A lower court stopped Florida from drug testing welfare recipients, but that hasn’t stopped the Governor from pursuing the program.
Florida’s Governor is adamant about drug testing welfare recipients and state employees. Rick Scott is asking a federal court to reinstate the drug testing law for people on welfare.
“These are the people that, a majority of the time, can’t even afford to buy drugs,” says Jeanette Wynn of employee union AFSCME
The American Federation of State County and Municipal employees says the numbers from the three months the law was in place should be enough to make the Governor to back off. Less than three percent tested positive.
Wynn says, “Does that amount to continuing to use taxpayers money? To continue to test? In my opinion this is harassment.”
The move comes just two weeks after an appeal to have state workers drug tested was shot down.
The US Supreme Court refused to hear the case. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida sued the state over the drug testing law. ACLU Attorney Howard Simon says they say it’s a violation of constitutional rights. “It’s not a question about whether people should or should not be tested, they have a right to not be subjected to an unreasonable government search.”
The program has been spoofed by the popular mock news program the Daily Show in the past.
The Governor’s office responded in a statement. Part of it reads “we should have a zero tolerance policy for illegal drug use in families – especially those families who struggle.”
The appeal brief states that more than two thousand applicants did not submit to drug testing under the law, so the numbers representing how many people failed were not complete.