By Amanda Geronikos
Thu, 02 Jun 2011 16:11:56 GMT
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed new legislation requiring welfare applicants to take drug-screening tests.
The new law, which goes into effect July 1, will require the Florida Department of Children and Family Services to perform drug tests on adults applying to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Welfare recipients will be responsible for the cost of the screening, but will regain the money in their assistance if they qualify. Those who fail the drug test may deligate another person to receive the benefits on behalf of their children.
Some Democrats are furious over the new legislation. CNN reports that one Democrat even deemed the bill “downright unconstitutional.” “‘Indeed, investigating people when there is probable cause to suspect they are abusing drugs is one thing,’ Rep. Corinne Brown said in a joint statement,” as mentioned by CNN. “‘But these tests amount to strip searching our state’s most vulnerable residents merely because they rely on the government for financial support during these difficult economic times.’”
Can a simple drug test truly be considered “strip searching” though? Employers perform drug tests on their most loyal employees all the time.
Gov. Rick Scott says it’s “’unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction,’” as noted by CNN. “’It’s the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don’t want to waste tax dollars. And also, we want to give people an incentive to not use drugs.’”
Do you think welfare applicants should be required to take drug tests? Sound off here.
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