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June 2nd, 2011
05:31 AM ET

Florida’s gov. wants to drug test welfare recipients– good idea or not?

(CNN) - Saying it is "unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction," Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday signed legislation requiring adults applying for welfare assistance to undergo drug screening.

"It's the right thing for taxpayers," Scott said after signing the measure. "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."

Question of the Day: Florida’s governor wants to drug test welfare recipients– good idea or not?

Let us know what you think. We could read your answer on American Morning.

Filed under: AM Asks
soundoff (450 Responses)
  1. J. R. Rentfro

    Hip! Hip! Hooray! Can we make this guy president? This may be the best salvo in the 'War On Drugs' fired yet. Drug dealers will see their customer base shrink. Cut demand; and, supply must shrink. Plus, we're tired of paying welfare to those that do not deserve it; much less, to law breaking drug users.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  2. Janice Bevars

    I think it is about time! I have to be drug tested to be why not drug test to recieve welfare benefits. I have not agreed with anything our Governer has done yet but I agree with this one., I think it should be a requirement in every state!

    June 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  3. Denny

    Even If drugs were the only reason a poor person may need assistance, and it is not, this would still be a bad idea because people could go hungry just because of a mistake they made and be denied assistance for one year. Everyone makes mistakes. It just makes some people feel better about themselves to look down upon someone else and others just hate paying taxes that go to someone else besides themselves.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  4. sonja allison

    yes it is there is to many dead beats that can work but we make it so easy to get foodstamp they do not work so they can get out of paying there childsupport. they know how to work it and it is not right!!! they use there foodstamp to pay someone so they can stay at there house and buy drugs with them. welfare is for people that needs help not because they are to lazy to work. i know a few people who choose to live this way and i am sick of it!!!!!!! if they have nothing to hide just do it .god bless the peolpe that need it not just because they are to lazy to do the right thing and know matter if there on drugs or not they to work for what they get from the state.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  5. JGo

    If testing was not only for applicants, but ongoing for recipients AND the cost to conduct testing is less than the current cost of welfare, then this is a good thing.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  6. Biff

    If we delve a little further we find...Florida Gov. Rick Scott, was CEO of a chain of hospitals found guilty of the single largest case of MEDICARE FRAUD IN HISTORY on his watch. Systematically bilking medicare of BILLIONS and fined 1.7 BILLION. Since then he started a chain of clinics, multiplying like an epidemic, in Florida, while hospitals are going bankrupt. Scott recently transferred ownership of his chain of Solantic HIS WIFE. I wonder where half the state of Florida will be going, 4 times a year, to get their cup to pee in?

    June 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  7. Dan D

    I can't believe some people say this will cost us money. If the drug test is positive, then they do not get paid...and there will be plenty of those. If they have kids, then we just found out that there is a kid growing up in a users house and lets get them out of there.

    win win. I have to take drug tests at work. They get a chunk of my income, so they should have to take one too. WELFARE IS NOT A RIGHT... so we don't HAVE to give anyone anything...

    I agree...lets make the politicians take these tests!

    June 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  8. JoAnn

    Way to go Florida. Now we need the other 49 states to follow suit.

    The ACLU needs to sit down and shut up. If tax $$ are going to support someone on welfare, then they shouldnt have the money to buy drugs.

    The private sector has been drug testing it's employee's for years. Now it's time for those that receive welfare to follow the same rules as those of us that don't receive welfare

    June 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  9. Bernard

    No and yes, now with that said folks are always crying about everybody else, do what you do-if your job requires you not to take drugs then don't- do your job ! people in hell want ice water and we know thats not going happen.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  10. An Angered Ex-Employee

    Being on both ends of this spectrum is both frustrating and disappointing. I held my last job for 6 years before I was wrongfully terminated. I honestly need the benefits while I search for another job.
    In return for the unnecessary pain and suffering that I endured due to the separation from my employer, I feel like I have RIGHTFULLY paid into these benefits and I AM entitled to them without being tested for drugs.
    Being unemployed has only made me feel violated by the system and I don't deserve that!! I am not a criminal and I've paid my share of taxes too!! (via the job that I passed a drug test to get) Go figure! If your looking for a disappointment, the good ole crooked government's got you covered... They're the one's who SCREW us out of everything they CLAIM we are working our whole lives to gain.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  11. James

    This is a TERRIBLE idea! How much is that going to cost the State? It will be the babies and innocent ones that will pay the price.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  12. Georg

    My opinion is that drug screeniing IS appropriate for those receiving public assistance. But what happens if they test positive for drugs? Will they and their children go without?

