The Hutchinson News The Kansas Legislature this week passed a measure to allow drug testing of welfare and unemployment recipients - and even lawmakers - with reasonable suspicion of drug use. Qualifying suspicions include, but are not limited to, a questionable demeanor, missed meetings, police records or failing a drug test with a potential employer. If that's the case, there's little time to waste before we start collecting urine samples from members of the Kansas Legislature. For example, this session legislators considered a tax exemption that would benefit for-profit health clubs, fighting for their lives against non-profit YMCAs and community-sponsored recreation centers; a sustained effort to undo an 80-year-old Kansas law protecting Kansas family-owned farms, removing local control from decisions about out-of-state operations; a bill that would authorize the quarantine of those with HIV; a firearms protection law that makes it a crime for federal agents to venture into Kansas to enforce federal gun laws; and a budget that could cut the state income tax further, breaking a promise to Kansans to sunset a portion of the sales tax, raids other state agency funds and undoubtedly would lead to property tax increases on farmers and households - who will carry the burden thanks to the long line of businesses that will enjoy property, income and sales tax breaks. There's not much a poor single mother could do to create a more questionable demeanor than the 2013 Legislature. And in what should not be a surprise to anyone, the one redeeming quality of this bill - a component to provide treatment for those who fail state-required drug testing - has been stricken from the legislation. Senate Vice President Jeff King, R-Independence, said when he introduced the bill that it wasn't punitive but instead would help drug-addicted Kansans receive the help they need. By striking the one component that could have both helped Kansans and reduced the number of potential drug users on public assistance, the legislation is now purely punitive. In all, the legislation is expected to save the state $1.1 million by booting drug users off welfare, but it also is expected to cost nearly the same amount in the first year - followed by $180,000 in annual savings to Kansans. Legislators had an opportunity to find some balance on this idea. They could've satisfied those who fear state dollars are being used to feed drug addiction while simultaneously helping drug users become self-sustaining taxpayers. Instead, lawmakers again chose to expand state government with a punitive law - all to save roughly .0000125 percent of the entire state budget. As of Wednesday, the bill was awaiting the signature of the governor, who has not publicly shared his thoughts on the legislation.