Walker asks Trump to fast-track drug testing plans, allow control of refugee placement

Walker asks Trump to fast-track drug testing plans, allow control of refugee placement

Gov. Scott Walker would like President-elect Donald Trump to fast track a number of initiatives in Wisconsin, including drug testing recipients of food stamps in the state.

In the letter sent Tuesday, Walker asks Trump to issue an executive order directing federal agencies to “coordinate federal activities with their state counterparts” to give states more control over issues that concern them.

Walker also asks that “as soon as possible” plans are approved to allow the state to drug screen for those who are getting food stamps in Wisconsin, as well as a request that would allow the state to charge premiums for childless adults on BadgerCare who “purposefully increase their health risks while receiving benefits.”

The governor writes in his letter that he would also like the state to have more authority in determining how many refugees can come from countries with ties to terrorism.

“We believe that the items listed above deserve your immediate attention but that this should only be the beginning of our efforts to return authority closer to the people,” Walker said in the letter.

The requests are not sitting well with Democrats.

“Some of the issues the governor is talking about in his letter are either not constitutional or don’t have anything to do with the policy of the state of Wisconsin and should be a policy that is done at the federal level,” Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said.

Erpenbach said that allowing states to intervene in immigration policy for refugees would create a “patchwork” of policy across the country.

“The issue of immigration as a whole should be uniform from one end of this country to the other,” Erpenbach said.

It’s unclear how quickly Trump could move to address Walker’s concerns, some of which are tied up in courts and may require law changes.

But Walker tells The Associated Press he has spoken with Vice President-elect Mike Pence about these issues and is optimistic Trump will address them quickly.