Gov. Scott Signs Welfare Drug Testing Into Law

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – Expect challenges to a bill signed by Governor Rick Scott which will require welfare applicants to undergo drug testing.

The bill also requires that those who apply for welfare must pay for the drug testing out of their own pockets. However, the cost would be reimbursed if the person passes the drug test.

Republicans said the measure was needed because if taxpayers are screened at their place of employment, so should welfare recipients. The drug testing bill was a priority for Scott.

“While there are certainly legitimate needs for public assistance, it is unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction,” Governor Scott said. “This new law will encourage personal accountability and will help to prevent the misuse of tax dollars.”

A similar law which passed in Michigan in 1999 which required random drug testing of Welfare recipients lasted five weeks before it was stopped by a judge. An appeals court ruled it unconstitutional after a four-year legal battle.

On Tuesday, Scott also signed into law another measure that bans the designer drug MDPV or “bath salts.”

Poison control centers in Florida have reported 61 calls of “bath salts” abuse, making Florida the state with the second-highest volume of calls.  The hallucinogenic substances are readily available at convenience stores, discount tobacco outlets, gas stations, pawnshops, tattoo parlors, and truck stops, among other locations.

Comments

One Comment

  1. MiamiMex says:

    If I have to be drug tested at my job then you better believe a person getting my hard-earned tax money better be drug tested!

  2. sick of sofla says:

    You got that right MM!!! What will happen if they don’t pass the test?
    This should put a few more people back to work just tracking and implementing this program!!!

    1. Curly says:

      If they are on Welfare, they should not have the money to buy drugs and if they do then they should not be on Welfare. If they are on drugs and Welfare, they are either using their Welfare money on the drugs or got Welfare illegally!! Stop using our money by buying drugs!!

  3. sick of nofla says:

    “A similar law which passed in Michigan in 1999 which required random drug testing of Welfare recipients lasted five weeks before it was stopped by a judge. An appeals court ruled it unconstitutional after a four-year legal battle.”

    And reading comprehension fails again for Scott supporters. All you’ve done is grease the legal system for a law that will eventually be stricken down. My guess Scott will then claim all the lawyers as part of his 700,000 jobs.

    Simple man, simple ideas…what an embarrassment.

    1. sick of nofla says:

      I’d like to see the data on this. What statistics were used to back up the stereotype of ‘drug addicted’ welfare recipients’ as being a significant issue?

      Coincidence Scott’s previous health care connections will benefit from the drug test? I think not.

    2. Sick of morons calling other morons says:

      Stricken? Is the law ill? Maybe you should learn to use words correctly before calling someone simple.

      1. NON WELFARIAN says:

        Work 60 hours a week at a HUD/GOVERMENT property like I did for a very long time and you dont need statistics! Its very true and very real!

      2. Ron says:

        “Stricken” is the past tense of strike. As in “draw a line thru”, as in “wiping the law from existence”.

        So, next time you get the urge to be a Grammar Nazi, sit on your hands.

    3. Ron says:

      “All you’ve done is grease the legal system for a law that will eventually be stricken down.”

      Possibly. Or his lawyers could have examined the Michigan case and attempted to craft the FL law so as to pass judicial muster.

  4. Jane Doe says:

    This is overdue. Many employed people get random drug testing and so do people trying to get a job. I know even the Semonle Indians were looking at drug testing tribal members before they were given checks. I don’t know if this has been enacted yet. How can a single parent who is drunk or high properly care ofr a child? I have a relative who wanted custody of her kids and I knew she drank and did drugs and therefore I refused to go to court in order for her to gain custody. One chikd regularly had seizures and I did not want to face the possibility that the child could die if she were drunk or high.

  5. Esther5928 says:

    If I have to test for a job – you better beleive they should test for government aid! Its about time. I cant wait to see the decline in recipients as a result of failed testing! Now, lets hope they dont turn around and start providing government (i.e., taxpayer supported) programs to “help” these individuals that fail the tests!

  6. lestat says:

    maybe we should just cut off welfare altogether and we wont have to worry about drug testing, i feed my family you should feed yours

    1. Beth McCoy says:

      It’s not just about earning food stamps. It’s about being able to provide your children with health insurance so they can get their vaccinations, and reg. check ups. No one planned to get laid off or fired from their jobs, or expected inflation along with a pay cut. Before making a comment like yours, you have to think about the “Big Picture,” of the whole welfare system and the different situations that people are in.

