It seems there is some misinformation about Florida drug testing of welfare applicants.
Estimated taxpayer savings from drug related denials for the first quarter was $1.8 Million, not what I would call a failure.
Please use the hyperlinks to the sources I quote below.
keep in mind that the only ones allowed to be tested (by law) are those applying for cash assistance, so they have NO income.
No income, but test dirty for drugs.
They wouldn't be using their money for drugs, it would be our money.
"Welfare drug testing" refers only to TANF parents of TANF children (TANF = cash assistance), it is not an entitlement program.
It violates federal law to drug test for food stamps, Medicaid, WIC, other welfare programs.
The case of Florida is often cited by liberals, (with much misinformation) and a fine example of what occurs with current federal laws.
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Beginning in July 2011, Florida began requiring adults who were otherwise eligible for welfare cash assistance to submit a negative drug test before receiving benefits. Since the program has been in effect for a full quarter, this report looks at the state’s experience during these first three months, and updates projections of the law’s likely fiscal impact during the first full year of operation. The program is currently subject to a lawsuit in federal court filed by the ACLU of Florida challenging the constitutionality of this requirement, which is explicitly allowed by federal law.
FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
• 48% drop in cash assistance approvals since drug test requirement
The impact of drug testing for welfare cash assistance is having a dramatic impact on approvals for cash assistance. Approvals for September 2011 (for cash assistance applicants for eligible adults subject to the drug testing requirement) were 62 percent lower than September 2010 and 48 percent lower than in June 2011, the month before the drug testing requirement took effect.
This reduction is exclusive to cash assistance. Food Stamps and Medicaid approvals are consistent with levels seen throughout 2010 and to date in 2011.
In the first quarter, 7,028 applicants completed the drug test and tested negative for drug use, completing their eligibility requirements for welfare cash assistance. Of these 7,028 approved applicants, only 2,163 adults (from 1,971 families) requested and received reimbursement for their drug testing fees. That means just 28 percent of approved applicants have requested and received reimbursement in the first quarter. Average reimbursement per adult is $26.78 with a total of $57,920.95 in testing fees reimbursed.
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"In the last line they (newspapers) do admit that there are about 800 and some people who refuse to take the drug test," he said, "which tells me if you add 'em all together there's 1,000 people out there on drugs. Nine out of ten of them are smart enough not to take the drug test."
Who started their application but didn’t take the test: Kreegel said 800 or so people walked away before taking the drug test. The department reported a number nearly three times as high -- 2,306.
We asked the department if it had any way to know why people didn’t take the test.
"There is no way to determine why someone did not take the test," said Joe Follick, DCF spokesman. "We did not have the capacity or legal authority to survey each applicant's decision-making process."
In May 2011, the Florida Legislature passed and Governor Rick Scott signed into law HB 353 requiring applicants for Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA, Florida’s TANF program) to have a negative drug test before receiving cash benefits. Federal welfare reform legislation signed by President Clinton in 1996 specifically allows states such discretion. Florida’s DCF implemented the drug testing requirement on July 1, 2011. On September 7, 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida announced a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new law.
Drug Testing Process
Not all cash assistance applicants are required to get a drug test. According to Department of Children and Families (DCF) officials, agency specialists perform an initial screening to determine if an applicant is otherwise eligible before requiring a drug test. This is important as typically 37,400 applicants for TCA are processed monthly, but only about 7,000 (19 percent) are determined eligible and given cash assistance.