    How about Alcoholism? Wil that be tested for also? Abuse of illegal substances and Alcohol is very likely what caused many on assistance to get to the point of being on welfare to begin with. How about providing education, treatment and the possiblity of recovery of a 'normal" life? Self-sufficency could follow for many, thus reducing the need for funding of these programs.

    Live in a solution, not in the problem.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  13. gayle

    Scott apparently has NO clue about how drug addiction works!

    Addicts are some of the most compassionate, intelligent, creative people on the planet. They need funding to help them in recovery, not a kick in the gut when they're down.

    Addicts are also filling our flourishing prison system, which costs taxpayor dollars that could more efficiently be used for recovery, and with much better outcomes than a prison sentence.

    What kind of society are we?

    June 2, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  14. Sahrone


    I believe this is a good idea...but lets take it a little further. Lets make sure all the officials along w/ State and Federal employees are checked for DRUGS. I know in the state I live the state employees are not tested. There are many known users that seem to be above the laws. Lets make this fair.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  15. Monica

    Yes – t's an excellent idea. Welfare recipients SHOULD undergo drug testing for all the reasons indicated above. It's rediculous not to test thoses seeking the "public's" assistance. As long as recipients are unemployed, they too, should undergo "pre-employment" drug screening. Given the state of the job market, I highly doubt drug dealers have felt the affects of the recession. Business is booming in the underworld, and will continue to do so. Why feed the fire? Test them all!

    June 2, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  16. Monica

    IYes - t's an excellent idea. Welfare recipients SHOULD undergo drug testing for all the reasons indicated above. It's rediculous not to test thoses seeking the "public's" assistance. As long as recipients are unemployed, they too, should undergo "pre-employment" drug screening. Given the state of the job market, I highly doubt drug dealers have felt the affects of the recession. Business is booming in the underworld, and will continue to do so. Why feed the fire? Test them all!

    June 2, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  17. C. Williams

    This is Awsome!!!! Great I deal..I hope it becomes NATIONAL.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  18. Matt

    I 100% support the legislation to require welfare recipients to submit to drug tests. I have to submit to random drug tests to keep my job. I feel we would save a lot of money and encourage healthier life styles to those in need by expecting them to live by the same standards as those that are supporting them. I support taking this a step further by requiring all legislators to submit to drug tests as well. I feel better decisions are made when those in power arent dilusional.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  19. Joshua Watson

    I think this is a fantastic idea that should have been implemented years ago! Another incentive to stay off drugs!!!

    June 2, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  20. Cody

    Absolutely. You should be held accountable if you are counting on the government or taxpayers to financially support you. if you feel it's an invasion of privacy, don't accept the handout. If you can't afford the very basics, you shouldn't be buying drugs.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  21. Home Slice

    The solution is simple. Use all of the drugs you want and of course you can still keep your job and or welfare check as long as you are smart and give them clean 98.6 degree "urine". There are SEVERAL methods to effectively pass any urine test while using all the drugs you choose to! The "urine" you give them is your business and your choice. When they start to talk about taking blood, this is another matter altogether!

    June 2, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  22. Rich

    I'm suprised to hear the "outrage" by the law makers that this is a "invasion of privacy and the constitution". Where are these people when just about everybody has to submit to the same test to get a job. What a bunch of hipocrites.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  23. jc

    Sorry, I mean if positive close the case.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  24. jc

    I think this is a good idea. The cost of the drug test should be taken out of the first welfare payemnt and if negative close the case. The testing could get expensive but think of the money it would save to keep those people off welfare.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  25. hgk

    The governor exercised his 5th amendment rights 75 times in a Grand Jury investigation of his company which he owned and which helped make him wealthy. . The company was fined one and one half
    (1,1/2) billion dollars for a little fraud when billing Medicare. Now he wants his constituents to give blood or a at least some urine to prove they are not breaking a law before they can deal with the government? I don't know the questions he did not answer, but if one was, will you agree to an urine analysis to prove you are not under the influence of drugs causing you to use the 5th in these legal proceedings? Would he have peed in a bottle?

