also you instagating lieing missleading thing be. Busnies owners pay for unenployment off the employed persion if you didnt have any one employed other then your pettey theif ass self you wouldent have any other unenployment insurance to pay them through wellfair or unenployment income allso my tax payed money goes to the goverment wether its to suport the comunity throu food building blankets clothing or ducking roads better transpartation of goods you all whom suport this b.s
    hope burn in hell p.s your all half way ther or so more lmao pettey public disterbencing theifs pissing people off instagating agravating provoking missleading lieing divering tretshians in my opinion where the blank did you say my Opinion and whom are you to say thuse and or that . Ow lets guess it all hapend behind closed doors bye a small group a people .

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