Florida government defends requiring drug tests for welfare recipients
Rick Scott, the governor of Florida, supports drug testing for Floridians who want to receive welfare benefits.
June 5th, 2011
01:07 PM ET

Florida government defends requiring drug tests for welfare recipients

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is defending recent legislation that requires adults in the state applying for welfare assistance to undergo drug screenings, saying the law provides "personal accountability."

"It's not right for taxpayer money to be paying for somebody's drug addiction," Scott said on CNN on Sunday. "On top of that, this is going to increase personal responsibility, personal accountability. We shouldn't be subsidizing people's addiction."

But the ACLU of Florida disagrees. It has already filed suit against Scott over a measure requiring government employees to undergo random drug testing. It says it may sue over the welfare law as well.

"What (Scott) is doing is giving ugly legitimacy to an unfortunate stereotype that has been in this country for a couple of decades - that all welfare recipients are a bunch of drug abusers," said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

Scott told CNN he wants to ensure that welfare funds go to their primary target - to disadvantaged children - and provide people with an incentive not to use drugs. He signed the measure on June 1, calling it "the right thing for taxpayers."

Under the law, which takes effect on July 1, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services will be required to conduct the drug tests on adults applying to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The aid recipients would be responsible for the cost of the screening, which they would recoup in their assistance if they qualify.

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Filed under: Florida • Politics
soundoff (637 Responses)
  1. RUFFNUTT

    🙂 you might be right.. ever notice she looks just like her dad? with long hair

    June 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ellis from Panama

    Hey CNN this troll is bothering us. All he does is cut and paste. I'm tired of ACP. Do something!

    June 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggy

      Gee Ellis from Panama, guess we do agree on something and you are able to write something that is less vulgar than your last post

      June 5, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sedoke

    I thought tubbs and crockett got rid of the drug problem is florida. Izzy says: ju gimy yor drugs and I giv yu welfare chek

    June 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Anthony's Case Posts

    Her father supported and protected her from the beginning and she throws him under the bus and tries to redirect all blame to him. Casey’s mother hopefully will clear up all these lies and tell the truth on the stand since she was the one from the beginning to think Casey killed her daughter

    June 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jazzzzzz

    Now waiter,I didn't order French dressing on my salad. I want Green Poop dressing.

    June 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anthony's Case Posts

    Casey has little regard for anyone other than her selfish narcisistic ass. She will stoop to any length in order to continue to blame everyone else for what she did to that beautiful child, including throwing her parents and brother under the bus. I hope from this point on they realize that being there for her is a waste of time and insult to Caylee only because she doesn’t deserve their support. They can always love her but they don’t have to continue to be a part of her insane world.

    June 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bobcat2u

    Rick Scott is a crook. But I applaud what he has done on this welfare case. At last a state leader with some KHAUNAS !!!!! The rest of the states now need to follow suit.

    June 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Elizabeth

    Wouldn't it be irony if it helps to prove that the majority of Welfare recipients are NOT drug abusers? That would be a real wake-up call to the ignorant people who don't want to admit that they might just be wrong about people on Welfare.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      I'll give it to you that not all welfare recipients are not drug users, but the many that I do know, are users. If they do not use drugs, then they have nothing to worry about.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggy

      I doubt it

      June 5, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • erika

      Well, it would not prove that. I live in subsidized housing and the majority of my neighbors do not work and have found loopholes in the system that get them off the hook for the mandatory job search activity. On trash day I see COUNTLESS beer cans (Usually Natty Ice, YUCK) in the recycle bins. The smell of marijuana comes out of the majority of the apartments and many of them are taking pain meds for some crap or another, anything to get high. I live around this, so I can say first hand that YES, a LOT of welfare recipients (particularly the 'lifers') ARE drug-abusers.

      June 7, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • del1981

      Have you personally interacted with the welfare population. And not just one or two families. i am talking about whole communities. do you live in a area near anyone on welfare? There are good people on welfare. but we are looking at the whole. there are alot of people who abuse the system, That steel their food stamps for drugs or trade them for other products. they tried to stop selling of food stamps by giving a card that they have to present in the store. you know how they get around it they take their drug dealers shopping for food. This is real. Some mothers on welfare sell baby formula, milk and bread and pocket the money. their are whole operations that I can take to you. these things are going on everyday.the system is broken and needs repair. for those on welfare who dont do drug this should not be a problem and they should not be upset. keep the people who need it and deserve it on welfare GET RID OF THE ABUSERS of welfare.

      June 7, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • sasky

      I think this is a great idea. I lived for 20 years in a neighborhood that was inhabited mainly by low income families on welfare. I am fully aware that not ALL people on welfare use the money for substance abuse. But regardless of how MANY there are, even if it was only 1% of people on welfare who abuse the system, it is good to get them weeded out. I personally grew up with a father who abused the welfare system and used his money for substance abuse instead of taking care of my sister and I. It was a terrible way to grow up, with a father who cared more about getting his fix than taking care of his children. And he made little effort to find work because he got money for doing nothing to fuel his addiction. I hope the rest of the world catches onto this drug testing soon so other children don't have to grow up like I did.

      June 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • pintsized

      sasky, if your father got no money for food stamps at all, how would you have eaten? Would you have eaten at all?

      June 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pala

      eeeeehhhhhh , thats a buzzer for ....you are wrong.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    Does that go for those whom abuse pharmaceuticals too? I don't recall the article mentioning.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pix

    As I read it, it would be for new applicants only.

    As I said before, and as bobcat just reiterated, if they are not on drugs, there shouldn't be any problem.
    If they are, well, they should not be stupid enough to apply.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • ignorance is everywhere!!!

      the governor has never interacted with druggies as told in his comments they will do ANYTHING to get a fix so sure take the $300 or less away and watch how fast they migrate to steal from your nice cushy suburban neighborhoods, as for the others how do anyone know who receives welfare???? do they wear a sign or have a certain look???? a habit is costly even cigarettes is more than 300 a month if you ask me the only thing this will do is raise the crime in the suburbs and bring lawsuits to the state.

      June 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • poopty peupty pants

      well... thats why if you catch them breaking into your house you put a bullet in there head.... it may not be legal in all states but it is here.... 🙂

      June 8, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    Does Nanny Zannie qualify for welfare in other words.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Pix

    @Philip:
    I would guess that it would apply to pharmaceuticals also, however, I would assume that they would have to show a legit prescription for it. If there were more of the pharm drug in their system than what was legitimately prescribed, they would be turned down.
    Street drugs are not the only type of drugs tested for.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RUFFNUTT

    there's tons of ways to beat a drug test..

    June 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jazzzzzz

    I just love jungle bunnies

    June 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pix

    @Philip:
    Nanny Zannie would be if she were prescribed the drug and were not buying it off the street.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
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