    June 2, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  26. Aubrie

    Absolutely they should drug test!!! If I have to pass a drug test for a job to pay the taxes that feed them, they have to pass a drug test to collect the benefits from said taxes. It's only fair. I worked in the TANF and Food Stamp offices in Texas, and was amazed at the amount of participants with drug problems and arrests for such. I also reported, (more than once) seeing people buying beer and wine at local groceries with food stamp money. The abuse has got to stop. I don't mind giving a hand up, but I do mind giving a hand out to a drug addict. If that's their choice of a life, then they can fund it themselves by WORKING.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  27. David in FL

    This was tried in Michigan and struck down as an unconstitutional violation of the Fourth Amendment (Marchwinski v. Howard:

    Constitutionality aside it is a bad idea. It has been studied by many states and it is not economically effective. In Michigan it was found that less than 10% tested positive. Under the Florida law the state has to reimburse those who pass the drug test ($10-$25). 4,400 drug tests per month, according to the FL Department of Children & Families – 4,400 x .90 = 3960 x $20 = $79,200.00 possible cost per month.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  28. alan war

    there is no comparison between a voluntary drug screening for a job application and a mandatory invasion of privacy by the govt in order to get something a person has already been deemed eligible for. besides the 4th amendment prohibits govt searches of our homes and person without a search warrant supported by probable cause.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  29. Frances B Reed

    Why do Republicans want BIG GOVERNMENT WATCHING US,
    the poor, and they want LITTLE Government for themselves.
    I'm 73 on Social Security and food stamps and barely
    surviving, and I do NOT drink, I am NOT a drug addict.
    I don't smoke; I don't eat meat. Gov. owes me my benefits
    because I worked years, and people receiving benefits
    shouldn't have to be tormented and shamed because they're poor.
    843-715-0124 The Florida Gov. is wrong.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  30. Deb

    Employees at all levels - including the executive level - must be drug tested for employment and then randomly. Everyone from Best Buy to Pharma drug tests all their employees. If you're on welfare - the government is signing your paycheck. We all have to be held accountable.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  31. Amanda Sheputis

    I think that it is a good idea. There are people who use the Food Stamps and Cash Assistance as a way of getting cash to get drugs and then are so messed up that they can't even care for their children. I agree with J. Johnson that if they fail a drug screen then the children need to be sent to foster care. Maybe this will be a complete wake up call that the people who really need the assistance and are doing something to help themselves deserve it more than the dope heads out there.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  32. beth

    Perhaps some of you should do your research before posting. The recipients are required to pay for the testing up front. They are only reimbursed if they pass. Also if they fail, they have to wait a year before they are eligible again. The difference in testing legislators vs the recipients has to do with EARNING the check. If all I had to do was pas a UA to get a paycheck...geez what a deal

    June 2, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  33. Peter Bernstein

    So the criteria in Florida is now "wasting taxpayer dollars." The Guv and his cronies (including those who run drug testing companies) wants to drug test those who might.

    Why start with welfare recipients? Why not start with Guv. He did afterall admit to bilking taxpayers of 100 of millions when he was a CEO. How about the legislators who dislike government intrusion into people's lives yet think this is a great idea? Why not extend this to everyone in Florida who takes the homestead rebate? Wouldn't it be wasting taxpayer money to encourage the druggies amongst them to stay addicted with no consequences?

    I want whatever it is the Guv and his buddies are on. Then go ahead and test me. I will stop when they do. In the name of transparency we should be able to find out. Plus, they should be tested regularly to make sure they do not become recidivists.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  34. Rudy Phillips

    Why focus on this issue? Far more important is that Scott twice changed the rules for people to maintain unemployment compensation benefits. Recipients were not notified of the changes beforehand and many have lost benefits. Additionally, Scott severely cut back the number of people manning telephones making it almost impossible to get through to anyone to find out what the rules are. Try calling 800 385 3920.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  35. BlueOkie

    If the reason you're on welfare is a drug problem, wont this help you? Giving money to someone on drugs only hurts the situation. If you are drug free, then when you are on welfare it is one less criticism. Cannot say so many on welfare are on drugs.

    No different than being drug tested if pulled over for a DUI

    June 2, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  36. BlueOkie

    The Florida Law should be a Federal Law

    June 2, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  37. maya craft

    this is a new low even for gov. yes its the poeples money I hate to tell you but you can look it up 75% of U.S. smoke pot with no promblem and all you are doing is hurtting familys

    June 2, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  38. Lori

    I think it might be over reaching on the part of the government however, substance abuse is rampant these days and if you are seeking the governments help then you have to submit to their requirements. Drug testing is so common these days that no one should be surprised that drug testing will now become a requirement to obtain government aid. I don't like the idea but I understand the need for it. Being a drug addict is a no win situation and being a parent who subjects children to that lifestyle is horrible.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:23 am |
  39. Jan

