TRENTON Gov. Chris Christie has made the mishandling of medicine dependency a big part of his public policy program, seeking to end mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and favoring rehabilitation over zero-tolerance policies.
However, while at a campaign stop recently for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Christie praised as his fellow Republican required citizens of his state to very first past a mandatory drug test prior to getting joblessness benefitswelfare or food stamps.
The clinical director of addiction services at New Jerseys Department of Health stated such a step would compound the issues of addiction.
However Christie today would not state whether or not he supports Walkers strategy.
Im not going to comment on every issue that another candidate raises in another state and go with the compare and contrast with all of you, Christie stated. When I have something to say about it, I will. I dont.
Standing behind the Wisconsin governor at a Sept. 29 campaign rally, Christie nicely applauded when Walker said that if someone were to seek such advantages in his state, were gon na make you pass a medicine test, merely put.
While applause is typically interpreted as show of public approval at a speech, as the head
of the Republican Governors Association, Christie does discover himself in the position of standing on phase supporteding and cheering for candidates whose policies and beliefs could or could not contrast his own, his spokesman Kevin Roberts noted.
The guv, as RGA chair, has actually been clear that he is out to support the best prospect in these races and to choose Republican guvs across the nation, however that he does not concur One Hundred Percent with any individual on every concern, Roberts said. No one does.
Recently, speaking at a roundtable intended at ending the stigma of addiction at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, Christie took the stage to firmly insist that making medicinealcohol and drug treatment be more readily available for everyone which this was part of governments job. He likewise decried compulsory minimum sentences for non-violent medicine wrongdoers that had turned New Jerseys prisons into warehouses for individuals who only exist because of medicines.
On Tuesday, Christie announced that New Jersey would be broadening its efforts to combat prescribed drugsubstance abuse by expanding records-sharing with doctors and pharmacists in Delaware, and soon with New York, to prevent individuals from physician shopping in surrounding states.
Today, Christie announced he had actually formed a job force to discover ways to get rid of the stigma of drug addiction, avoid dependence on medicines and enhance services to helpto assist addicts.
Walker not just really wants passing a medicine test to certifyget public assistance to end up being the law in Wisconsin, however also wants to broaden the fight to federal court. Existing federal law doesn’t enable states to mandate passing a drug test to deny food stamps or joblessness insurance to those with compounddrug abuse issues. Last December, a federal judge in Florida knocked down the states drug-screen mandate.
Numerous nationwide surveys have revealed the principle has support, specifically from Republican voters. In a July 2011 Rasmussen nationwide survey, 53 percent believed all well-being applicants must be drug tested before receiving advantages.
Such plans have actually been executed in a number of states. Utah discovered a dozen welfare applicants tested positive for drugs after a complete year of such testing. Tennessee began comparable medicine screening in July of this year. By mid-August, it had discovered just one applicant whod tested favorable for prohibited drugscontrolled substances, and disqualified 4 others who decreased to be screened.
Dr. Louis E. Baxter, clinical director of the Department of Obsession Solutions for the New Jersey Department of Wellness and Senior Services, who spoke at the Newark roundtable with Christie, said in a job interview Wednesday that he took problemdisagreed with using medicine screening to reject anybody public help.
No one appears to conflict (dependency to medicines or alcohol) is an illness, Baxter stated, But screening for it is not something thats done for other conditions, like cancer or diabetes, so I have a little issue with that.
Baxter included that offered the size of Americas elementdrug abuse epidemic some 23 million Americans are comprehended to strugglebattle with obsession denying public assistant to addicts indicates their issues become compounded; they end up being homeless. I do not believe that by itself thats a great standing for us to support.
Baxter, however, stated the concept of obligatory medicine screening shouldnt be dismissed: If they are going to do testing, it should be a referral for treatment, not for exemptions (from public assistance).
Christie has actually disagreed with prospects he has campaigned for as RGA chairman.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage opposed the expansion of Medicaid in his state, while Christie had permitted it in New Jersey.
Christie later on said he supported LePages decision not to do so in Maine because each state faces various situations, and that such a willingness to permit for different strategies was exactly what Christie called, the strength of our party.
LePage in August revealed his state would start implementing a 2011 law needing those convicted of drug-related felonies to very first pass a medicine screen in order to receive welfare benefits.
NJ Advance Media staff writer Matt Arco added to this report.
Claude Brodesser-Akner might be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @claudebrodesser. Discover NJ.com Politics on Facebook.
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