Florida Push For Mandatory Drug Testing


MGN Online

MGN Online

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Governor Rick Scott is asking the US Supreme Court to review two lower court rulings that prohibit Florida from drug testing welfare recipients. People are split on across-the-board testing.

Terry Paul worked for the State of Florida for 17 years before losing her job last May. Paul supports across-the-board drug testing for state workers and welfare recipients. “Everybody needs to be checked, I’m willing to be checked, if I want benefits, I want help, I’ll do whatever they want me to do to get the help.”

Governor Rick Scott has continued to push mandatory drug testing. Now he is asking the US Supreme Court to weigh in. The request comes after the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against across-the-board drug testing last year.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal employees has been fighting every step. AFSCME spokesman Jeanette Wynn says, “The lower courts have taken the position that the people have a right to have a reasonable cause to be drug tested.”

But, Cheryl Cullens says it’s insulting to be asked to take a drug test. “It’s almost like assuming that everyone who needs assistance from the state is a drug attic, which is not the case.”

Opponents say the suit is throwing good money after bad. “Honestly, it would be a waste of taxpayer money to go through the process when a decision has already been made about it.”

Supporters like Terry Paul say testing will save taxpayers money in the long run. “It needs to be automatic drug testing for new hires and random testing for anybody.”

Welfare recipients who were drug tested before the program was stopped were testing positive at a lower rate than the general population.

Only two percent of welfare recipients tested positive for drugs before the courts ruled the law unconstitutional.


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