    Those of you who think this is a good idea, simply because you were required to be drug tested for your jobs, are missing the point. Your constitutional rights have been tossed in the trash-you should never have had to submit your bodily fluids in order to flip burgers for a living.
    Rick Scott, on the other hand, has a vested interest in your bodily fluids. Every welfare recipient tested (proposed to test each recipient 4x/year) will give $35 each for Gov. Scott's out-patient healthcare company (oh, excuse me, he gave that company to his wife when he was elected in FL–Ha!) to perform these now legally required drug tests. Aside from the conflict of interest, Scott is already the poster-child of those who have made large personal fortunes by bilking the government and HMO's--and this latest scam will serve to further line his, (I mean his WIFE'S) pockets on the backs of the needy.
    This week the WHO has decided the "war on drugs" is a pointless excercise, yet we are blindly willing, not only to be unconstitutionally drug tested, but to pay millions of taxpayer dollars to Rick Scott (oh, I mean his WIFE-are you kidding, really???!) for the pleasure. Drug testing has done nothing for "the war on drugs". Most drugs (the worst ones) can be cleared from the body within 24 hours-so what is the point? Rick Scott knows and he (I mean his wife) is laughing all the way to the bank.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:23 am |
  40. Louis A. Carliner

    Sometime back a pilot program of drug testing was done in Putnam County in Florida. Of the some 30,000 applicants and recipients that were test, only some 300 came back positive. Obviously, the program failed the cost effectiveness test. What is outrageous is that Rick Scott has cut ALL FUNDING for addiction treatment assistance. What the result will be is cost of imprisonment and increase in foster care expense for an already overburdened system. The only way drug testing can be justified is that it be combined with mandatory addiction treatment help!

    Rick Scott is well on his way into turning Florida into another Mississippi, which is generally regarded by many that must travel there on business as a rundown fetid mess in too many areas, including the capital city of Jackson.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  41. Dan

    Here is the cure for all of you who in comments above have said "Let's drug test this group or that individual". Just tax welfare recipients and that will make everyone happy. They pay Federal and State taxes out out of their welfare check. Works for me.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  42. Lori

    Let me start by saying Thank You Gov. Scott for stepping up to the plate. It's about time one official has some brains. When I started my job 14yrs ago I was drug tested. Everytime I go for a promotion I have to take another drug test. It's only just that the people living off of my tax money have the same consequences. I just hope this is made a federal law for all states not just Florida. It will fix alot of debt in this country.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:11 am |
  43. Demetrius

    It's not a good idea.If someone doing drugs, they probably is not going to get welfare. If the person have kids that's going to affect them. Also, it's going to raise the crime rate.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  44. Chris

    They should be testing all who take money from tax payers. Welfare recipients should only have two years to receive funds where in that time training and education should be pursued to help them stand on their own. Welfare should be a crutch not a way of life.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  45. James Olsen

    I think drug testing welfare recipients would be a legitimate thing to do provided what happens next is they get first rate treatment for as long as they need it, which in some cases, could be the rest of a person's life. That's obviously not happening nor is it sustainable. So, ultimately, this is about punishing the weak for their weakness while gaining political capital out of it. SOS.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  46. Frances B Reed

    Terrible idea. Republicans say they don't like big Gov., but
    they want the government in every aspect of the lives
    of women and the poor. . I'm on Social Security and food
    stamps and 73. I'm not a drug addict. I don't drink nor smoke
    nor eat meat. I help many people every way I can. Republicans
    think the poor are evil and should be eliminated. 715-0124 (843)

    June 2, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  47. Chris

    I think this is a wonderful idea. I am a Paramedic and I couldn't tell you how many times I have picked up drunk or people high on drugs and then they give you medicaid insurance as their insurance. They live in government housing and live on welfare money. They all have multiple kids running around and the whole family is jobless. But who needs a job when the government keeps them up?

    June 2, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  48. D.J.

    Definitely agree. People that are afraid of being drug tested generally have something to hide. I have known in our state, of single mothers with children (living with a working boyfriends who were father of the children) and the mothers claimed welfare as being single. The mothers were also using drugs. I did not know the fathers, so I can't say if they were also.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  49. Joe L.

    After reviewing the comments. Some comments question the cost of testing and Constitutional rights.
    What are the cost of paying the recipients over an extended period. I am sure it far exceeds a drug test and random follow up test .
    What about about the working class's Constitutional rights. They work to have to pay taxes to be given to a person who doesn't have to report to work, or even have to get out of bed ! Party all night long, commit other crimes upon those who are at work.
    No one should be denied a right to provide for their children. However when a recipient has children from multiple fathers. Shouldn't be allowed because they get more subsidies for each child.
    The more taxes we pay as a working person the less we can afford for our children.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  50. Mark Butler

    Please add this song by Billy Paul..............Let The Dollar Circulate............ to your background music play list, its a great song made during a recession........PAY IT!

