Florida Orders Applicants for Federal Needy Families Program to be Drug Tested…and Pay for It

Thursday, June 02, 2011
Gov. Rick "Drug Test" Scott
Republican Governor Rick Scott signed the legislation that applies to anyone applying for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The program provides block grants to states with the goals of “promoting job preparation, work and marriage; preventing out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.”
Those failing the drug screening won’t be eligible to receive benefits for one year or until they successfully complete a substance abuse program. Applicants who pass their test will be reimbursed for the cost.
The American Civil Liberties Union has criticized the law, calling it unconstitutional and fiscally irresponsible. ACLU attorneys point to a similar law passed eight years ago in Michigan which was struck down by a federal court.
The legislation follows an executive order issued by Scott in March requiring all state employees to submit to urine analysis at least four times a year. In those drug testing cases, the state will cover the cost, estimated to be more than $3.5 million annually.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
HB 353 (Florida House of Representatives)


laura satin 6 years ago
thanks so much for posting this article. governor scott should take a look at this article- maybe i will write to him and suggest it. the cdc (centers for discease control) found that adverse childhood events have far-reaching effects on adulthood including substance abuse; http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsaces/?s_cid=fb919
Dawn Cummings 6 years ago
this policy will have unintended consequences, simlar to the war on drugs; it is unconstitutional and ludicrous! targeting recipients of tanf will indirectly cause harm to innocent children. who will suffer here? answer: the children, not the adults. gov. scott: do you seriously feel a continued effort to control drug-use by means of withholding assistance to needy families is the consensus of the american people? i am confident this policy will fail to remain in effect for any length of time but feel sorry for those it will affect in the meantime. children should not suffer because of the addictions of their caretakers! what were you thinking? perhaps you weren't.

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