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. Pix

    @leeintulsa: lmao!

    June 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. McPurp

    Great idea, but i cant help but think about all the crime that will result from this, desperate people do desperate things.

    June 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jazzzzzz

    To all who don't know me,I didn't post all the Jazzzz posts above. There is another troll or trolls besides me.

    June 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jazzzzzz

    I eat green poop.

    June 5, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jazzzzzz

    543 years old? Maybe your sagging face but not the rest of you,Lee

    June 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mmmmm

    Gov. Scott need to test those getting disablity checks and social security...they are the biggest drug addicts and bloodsuckers after the elderly with Medicaid. There will be always the poor until the end of time. To torture and humiliate them because they are in need of charity and assisstance is a shame. Gov come across as a ignorant, repub, uncharitable rednx...his conservative compassion is duly noted! RUff'n your dignigrating remarks directed at women in need of assistance are deplorable...instead of giving up the DNA donate a bag of rice to the foodbank it has a longer shelf life.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Riff*Raff

    I had heard he owned the facilities. He signed over "ownership" to his wife I believe, to help the conflict of interest not appear so blatant. This law isn't about the betterment of Florida, but the personal benefit of the governor and his associates-and that's why the ACLU will win their case. I'm fine with testing in principle, however it will not do any good but make the drug companies richer (isn't this effective for state employees also?) Most ,if not all ,drugs are out of your system within 72 hours, other than marijuana-which is 30 days approx. Alcohol even sooner-24 hours max. My issue with the testing is only marijuana users will be identified, not anyone with real addiction issues-a violent crack head, a thieving meth addict, or an abusive alcoholic etc. Drugs that cause someone to inflict bodily harm to themselves or others. I do not believe marijuana is in the same class of drugs.
    I am a proponent of the decriminalization of pot. I think there are many worse things that are a scourge to society, and pot isn't one of them.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @riff*raff: amen brother.. Or sister..

      June 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riff*Raff

      Thanks Lee. And that would be sister 🙂

      June 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • McPurp

      Great post Riff*Raff!

      June 5, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debbie In Texas

      If the drug testing was random, this would solve the issue of drugs being out of their system. Workers in the local welfare office could call current and new applicants, for drug testing on the day of the phone call. This would increase jobs both in the government and in the drug companies. Gov. Scott doesn't own ALL of the drug companies. If we are serious about "irradicating illegal drugs", we have to take a stance somewhere! Whether or not Marijuana is legalized is a different issue and forum. Accountability and Responsibility should be required if you accept federal funds. Period. Corporations protect their liability by requiring you, the employee, to be randomly drug tested, and immediate drug testing for injuries and/or accidents. Why can't the government protect us the taxpayer by requesting the same guidelines?

      June 9, 2011 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joe Moore

    I have to pass a drug test to get a job and earn a pay check, so should welfare receipiants. As for the ACLU, they need to leave this country and go to China or Venezuela.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy

    Why WON'T they legalize pot? I never could understand that.
    Does anyone realize how much the country could benefit from taxation of pot if it were legalized?
    How backward IS that?

    June 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Blame the christians and the haters. The 'war' was started by someone who was both. And carried on by the same

      June 5, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riff*Raff

      @Banasy, Hi.
      I've never understood it either. Especially since it was wanting to tax hemp that started this theater. All it took was the richest American and a congressman from Florida(ironically) concocting a scary story and the rest is history. As Lee said, it was the haters and still is. Just think about how much happier everyone would be. lol

      June 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy

    There are many drug tests in the private sector; why not for the recipients of the programs the private sector is paying for, via taxes?

    June 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      The private sector can do what it wants.. I'm not sure i understand the question.. And, HI, banasy 🙂

      June 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy


    Agreed. And, hi.

    Hi to Riff*Raff, as well.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy

    I meant that drug testing is done at many companies to get and keep a job; why can't people enrolling in welfare do the same, especially is it's our taxes paying for said welfare.

    And, Riff, although pot would be identified, so would the chronic addict's choice of drug. Contrary to what some people say, it's very hard to fake a clean drop.
    If they're chronic, they'll be caught.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Keep in mind that since they are seeking welfare, it's us paying for the tests. Unless they pass, then it comes out of their welfare, which we pay for.. Hmmmm. So, basicly, we pay more. I'm sure if they fail, they won't pay. I wouldn't..

      June 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashley


      I completely agree with you and this law. Who in their right mind be opposed to it? Why should people have the right to welfare despite failing a drug test? Why should the Florida taxpayers endorse that? The ACLU thinks that it's condemning all welfare recipients as drug addicts, when in reality, it's separating people who actually need the money to people who don't. Drugs are expensive and if you're going to pick drugs or alcohol (no matter they're legality) over food and then ask for welfare, you are abusing the system.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @ashley: agreed, they are abusing the system. We should get rid of the system

      June 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy

    I always wanted to ask....did you get your name from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"?

    June 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Love that dude.. "it's astounding" like u more every day, banasy

      June 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riff*Raff

      @banasy, Yep that's where I got it. I had just watched it the evening I posted here the first time. Good job 🙂

      June 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Anthony's Case Posts

    Has any one watched the jail house taps where George Anthony was talking to Casey when she was in jail the first time, he said I wish I would have been a better grandfather, that is talking past tense, that means he knew the baby was all ready dead.
    Need to watch the taps carefully I do believe it has been a cover up with every one in the family. George was a cop, he knows how to cover up things like that and never thought it would go this far, so now he has to play along with it so he won’t be in trouble. Cindy knew it to, it’s an act with them all. When Cindy asked Casey where the baby was she said to Cindy,” are you kidding me”. So I take it as Cindy already knew as well. Did you hear Cindy tell Casey the reward was all ready up to 225.000, that’s about all Cindy really care’s, Cindy has already made a lot of money off of the baby and even went to New York to write a book and Lee was there as well with his lawyer. The book is to make money off the poor baby, I am a grandmother, if it was my grandchild I would have been out every day looking for my daughter and grand baby. Cindy said about taking the baby swimming on the 15th, I think it happened that day and they are all covering it up, Cindy even told her coworkers on the 17 that some one had been in the pool and left the ladder up ..they had to act like they didn’t know anything to cover their ass, and all the smell from the car could have been put there after George and Cindy got the car. Every one that was in the car when Casey had it couldn’t smell anything, something is not right, if it did happen like Casey said, George had the baby and put the baby some where to hide her and George knows all about the hair band. I just pray GOD will get the truth out. Casey had to lie because her parent’s taught her how to lie cause they lie, yes I know it is wrong but Casey was scared of them and what would happen, so she did what she was told and now George and Cindy are just worried about them. All the money they will make from the poor baby its just a front. Cindy has to keep the front up because she said she has become disabled from all this money and they know now Casey can get them for wrongful death. Every one needs to keep an open mind and watch the taps. God will show the truth.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @anthony's: HEY! I was nowhere near ANY of that. And judging by the family, i'm glad the kid didn't grow up to gleen my tax money or stick me up. Love kids, but can't save everyone..

      June 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy

    @Riff*Raff & leeintulsa:

    That was one of THE greatest flicks of all time.

    My 17 year old went to see it a few months ago. Yes, we still have the Midnight showings!

    At my first wedding, the band played "I'm Just A Sweet Trans"!
    (Filters, you know!)
    I thought the oldsters were gonna poo a brick! Lol!

    Crud. I just dated myself. A wedding band? Lol!

    Great to see you two! 🙂

    June 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riff*Raff

      @banasy-it sounds like a great wedding party. I'm sure the song did get some looks from the older folks. Too funny!

      June 6, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
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