    June 2, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  51. Hootowl

    Someone should make very sure Rick Scott's business interests do not profit from this. He should be watched very closely when any matters of healthcare are considered.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  52. Megan C.

    Excellent idea! Wasted tax dollars no more! I do not want to fund your drug habit. We should make this a national thing, every state should want to provide help to those who deserve it, not the ones who find ways to rape the system any way they can. It's the same people on welfare that live in low-income housing, but drive a Mercedes with chrome rims, who are not only doing drugs, but selling them too.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  53. Amy

    I think this is pure discrimination toward the less fortunate. Why is it people assume that just because someone is on welfare that they are also using drugs? Maybe the media should look into the fact that Gov. Scott has a financial interest in the company that will be performing the drug tests.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  54. Khristen

    I had to submit to a drug test when I applied for my job. I also had to have a background check. I am not a criminal/drug user, but in order to get the job this is what I had to do. Invasion of my privacy? I think not!

    June 2, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  55. Bryan

    I think it's a great idea for any public assistance. If they have money for drugs then they don't need ours.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:44 am |
  56. Pam Cornell

    If welfare recipients are being drug tested, why not also routinely (not randomly) test teachers, firemen, policemen, all state, county and local government officials etc. Get the point? Receiving tax generated revenue is not limited to those receiving welfare. If people want to make sure tax dollars are spent on those who do not do drugs, test them all or test none. I am a retired teacher and never had a problem with being drug tested but I never was. t was willing since I was receiving public funds.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  57. linda baker

    this is just the beginning of a concerted attack on the civil rights of all floridians. the drug test for welfare recipients, making abortions more difficult, crack down on voter registration groups.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  58. Bill Provencher

    I work for a living, 10-12 hours a day. I'm subject to random testing from my employer any time they feel like it. It's only fair that the people that reap the benefits from the taxes I pay, some that can't work, or can't find work, and others that are just taking advantage of the system, are subject to the same standards that the taxpayers that give them a free ride are subject to. It's time we weed out the people that really need help from the people that prefer to milk the system so they can sit around getting stoned and teach their kids to follow in their footsteps. I'm all for helping the needy, but unfortunately, the bloodsuckers take the funds away from the people that really need them. Test them!!!

    June 2, 2011 at 8:35 am |
  59. Rachelle

    I think it's the right thing to do. I would even suggest monitoring for alcohol abuse as well. Too many people abuse the system!! I always know when welfare checks are out because there is line ups at the liquor store!! It's the children that end up suffering and get lost in the system and become like the parents. Sad.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  60. Judi

    Governor Scott is possibly the worst governor Florida has ever seen.....but even the worst can come up with a bright idea once in a double blue moon. I vote democrat pretty much except I liked Charlie. When an idiotic teabagger has a good idea maybe my party should consider it.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:25 am |
  61. J Nicole Ramsey

    So the Forida government wants to require drug testing for those receiving welfare. A lot of whom are new to the system because they have lost their jobs and are finding it hard to get a new one thanks to the economy that went bad because of the big wigs on the top floor of Wall Street who received a billions on top of billions dollar welfare check, (opps I mean Bailout), from the government. Who by the way used a good size of that money for paycheck bonuses for "a job well done". Tell me again who needs to be tested???

    June 2, 2011 at 8:22 am |
  62. JJohnson

    If a person fails a drug test and has children. The children should be sent to foster care. It would be safer for the children. It would be a motivator for the person to get off drugs-in order to get them back

    June 2, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  63. Greg

    In response to Kathy Magee... most drug tests can detect drug use beyond a one week period at my job they take hair samples and can actually determine a pattern of drug use dating back 6 months. In addition to that they can also determine if this was perscription or an illegal narcotic based on the amount in your system. If your Dr told you to take one pill 3 times a day and you are poping 10 a day that can be easily distinguished. Stop defending these drug users these are our taxes being wasted. Get these junkies off welfare and hire more teachers and individuals who actually make a contribution to our society.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  64. Tracey

    If these means ALL welfare recipients – corporate welfare, ex-politicians (who get benefits the rest of their lives) – then sure! I would love to know how many CEOs are prescription drug abusers, or do a little blow on the side. Or is it only intrusive government big brother socialism when we ask this of anyone but the poor....

