Welfare reform is much needed. Instead of waiting for federal direction, one governor is considering tightening restrictions for those on the unemployment and welfare rolls in his state.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, fresh off his third election, has taken on public state employees and unions -and won. Now, he's eyeing drug abuse among those benefiting from the states’ social safety net.

As part of his campaign, Walker proposed drug testing for prospective food stamp and unemployment benefits. The idea is that providing cash to someone with a habit does nothing for them in the long run. Aid should go to those who truly need it and will use it for the intended purposes.

States have much more leeway to experiment with requirements than the federal government especially since federal benefits are given as block grants to states to manage. Proof of success could serve as models for federal reform.

CNBC reports:

"If you want our help, we'll help you out temporarily. But we expect that you're going to find a job, and we're going to help you find that job," he said in "Squawk Box" interview. "Part of helping you do that means you're free from drugs so you can pass that [drug] test and be employed." 

These kind of broad-based drug tests for state benefits would certainly face legal challenges. For example, a federal judge ruled that a similar law in Florida championed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott violated the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable government searches. 

People are tired of the "top-down, old artificial government-knows-best approach," he said. "Instead, they want this new fresh, from-the-ground-up approach that we see, particularly in the states."

In this instance drug testing is part of job readiness. How many employers want to hire someone who comes to work high or who has a habit that would very likely affect their ability to report for work and function in the role -especially dangerous jobs or environments? It's an unreasonable expectation. (We discussed this reform in a chapter on entitlement reform in our recent book Lean Together.)

As the article notes, such a proposal faces legal challenges. In Florida, a case is pending to state laws that have imposed drug testing for recipients of public benefits. As HotAir explains the prospects don't look good.

Walker should not be deterred. Good stewardship of taxpayer dollars demands that they are not doled out irresponsibly. We want to see every American given the help they need through rough financial times and tools to achieve self-sufficiency. Drug abuse stymies those efforts and taxpayer aid should not enable those habits.