J.'s Law "
A Mira Loma high school sophomore
born with a disabling condition brought on by his mother's drug abuse
will see his proposal to screen welfare applicants for narcotics
introduced this year before the state Assembly, a lawmaker announced
R.J. Feild, a student at Jurupa Valley High School, competed with more
than 200 students from campuses across Riverside County in Assemblyman
John J. Benoit's "There Ought To Be a Law" contest. The youths composed
500-word essays stating what new laws they believe should be put on the
The teen's essay was well-written,
the most compelling and met
feasibility criteria, according to Benoit, a Republican who represents
the 64th District that encompasses part of the Coachella Valley and
western Riverside County.
He said he and his staff "had the
difficult dilemma of choosing only
one entry among so many good ideas."
"R.J.'s captivating story provided a clear reason
why we need his law,"
he said. "I look forward to introducing 'RJ's Law' in this legislative
The boy has spastic triplegic
cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to
get around, according to Benoit spokeswoman Cheryll Bisco.
In his essay, he explained how he
was born at 2 pounds, 2 ounces with
traces of heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, alcohol and cocaine in
his body - substances that caused his lifelong affliction, she said.
The teen's mother consumed the
illegal drugs throughout her pregnancy,
while she was living on public assistance, according to Bisco.
He proposed "RJ's Law" as a means
to ''break the destructive cycle of
supporting drug addicts with public assistance monies,'' she said.
"RJ's Law would apply the same
standard for drug screening (to welfare
recipients) that employees undergo in order to obtain employment,"
As winner of the contest, Feild
will receive an airline ticket to
Sacramento, where, in the next six weeks, he will be afforded the
chance to formally introduce his bill on the Assembly floor, Bisco
said, adding that the teen will also be given an honorary plaque and a
tour of the state Capitol.
Story by: Paul
Young, The Desert Sun, Palm Springs, CA
Recipient of 8 "Excellence in Media" Angel Awards