  7. paul says:

    Since the drug using welfare recipients will soon be living in shelters, rehab at those shelters will be a good idea. Can’t have rehab delivered to their doors steps. Might as well have them delivered to the rehab, clean them up and get them off to work…. like the rest of productive society.

  8. Chrissie says:

    Thank you Gov. Scott! I am so glad you did this.

  9. Steve says:

    This is long overdue. If someone can afford luxuries like illegal drugs then they obviously don’t need my money to live.

    I was cautiously optimistic about Rick Scott after he won the election. I liked what he had to say but I didn’t trust him because of his corrupt past (and crybaby reaction to criticism during the election), but so far he’s impressed me. Anyone willing to take on the corrupt teachers’ union is OK by me.

    1. windanon says:

      Totally agree. This guy is the man! Proud to have voted for him! Just wait a couple years, and everyone else will see the fruits of his policies in lower unemployment and a great business climate.

  10. rick geiger says:

    The law will be struck down as un Constitutional. Not only that, it is very much against conservative principles of treating people as individuals.

    1. Flank says:

      I’m curious to know why this law would be unconstitutional…. Where in the constitution does it say that a person has the right to have the public pay for their drug use?

      1. Redneck says:

        Why dont you start studying constitutional law (and not at the school Palin went to.) Your comment is about as idiotic as her and shows how dumb you really are.

      2. Ron says:

        “Why dont you start studying constitutional law (and not at the school Palin went to.) Your comment is about as idiotic as her and shows how dumb you really are.”

        Your post clearly indicates your intellectual and moral superiority, yet is a big fat FAIL since you give no constitutional justification for why I should pay for someone else’s drug habit.

      3. Flank says:

        @ redneck, why don’t you show me how much smarter you are, by actually explaining the constitutionality, or did they teach you quick hits in your Saul Alinsky class at Berkley Community College?

    2. Ron says:

      “it is very much against conservative principles of treating people as individuals.”

      Please expand upon this notion of yours.

  11. Corey says:

    The law was struck down in Michigan because of the massive rampant liberalism running in that state.. FL has far far far more conservatives on the bench, and any common sense judge who doesn’t legislate from the bench will uphold it.

  12. Justin says:

    “Not only that, it is very much against conservative principles of treating people as individuals.”

    How so? They will help the individuals that pass the test and turn away the individuals who fail it.

  13. ebony palmer says:

    i agree with the testing…but not making people pay for it….you want the test..pay for it yourself…i agree because there are too much drug usage in america(not just florida) and that will help people take better care of the kids if not on drugs…but its kinds iffy

  14. tired of fraud says:

    Fabulous idea, but it won’t stick.. the children can’t go hungry because the parent has a drug problem…please don’t get me wrong, I support this and had thought about this for many years, but see that this will hurt the kids not the parents…

    1. Flank says:

      The welfare department will most likely have data on whether or not the family has children, they can very easily have a trigger to contact social services if a parent fails due to illegal drug use. That being said, do you think addict parents are more concerned about proper raising of children, or about getting more drugs? Would not the carrot of the welfare check help them clean up?

  15. j gibson says:

    I see nothing wrong with drug testing as long as the testing is not used to destroy someone who is innocent. Remember, the more laws that are out there open the door to corruption to abuse innocent persons. As long as there is an oversight with teeth to effectively deal with certain issues so that people are not destroyed by laws and rules such as this and have appeal rights which should be guarenteed to balance the needs of the many with the needs of the few.

  16. Sheilah Davis says:

    I wonder who is going to get rich off of that?

    First it will be the welfare recepients, and yes, it is hard to argue against that. My main issue is that if a person has the cash to pay for drug testing, they ought to be using that for food and shelter, not to pad the pockets of a company that won a government contract.

    Be mindful that many lawmakers intend to demand drug testing for people applying to use their unemployment benefits (an insurance) and,, over time, this mandate may extend to the rest of us.

    Be cautious what we cheer for, it may end up biting all of us in the end.

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