A lower court stopped Florida from drug testing welfare recipients, but that hasn’t stopped the Governor from pursuing the program.
Gov. Rick Scott is adamant about drug testing welfare recipients and state employees, and he 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,” said Jeanette Wynn, president of Florida Council 79 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Less than three percent tested positive in the three months the law was in place, and the AFSCME said those numbers should be enough to make the Governor back off.
“Does that amount to continuing to use taxpayers money? To continue to test? In my opinion this is harassment,” Wynn said.
But the appeal brief states that more than 2,000 applicants did not submit to drug testing under the law, so the numbers representing how many people failed were not complete.
The move comes just two weeks after an appeal to have state workers drug tested was shot down. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida sued the state over the drug testing law. They say it’s a violation of constitutional rights.
“It’s not a question about whether people should or should not be tested,” said Howard Simon of the ACLU Florida. “They have a right to not be subjected to an unreasonable government search.”
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.”