Judge nixes Florida's welfare drug testing

Federal judge in Orlando rules testing requirement is unconstitutional

Author: Tim Pulliam, General assignment reporter, tpulliam@wjxt.com
John Cavazos, Executive producer, jcavazos@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 31 2013 08:12:06 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 31 2013 11:52:50 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's law to require mandatory drug testing for anyone on welfare has run into another roadblock as a federal judge in Orlando ruled Tuesday that the testing requirement is unconstitutional.

Channel 4 talked Tuesday night to several local moms who are on welfare, and their answers were somewhat surprising.

Pamela Westmoreland, a mother of seven, said the testing is necessary to keep people from abusing the state.

Annie Youngblood, who's also on welfare, said she knows some people who do cheat the state.

"But I'm not going to name names," Youngblood said.

Kyla Brosseau, a mother of three, said, "I'm OK with that because I don't use, but I work hard, and if I should be drug tested at work, then everyone else should be."

In a statement, Gov. Scott said the state should have a zero tolerance policy for illegal drug use in families.

"Any illegal drug use in a family is harmful and even abusive to a child," Scott said.

Scott also announced he will appeal the decision, something state Sen. Audrey Gibson said is a waste of time and money.

"The unfortunate circumstance is that it will be at taxpayers expense," Gibson said. "So really he should just let it be and leave the tax payers money in the budget."