    June 2, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  65. Tiffiny

    Yes, People on welfare should have to take drug tests to receive free money from the government. I had to take a drug test for my job and for the college I attend. Plus this might help find those dead beat parents that live off welfare but don't take care of their kids because they are to busy doing their drugs.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:10 am |
  66. tim guerra

    you cant justify a governmental seizure of personal body fluids for search because you VOLUNTARILY SUBMIT to a drug test for employment purposes by a PRIVATE ENTITY, what is happening to our mentality as a nation?

    June 2, 2011 at 8:09 am |
  67. Jacob

    I have had to take a drug test for EVERY job I have held since I was 16. I have to take them to EARN my money, they should have to take one to get theirs.

    It isn't right for me to have to take a drug test, AND work 60-80 hours a week for their ability to get 'free' money.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  68. tracy Herman

    I enjoy knowing that some of my tax money goes to help the needy, but it's infuriating to pump money into the hands of those who fill our streets with drugs and violent drug related crime! Drug-testing welfare recipients is a great idea!

    Before the Great Recession, our CNY economy was devastated by closing factories and 30 years of prison parolees moving to our area with all their friends and families when they are transferred to upstate prisons and released. They all go on public assistance, then run and use drugs. For 30 years I've said drug testing anyone on welfare is a good idea. Productive law abiding citizens go through drug testing to get and keep the jobs that support public assistance. They make so much money with drugs and theft, that public assistance is merely a monthly "bonus-check"! Let's not forget that the staff in the ER that gives them free medical care after their drug influenced brawls are also subject to drug testing. ENOUGH is ENOUGH! Miami FL is the rehab and drug capital of the country, so this is a wise use of public money in FL. As far as their kids go, child welfare and foster care can remove the kids from an environment where they are likely to grow up into drug sellin gangstas, just like their parents. Everyone else who is poor and not using drugs has nothing to be afraid of.

    It's insulting to be a law-abiding tax-paying citizen footing the bill for a mass of people who won't work while they fill our streets with drugs and drug-related violence. If they want my money, I'd like to see some kind of integrity with handing it out, whether in FL or NY!

    June 2, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  69. Robert Vinson Brannum

    In response to the comment – all who get government support should be tested – Should those who get government support in the form of home trash collection, state emergency disaster assistance, emergency fire and medical assistance, public education, road repair, government business support, government veterans assistance, or state support for municipal bonds have to be drug tested? Or just poor people and children?

    Robert Vinson Brannum

    June 2, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  70. Jeff L

    I just don't understand how Gov. Scott can oppose and try to defund a drug registry database that even the state legislature and most republicans and democrats agree will reduce abuse of prescription drugs such as oxycontin and help address Florida's pill mill problem, due to privacy concerns the governor has, but then turn around and require drug testing for people applying for welfare assistance. Isn't that also an invasion of privacy?

    June 2, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  71. Karen

    I hesitate to hand out money on the street to the needy, because I wonder if it will be spent on alcohol or drugs. Instead, I donate to charities, hoping they will spend the money wisely. I consider the portion of my taxes that goes to social programs another form of charity that I am very happy to give (and happy that the otherwise selfish are forced to give in the form of taxes). I'd like that to be spent wisely as well, which should include free rehabilitation services for addicts whom are below the poverty line. The issue that bothers me more than ensuring tax dollars aren't used for substance abuse, is that so much of my taxes dollars are so unwisely spent on what are essentially bribes (pork).

    June 2, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  72. IJAbraham

    This law requiring drug testing of Welfare applicants in Florida can inadvertently hurt children. What will the law do to protect innocent poor children?

    June 2, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  73. Susie Ater

    This only shows the ignorance of our political leaders! I am a healthcare professional and drug addiction is not as simple as this. Makes one believe it is only targeting the poor and questions the motives of the bill. Why only welfare subsidies?? I am a Louisiana resident and David Duke proposed this same type bill in the 1980's ... we all suspect his motives!! This bill reeks of prejudice and ignorance!

    June 2, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  74. Greg

    I think this is a great. idea. Hard working state and city and even private sector workers get drug tested as a condition of their employement why not people who receive aid from the state. We should get something like this passed here in NY. Due to my job i encounter a lot of drug users with benefit cards. In response to a diffirent post that this is punishing children of these drug users ...well to that i have to say isn't it better if we find out which homes are unsafe and take away children from drug users and place them in cleaner/safer enviroment. Great JOB FLORIDA!!!!

