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DCF Defends Drug Testing of Welfare Recipients

| September 17, 2012

florida drug testing welfare checks

Your pee, please. (Pinprick)

The head of the state welfare agency is asking a court to throw out a challenge to the state law requiring drug testing of public assistance recipients, which could allow the program to restart.

Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins has filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Orlando seeking a summary judgment in favor of the agency in a case over the legality of the drug testing program. The testing is on hold following a lower court judge’s decision last year in favor of the man challenging the law, Luis Lebron. Lawmakers passed a measure requiring recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families pass a drug test. Wilkins argues in the motion for summary judgment that the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program isn’t aimed at simply providing cash for participants, but at helping them find a job.

The program by statute is aimed at ending “the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and marriage,” Wilkins argues. Part of being ready for work would be being drug free, the agency argues. “In short, TANF’s purpose is not merely to give money to those falling below a certain economic threshold—it is to ‘help move people from welfare to work,’” the motion says. “Any amount of drug use can interfere with obtaining and maintaining employment.” –News Service of Florida

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12 Responses for “DCF Defends Drug Testing of Welfare Recipients”

  1. costablue says:

    From what I have read there is only a 2% failure rate. At a cost of $30 per test for the State and the aggravation and delay for the recipients, I would say that we need to stop testing. Our economy is in no shpae right now to take on the added burden. These people have to have kids in order to qualify so I am sure at least some of the funds are being used to take care of the children. There is no way that a recipient is going to be able to live a cushy life on the paltry amount that is given to them anyways.

    • mymoney! says:

      Stop testing? The only reason there is a 2% fail rate is because the majority of those who steal benefits and use drugs aren’t collecting anymore because they know they won’t pass. You don’t have to have children to qualify for DCF benefits. A single person can receive benefits like food stamps if they meet the qualifications. In my opinion, if I have to pass a drug test to get a job, you should have to pass a drug test to get assistance from the state, PERIOD! Taking a drug test to get a job to support yourself is not a violation of your rights and neither is having to take one to get welfare. You could easily live a “cushy” life collecting welfare; especially if you already have a job in the illegal sense… like dealing drugs. See it everyday.

  2. Magicone says:

    I agree with the DCF! Drug testing should be mandatory for anyone collecting welfare, unemployment or anyone else who is being compensated with our tax dollars……..Lets start with Palm Coast City Council !!

  3. John Boy says:

    I would rather see all politicians be tested for drugs and alcohol use. Police, Firemen and all City, County and State employees should be tested every six months.

    • bam says:

      Lets not forget that Wilkins is Gov. Rick Scott’s “boy.” He’s going to agree with anything Scott wants.

      And … I’m wondering when it became the govenment’s business to “… promoting job preparation, work and marriage” …. WTF? I get the whole “job preparation” and “work” thing. But “marriage”? Since when is it the government’s job to PROMOTE marriage?

  4. political candidates to be drug tested says:

    As a conservative person, I work hard and have a hard time supporting my own family but have been drug tested for gainful employment, for cash assistance absolutely there should be drug testing, but only if the politicians are required to pass a drug test to take their elected position…too many political figures use illegal substances and are being paid from my tax dollars!

  5. "My Daily Rant" says:

    Yes Drug Test. When I go out to look for work I am drug tested before Employment,So if I am Drug Tested to put my money in they should be tested to take it out.People are complaining about cost well if some one wants Welfare and takes the test if they fail then they should have to pay the bill, if they pass we will.
    We need to protect our Tax Dollars.

  6. Geezer says:

    Fine, but test DCF employees first.

  7. Reinhold Schlieper says:

    Aren’t the people tested paying for the testing? In that case, this program is a major abuse of needy people, isn’t it? If the State pays, I’d be inclined to slightly greater tolerance toward such a program. However, a basic principle of fair action is that one not single out a particular group for punitive treatment. Perhaps all citizens must do so as a pre-emptive measure against falling into dependence. But if one tests all, the outcry would be doubtlessly very great in the entire State. In other words, our intuition should tell us quite clearly that the program is probably not very fair since we will not tolerate a universalization of such rules.

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