Fla. Welfare Drug Testing May Get State Funding

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Senate Budget Committee's chairman
says he'll try to find state dollars to reimburse welfare applicants who pass drug tests that would be required by pending legislation.

Sen. JD Alexander, a Lake Wales Republican, made that promise
Friday before his panel approved the drug testing bill (SB 556) on
a largely partisan vote with most Republicans in favor and
Democrats against.

The panel earlier rejected a motion by Sen. Evelyn Lynn, an Ormond Beach Republican, to require the reimbursements.

The bill requires applicants to pay for the tests. Cost estimates range from $10 to $70.

Alexander said he would try to find money during budget talks
with the House, where a similar bill (HB 353) is awaiting a floor
vote. The Senate version also now goes to the full chamber.

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  • by Cows Rule Location: Lovett, FL on Apr 19, 2011 at 05:21 AM
    I still say mandatory birth control is a much better idea. At the very least it should be mandatory after the first three kids a parent puts on the rolls.
  • by taxpayer Location: perry on Apr 18, 2011 at 07:38 PM
    race has nothing to do with it. I pay my taxes and when I need assistance I cannot get any help because I "make too much". but you can hand out $ to able body citizens who can work but choose not to? how is that fair? I was raised "if you dont work you dont eat". nothing in life is free and we taxpayers are footing the bill for lazy people. help those who help themselves and those who are not disabled need to get a job
  • by Jill on Apr 18, 2011 at 03:31 PM
    WTH? Thought the State had NO money? Lying again?
  • by Cornelius Location: Havana on Apr 18, 2011 at 03:11 PM
    Just more whites trying to discriminate. What I do with my welfare money is none of Rick Scott's business. I bet they try to drug test me before I get my reparation check in Obama's next term too. I will just cheat!
  • by Joe Location: Tallahasee on Apr 18, 2011 at 02:41 PM
    Im all for it! However, it will not pass the 4th amendment test for probable cause; the same reason that it is unconstitutional to test state workers. I agree it should be done! But just wait, the ACLU will challenge it and win! How much tax money will the lawyers and lobbyist walk away with when all is said and done! Just another waste of time and money!
  • by The Taxpay Yours Location: TallaHaHaHaHaseee on Apr 18, 2011 at 01:01 PM
    Ha...Which substance abuse tests are the Taxpay Yours paying for? Nicotine? Alcohol? Both?
  • by Devil's Advocate on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM
    Playing devil's advocate. Ok someone uses drugs and can not get the welfare or assistance because they would fail the test. Then what? Do they turn to crime to survive? Which is cheaper? Geving them assistance or trying to catch, jail and convict them. Many times releasing them back to the streets and the cycle starts all over.
    • reply
      by HMA on Apr 18, 2011 at 01:59 PM in reply to Devil's Advocate
      At least they are not breeding while in prison. If you factor in the exponential cost of adding mouths to feed, it's probably cheaper to put them in prison. The problem I see is that as I read this proposal, it says a positive test will result in the payments going to some sort of guardian. (No savings for the taxpayers, no real punishment for the leach).
  • by Muschamp Location: Fla on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM
    dear anonymous: I believe Lohan, Sheen et al are all in need of assistance ( mental) nonthless, they are not using tax dollars to buy drugs. yous and my tax dollars.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 18, 2011 at 04:21 PM in reply to Muschamp
      I was pointing out that the assumption being made is that those on assistance must be the ones on drugs. Nonetheless, if you think the rich don't partake of the handouts in the form of tax breaks then think again. In this case, states are giving tax breaks to hollywood to film in their state. There are companies making the news all the time because they manage not to pay taxes. And to all of these people claiming that the top 1% pay 70% of the taxes--not quite true. Remember that is only "income" tax. Their taxes for medicare and social security (payroll taxes) are capped. They can also afford accountants to see to it that they get every break they can. Plus, they get better deals than others when it comes to sales taxes- like Florida's break for buying luxury yachts. http://wweek.com/portland/article-17350-9_things_the_rich_dont_want_you_to_know_about_taxes.html
  • by leon Location: tally on Apr 18, 2011 at 08:50 AM
    @Ya Ya: "The only people against it are using drugs." What you're supporting is incipient fascism, in the idea that only criminals want their personal information kept private. There are many of us against drug testing for privacy reasons, b/c it's thin wedge of peremptory intrusion into our most personal information: Genetic traits, prescription drugs, and various diseases and maladies. It can become, through accident or theft, public knowledge. What about legal California medical marijuana users coming to Florida? Whose laws did they break? Just because private industry is doing it as a matter of private contract, doesn't make it right - it just means that we're getting accustomed to our civil rights being abrogated by powerful corporations, and now, the state itself.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 18, 2011 at 09:17 AM in reply to leon
      Leon, you always make a lot of sense. Please keep posting. It's nice to see an educated comment amongst all the ones whose sole argument is "the private sector does it".
    • reply
      by HMA on Apr 18, 2011 at 02:04 PM in reply to leon
      Some excellent points. However we're talking about people that are too irresponsible to take care of themselves and are existing on handouts from the taxpayers. They should not expect or be given privacy.
      • reply
        by leon on Apr 18, 2011 at 02:18 PM in reply to HMA
        Ever felt compelled to take welfare before? Me neither. But what about unemployment, or worker's comp? If it's going to be state workers & welfare recip's today, it'll be everybody else a few years down the road.
  • by Ya Ya Location: Tallahassee on Apr 17, 2011 at 06:54 PM
    We could use the money to pay our State Workers instead of drug abusers. I am all for drug testing. The only people against it are using drugs. IF you have nothing to hide then take the test. My job requires a random test at least 4 times per year. I have tested negative for 23 consecutive years.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 18, 2011 at 09:20 AM in reply to Ya Ya
      And how much have all of those negative tests cost over the years? You'd think they would figure out you aren't a drug abuser by now. This is just going to waste money. It will cost more to reimburse the ones who pass than what they save on the few who don't.
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