    June 2, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  75. Rod

    "There is no such thing as a free lunch." Pass a drug test, get free money? What's the issue? Invasion of privacy an issue; don't apply for the free money. I'm sure there is far more private information on the applcation to receive benefits than "are you on drugs". If we have 'the right to take drugs' in the constitution, then why are they illegal?

    June 2, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  76. donald miller

    Most companies now require drug testing for job applicants and some require regular or random testing for employees. Why shouldn't people who get paid by the rest of us get tested?

    June 2, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  77. Al Marczyk

    I am a democrat and essentially a social liberal. On this case however I'm with the governor. If You must to buy drugs use your own EARNED money. Money for drugs is NOT an entitlement . AKM

    June 2, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  78. Brenda A.

    Most of us have to submit to drug testing prior to getting a job, and random testing throughout our careers to EARN money and keep our jobs ~ even in the ' professional world ' of employment. Drug use is not tolerated. State Government in Florida is trying to pull the plug on the obvious. Cost of testing isn't even close to the final tab of fraudulent welfare checks dispersed to many who spend taxpayer assistance on getting ' high '.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  79. Pat

    Absolutely! I am subject to drug testing in order to be gainfully employed and pay taxes....ANY recipient of government assistance should be required to pass a drug test in order to benefit from those taxes....and continued random testing, as am I. Kudos to the governor!!

    June 2, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  80. Jay

    The Global Commission on Drug Policy said it best in their June 2011 Report,

    "Replace drug policies and strategies driven by ideology and political convenience with fiscally responsible policies and strategies
    grounded in science, health, security and human rights – and adopt appropriate criteria for their evaluation."

    It's in the Executive Summary, along with some other inconvenient information that asks America to review the facts, and try some different stratgies. The War on Drugs, a handy slogan, its short on results, but it nicely feeds our American delusions about substance use and abuse in this country.

    ( = reference for the quote)

    June 2, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  81. Bob

    Of course it's the right action to take. I applaude the leadership in Florida for taking this courageous action. I doubt the law will be implemented. The minority opinion rules all political and legal rulings in America these days.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  82. Brandon

    I believe that this is a great idea becasue people who don't do drugs are obviously trying to recieve some help. People who use drugs and then want welfare don't help whatsoever to contribute to the economy, and thisforth hurt it. You can't complain its an invasion of privacy because your recieving money for free, so, you have no grounds to complain or get the ACLU involved. This will not hurt the children of drug users and thisforth could be in the long run beneficial to FL's economic growth!

    June 2, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  83. Michael

    If welfare recipients are to be drug tested so should everyone who gets a tax exemption in Florida. If not both groups, then none.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  84. Name*chris

    Sounds like another tactic to try and supress minority groups. The wide majority of welfare recepients don't do drugs. Even some people who are subject to drug testing on their job, still do drugs. Lets not forget that cocain only stays in your system for three days. Again, sounds like a tactic being used to kick people who need it off welfare, which sounds like a more detramental affect to me!

    June 2, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  85. Grace

    Well I personally think that people will find a way around it, and I am sure that some people are on welfare who shouldn't be. I see that nobody has mentioned the fact that the company run by the governor's wife (ok he gave her hundreds of millions of dollars in shares in the company) apparently will be doing the drug testing. Hmmmmm, you run a health care company that's implicated in the biggest medicare fraud in history, you pay a fine and go about your business. Then you spend $71 M to buy your way into the governor's chair, then you propose drug testing welfare recipients, and your company will be doing it? I am sure that $71 M will be recouped very soon and with a healthy profit. Talk about a family business! FL is a mess, but hey, it's now illegal to have sex with animals in this state.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  86. Larry Peterson

    I'll agree to drug testing all the poor welfare recipients as long as they drug test all the rich CEO's who got government bail-outs and all the farmers who get government subsidies, as well....the list goes on and on. Lots of people benefit from my taxes......treat them all the and poor alike.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  87. Megan

    Great idea! Why are we giving aid to those who just go and spend the money they do have on drugs. I work in a pharmacy, and it's disgusting when people come in with their expensive bags, nails done and highlighted hair, when they are picking up Oxycontin on Medicaid. Then thinking if they are going home doing illicit drugs, while getting everything else for free. A big reason of government spending waste are holes in Medicaid and not regulating who is getting the care.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  88. Wayne

    I think it's a great idea, especially if I have a lot of stock in a drug testing company (who would that be?),

    Springfield, VA

    June 2, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  89. Hiram

    Why only welfare recipient, let's test drug test the legislators that passed this law, their office personnel,their lobbyist friend and staff and everyone on the state and federal payroll.
    The recipients of welfare are the children what fault is it of theirs?

