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. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ banasy:
    Et tu, banasy?
    Joey I-F would spell naïve (fem.) n-a-i-v-e, and naif (masc.) n-a-i-f because he's a guy (a super-tough guy) and wants to be snobbish because he learned a little French. In that language, a "naïve" guy is, to say the least, in error.
    In my sentence above, I called myself naif, and my Blackberry keyboard doesn't have any cute little dohickies to enhance my verbal affectation.
    I also know that "naïve" in English is correctly unise-
    x, so don't teach me that.
    I didn't read all the posts after that, but I'll bet that nobody stood up for me. Now I've got to go return calls that came in while I was doing my "knitting" here.

    June 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Carrot N Stick Talk

    Truth is everyone is going to hurt you (so sayeth the lord Satan praise be his name) You just have to find the ones worth suffering for. Cheers! Enjoy your salty cream pie and have fun taking your Aids meds twice daily.

    June 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    Well, you know I adore you!
    Get back to your knitting as soon as you can.
    Whatever you knit, it is *always* interesting.

    June 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Jazzzzzzzz:
    I, too, have a quick-to-bite instinct for any racism.
    When it comes, it comes from individuals of all (ALL) races, and I'm hair-trigger about calling offenders out for slurs.
    I like your expressing your reactions.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      Thanks but after wards I realize i'm no better than the Racist, when I shout back obsenities.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kaira

    @Casey Anthony Post...
    STFU...this thread has nothing to do w the Casey Anthony trial and, frankly, I'm sick of trying to read a post on the thread w/o your commentary every other post...
    If you want to comment on Casey Anthony's trial/case it is a free country but do it on an appropriate thread...

    June 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carrot N Stick Talk

      @Kaira: You're wasting your time. That Anthony post thing is just some cut and paste troll machine. Wont reply to you either.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kaira

    @ Jessica:
    You said you "I decided against it because I knew what the money was going to be used for. When asked he told me he was raising money to jump on a bus to see a sick relative. As a social worker I immediately noticed his jitters and certainly believe he was a heroin addict."

    As a social worker you should know that ETHICALLY it was the wrong thing to do rather than base your opinion on whether or not this man was a heroin addict. As a social worker myself there I find an ethical issue w your reasoning for turning this person down by what you wrote. You should turn him down simply b/c it is illegal and it is wrong. If you don't see this...you are in the wrong field. If you do then disregard my comment but your post seems to me that you don't see the ethical issue behind this. Just saying...

    June 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jazzzzzz

    I prefer to marry a white man. But if I have to settle for less then I suppose a black or hispanic will do, provided they have money.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. KcCritic

    I believe crime will escalate from this law. People will do what they got to do to feed their drug habits, and, they will also do what they got to do to feed their kids. Not "all" welfare reciepients are on drugs, but i agree that taxpayers should'nt have to support the ones that are. I know people will say if someone smokes a little weed. that doesn't make a person a "druggie"., and thats true, BUT, if that person is on welfare, and smoking weed, that 10$ or 20$ they spend on weed could buy some food. The kids are the ones that will suffer from this. Does anyone know what they are going to do with the kids they take out of the homes of the drug users? What about the parents? Foster care? Prison? This is going to be the beginning of a helluva mess, especially when other states follow suit!

    June 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggy

      I believe they will give the money to another adult on the child's behalf, another adult who is not taking drugs

      June 5, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kaira

    @Carrot N Stick Talk...
    I kind of figured but it was/is getting more than a little annoying... 🙂

    June 5, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Anthony's Case Posts

    ****has anyone seen my Meth??****

    June 5, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Maggy

    Good for Florida. I am so sick of everyone being so politically correct.. I would go one step further. If you are doing drugs, you do not deserve to be with your children. The state should takeyour children away and not give them back until you are clean and sober and constantly prove with random drug tests, that you are clean and sober. You mean to tell me the bleeding heart liberals feel a child's mental health and well beingis less important than the rights of their drug addict parents? Please do not tell me this is true. Have we lost our mind?I am a registered Democrat but believe more in what makes sense instead of blindly following my preferred political party. The Government should not be subsidizing addicts. Addicts are taking money away from others who are more deserving of public assistance. What part of that don't you understand? People need to start taking responsibility for themselves. Likewise if you are obese, lazy, smoke and do drugs, you should not be eligible for any government assistance. In fact you are beyond hopeless . I don't see why others should pay to enable your bad behavior and lifelong poor choices.

    June 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @maggy: Ummm. I guess you're gonna raise all those kids? Or are you just gonna pay the state to do it?

      Here in OK, the foster system is already understaffed and over-full. About every other month we hear about foster parents locking kids in basements and feeding them dog food.

      Only a moron would want to subject kids to that. Or do you live in a world with no consequences? What color is the sky in your world?

      June 6, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Tamara

      Friends of ours adopted twins from foster care that had been abused and neglected by their biological parents. Now they are trying to find another set of twins from the same family! Welfare recipients and oh yeah, the kids tested positive for meth.
      Are ALL welfare recipients lazy and on drugs and abusing their kids? NO, but there is a reason for the stereotype, unfortunately. I say good for Florida – it's about time!

      June 6, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Bethany

      Good for Florida. I also think able-bodied people on welfare should be required to perform community service while taking our money. Oh, that's right - that would be a job, wouldn't it?

      June 6, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Yeah

      Really someone with a failed drug test could be forced into rehab in order to keep getting their benefits. Why has this country set the bar so low for everyone? It's embarrassing.

      June 6, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. banasy

    @Anthony’s Case Posts:

    There is a whole blog on this subject: the ‘IN SESSION” blog.
    It is everything Casey Anthony.
    Please, I implore you, go to that blog.
    Remember, it is called


    Every story is about this case.
    Go there, and
    Thank You!

    June 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kaira

    @Maggy... THANK YOU!!!

    June 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. han

    Good. Drug addicts shouldn't use my tax money to feed their Damn habits.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. Owens

    why don't we put corporate thieves in jail in florida, instead of making them governor.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
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