Florida House Passes Welfare Drug Testing Requirement

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Welfare applicants would have to pay for drug tests but they'd get reimbursed if they pass under a bill that has cleared the Florida House.

The Republican-controlled chamber passed the bill (HB 353) Tuesday night on a party line 78-38 vote.

GOP lawmakers argued that it's only fair for welfare recipients to be drug tested because many taxpayers are tested at their workplaces.

Democrats cited a federal appeal court ruling that struck down a similar program in Michigan.

The court ruled that random or universal testing of welfare recipients violates their privacy rights if there's no suspicion they are using drugs.

The bill next goes to the Senate where similar legislation is awaiting a floor vote.


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