Florida Requires Recipients Of Welfare To Undergo Drug Testing


I guess a law was just passed for this. Opinions? Will this spread to other states?

I admittedly don’t follow the news very well, most of what I see for news is on my yahoo homepage, although I saw this via a Facebook status.

I think that this is constitutional, although many think this is a government “invasion of privacy”. I think that if they are allowed to test government employees and soldiers, just as any business can, then why shouldn’t welfare recipients have to take it if asked to submit one? If you’re getting free money from the government, I think the least you can do is submit is submit a drug test. It’s clearly only people on welfare that do drugs that will complain about this, and even if it was an invasion of privacy to people who don’t do drugs, then I don’t seen what the big deal would be for them by submitting a cup of piss to the government. I consider this a viable solution to lowering the amount of people on welfare. People who do drugs on welfare will hopefully stop, and this in turn could make it easier to get back on their feet and out of welfare. Those who continue to do drugs will be sorted out, and in turn the government can figure out who is worth helping and who is not worth helping.


I am totally in favor of this measure.


What kind of drugs are we talking? Are they differentiating between, say, marijuana and heroin?


I’m also in favor of this. Why should tax payers support the vices those who can’t support themselves? I don’t mind feeding them, clothing them, paying for their health care and so on. But I definitely draw the line at them breaking the law while receiving social services. Is it too much to ask for them to not be a bigger financial liability on society than they already are?


I’ve decided I’m in favor of this as long as we also do it for bankers receiving TARP funds, farmers receiving subsidies, scientists receiving NSF or NIH funding, energy company executives receiving tax breaks…


Not sure if serious


no one is forcing them to accept welfare, therefore no one is forcing them to take the drug test. good idea IMO


Don’t worry, neither am I.


This is a dumbass idea. Will cost tons of money to keep testing people who have already proven they don’t do drugs.

Another instance of trying to look tough on crime without having to actually be tough on crime.


i think its a perfectly reasonable measure. taxpayers should have some sense of reassurance that their money is not being given to some freeloading crackhead.


Except when they send X amount of money to boot off 1% of the welfare roll.

In the short term, this gets a lot of people off, but long term, you end up testing the same people over and over again, and those on drugs won’t be stupid enough to try and get the assistance.

This will cost MUCH more money than saved.


I’m not in favor of this rule. Just because the government can do something, doesn’t mean it should. I think the right to privacy should win out here.


I know you’ll disagree, but the above bolded sounds like a win/win proposition for the hard working-cash strapped tax payer.

Davy if you were king of the country what would you’re solution be? It’s easy to say you don’t like this and you don’t like that. But it’s not so easy to say how you’d handle the situation is it? Have any useful suggestions for the State of Florida?


And ever student going to any college or university that receives or accepts public funding.

Excerpt from the Palm Beach Post

One of the more popular services at Solantic, the urgent care chain co-founded by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, is drug testing, according to Solantic CEO Karen Bowling.

Given Solantic’s role in that marketplace, critics are again asking whether Scott’s policy initiatives - this time, requiring drug testing of state employees and welfare recipients - are designed to benefit Scott’s bottom line.

This is what is trying to be protected folks, Family size and max benefit, adults have a lifetime maximum of 48 months children under 18 have ongoing coverage. The irony here is it is the adult who is tested and if they fail there is no reason they should keep their kids in the short term.

[LEFT]1 - $180
2 - $241
3 - $303
4 - $364
5 - $426
6 - $487
7 - $549
8 - $610 [/LEFT]

Additional Person +$62

Thus a parent with 2 kids gets the boot, they were getting $303 in TCA, now the kids go into relative care and the state is on the hook for about $250 each if they are under 12 and $300 each if they are 13 or older.


It’s a win in the short term, but long term it’s going to be a HUGE drag, especially once the big # of people on drugs gets booted off.

I’d like to see a complete reformation of the welfare system.

I work at a Casino. We (in Indiana) have a program called “Hoosier Works”, which is essentially our version of food stamps. I see those cards in people’s wallets TONS of times a day. Hell, we have to put signs on our ATMs that says that “Does not accept Hoosier Works Cards”.

Do things like adding those on Welfare to the Casino Exclusion List. Tighten rules on what food stamps can be sued for (i.e. not cigs). State that when you receive welfare, they can look in your bank account and see how much money you have, and what you’re spending it on. Make people keep and bring in the receipts to prove what they bought with the money they have.

I’m all for tighter restrictions on those on Welfare. I see tons of them a day gambling and then going to the grocery store with their food stamps.

I’m not saying the way it is now is perfect, but creating a new system where the state pays a bunch of money to test people to maybe get 1% of the people on welfare off of it and a much higher cost than they save is not an answer, it’s a political move.


random tests the whole plan will be worthless as anyone who knows when he/she will be tested can stay clean long enough to pass. Davy is right on this one. The money will be spent testing clean folks and dodgers.

A better solution is to randomly check income levels and whether they are actually citizens. My wife works for the health dept. and HIPA rules prohibit reporting people that they know are illegals, are on drugs (this just goes to a social worker and nothing usually happens), and they can’t force them to provide income proofs. Most of the clients know what income levels will qualify them and what won’t and they know how to answer the questions to get around the requirements.

We would do much better auditing the files and doing spot checks. Then prosecute those committing crimes (of any kind).


But its not a win for the taxpayer, you just bought into the simplicity of one aspect of what this might do albeit an obvious one. The rest of the story doesn’t dawn on you, see my previous post. You want reform, nobody gets public assistance after a drug offense or DUI unless they complete treatment. Booting a junkie of public assistance just transfers the cost of this person’s addiction from one program to another, whether it is the criminal justice of system, or medical assistance because of withdrawl, OD, or violence. Taking away their TCA doesn’t make them an ex-junkie.


I think this is a problem of stereotyping rather than privacy. Welfare is a privilege, not a right. In the end I see this being repealed in a few years, but it’s good to see someone stepping up to the plate. I’d like to see this last at least a year to see the short term implications, even though it goes against my ideas of experimental policy.


Alright, then i’ll pose the same question to you as I did to Davy. What is your solution? Completing treatment without follow up testing won’t get the job done. It will just make users a little wiser and more cautious, for a while.


Once someone has been ID’d as having a problem follow up testing is fine but should rarely be required. Proper treatment and after care should get these folks off of welfare, those who are destined to go back on welfare are unlikely to get through the treatment process.

The problem here is punitive social engineering for political purposes. As a rule the right is unwilling to support funding the type of programs that efficiently and effectively minimize the social impact and cost individuals with addiction issues have on society. At the same time Liberals are all too often willing to throw bad money after good on folks gaming the system in programs that don’t produce positive reults.