Florida governor still wants to wast money drug testing the poor


William Breathes/Toke of the Town.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott doesn’t seem to get that drug testing welfare recipients isn’t just demoralizing, wrong and illegal — it’s stupid an ineffective. He won’t listen to his constituents and he won’t listen to the federal court system.Weeks after the Supreme Court refused to hear his argument for why all state employees should have to pee in cups, Scott has filed a new brief in appellate court asking to re-argue his right to drug-test all welfare recipients in Florida.

The plan was originally halted by court order in October 2011 while the ACLU challenged it, and the U.S. District Court threw out the rule in December 2013 based on the arguments of a Navy veteran who said it violated his right against unreasonable search and seizure.
Scott is now back in appeals court, with a new brief filed in Atlanta that argues that because there is a “demonstrated problem with drug use” among welfare recipients, it should be legal to test.
“Drug use impedes… participants’ ability to secure employment, [and]drug use harms individuals and families,” Scott’s lawyers argue.
There are a couple of glaring problems with that case, of course. The courts need only to look at what happened in the four months that welfare testing was in place in Florida to contradict the governor’s arguments. Notably: the tests mostly proved that welfare recipients don’t do drugs very often. More than 4,000 people were tested while the program was in place, and a grand total of 108 failed. That’s less than 3 percent.
At that low rate, the state ended up spending way more ($118,000+) than they would have simply paying out the benefits to that three percent. In short: it doesn’t save the state money whatsoever.
Oh yeah, and did we mention Scott’s wife has a huge interest in the drug testing firm initially hired to do the testing? Well, now we did.
Read more on Scott’s stupidity plan over at the Miami New Times.