    June 2, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • angie

      The recipients are their drug abusing parents, not them. The money will go right in the parents arm or up their nose. Support for the children?! That is what WIC is for

      June 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  90. Starla Stimmer

    No one was drug tested when I grew up and the world didn't fall apart. I don't believe employers have the right to drug test, let alone check your credit. No, I don't do drugs or have bad credit. We have given up to much to be able to work. I have a friend, who was venting her frustration at a party in her own home, about an obnoxious co-worker and she was reprimanded at work for speech in her own home! I am sick of strangers, whose only connection to you is through your paid work, trying to tell you how to live. They check your urine for drugs, penalize you for smoking and food choices, try to control your speech, actions, complain if you want time off, and now the poorest of the poor, mostly women must be further subjected to behavior control.
    It is already a part of the federal 1996 welfare reform that drug users would be refused welfare, but the states realized the problems this would cause. Hungry children and drug addicts desperate for food and shelter. If you do the research, you will find, when the country has good jobs, living wage jobs available, drug use goes way down. The people that are in favor of the testing are so angry at what they have to go through they feel everyone should share in the misery. When will you stand up for yourselves and take back your freedoms? When will you tell these beyond rich elite employers to stop subjecting your lives to constant, consistence control over your lives? My employer makes 100,000 a day, every day, 365 days a year, yet we are paid minimum wage. As for me, I am currently attending college and won’t have to rent my services for minimum wage much longer.
    Where are our factory jobs? Where are the 40 hour a week jobs, for that matter? What have we done to ourselves? What ever will happen to our way of life? Drug addicts are miserable, desperate people to begin with. No money, no future, no hope. Yes, by all means, take their food and shelter too. Let them suffer more, because your angry that you have to be drug tested to begin with.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:55 am |
  91. brandon

    rick scott owns the company that will do the testing. and the tax payer will pay him.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  92. Julie

    How is the drug testing being paid for???? And if we do implement it, it should start at the top of government, from the White House down. When will Washington be held accountable for their over spending within their own world. No more limos, no more private planes for Senators and Congressmen, get a real job when you're done serving and pass a drug test!

    June 2, 2011 at 7:51 am |
  93. Else T.

    Whooooohooooo! It's about time some good old fashioned common sense has been spoken by a politician. Way to go Florida!

    June 2, 2011 at 7:49 am |
  94. mike elliott

    in my previous post i forgot to mention that the company that stands to make billions from drug testing in Florida was signed over to his wife by rick scott.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:48 am |
  95. kathy d

    Good for Florida! It may not stop drug use, but it will certainly save the taxpayers some money. I think the other state should follow suit.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  96. Rhonda Martin

    Fantastic idea~! I just wish the state I live in would follow if it passes in Florida. In order for worker's to keep their employment they have to agree to drug to testing so those drawing on tax dollars that the working class paid in should also have to consent to drug testing as well. Maybe then the money they are receiving to take care of their children is spent on just that instead of drugs.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  97. Stephanie

    Here's a perfect example of why this is a fantastic idea. I have a close family member that gets his hands on money under the table and spends over $400 a day on drugs. He is supposedly 'not working' and applied for food stamps over a year ago. The state of Florida gives him hundreds of dollars a month in food stamps. Do you know what he does with the food stamps? He SELLS them. Than he spends that money on drugs. If the state were to drug test him, or even look at his arrest record and see that he has been ordered into drug treatment, etc., they would KNOW that is it a scam. I say hell yes to drug testing ANYONE that is applying for financial assistance.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  98. Pam Price

    Doesn't Rick Scott have financial interests in Drug Testing? He could get very rich if everyone had to get drug tested.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  99. Danny O Brown

    YES! I think that having individuals requesting welfare should absolutely be tested for illegal substances. Also, so that the testing is not charged to the citizenry, the charges for the drug test should be deducted from the befefits, if granted. If drug use IS detected, a fine should be charged to the individual to cover the cost of the testing, and benefits should be withheld for 90 days. ASfter the 90 days, the individual can be retested at that time, and the retest PAID FOR IN ADVANCE, by the individual seeking the benefits. There is and always has been a cost for anything worthwhile.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  100. kathy magee

    Recent research shows that most drug addict are getting drugs from prescriptions by Dr. shopping. Thus, when being tested the user will claim the back injury and show the script for the meds as legit. Drug testing is expensive. How often will they test? Most can be clean for a week with enough incentive. This is costly fools chase. Florida elected the fox to be charge of the hen house. Good luck with that!

    June 2, 2011 at 7:42 am |
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