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Democratic senator urges Scott to drop drug-testing court fight

by John Kennedy | October 24th, 2011

A federal judge Monday temporarily halted drug-testing of Florida welfare recipients, siding with opponents of the new law championed by Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-led Legislature.

U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven said the testing requirement amounts to an unreasonable search and seizure, chiding state lawmakers for ignoring an “overwhelming body of case law,” when they approved the measure last spring.

The legal challenge was brought by the ACLU of Florida and the Florida Justice Institute, which hailed the judge’s decision.

Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa,  said Scott and state officials should just abandon efforts to defend the drug-testing policy for applicants for benefits under the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

“Not only is the new law a punishment for being poor, it’s a waste of tax dollars; the overwhelmingly majority of TANF applicants test negative,” Joyner said. “Now, taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars to reimburse these families for a test that exclusively benefits the drug testing industry.”

Since Florida’s new law testing welfare recipients took effect July 1, 7,030 passed, 32 failed and 1,597 did not provide results, according to Florida Department of Children and Families records.

The only other state to implement a similar drug-testing policy, Michigan, had its drug-testing law overturned in 2003 by a federal court.

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8 Responses to “Democratic senator urges Scott to drop drug-testing court fight”

  1. Smoke there's fire Says:

    You know why Arthenia wants this testing stopped, don’t you?

  2. Dumbfounded... Says:

    @Smoke:
    I’m pretty sure that the Democratic senator is telling him to abandon the issue, because Governor Stupid wants to waste state money (that Florida doesn’t have) fighting a case that has a 0% chance of success, given previous federal rulings.
    More money will eventually be wasted fighting the case, enriching lawyers and judges, than is being saved by the program (according to the numbers released by Scotts office).

    Again, Scott shows how gullible the Teapublicans really are.
    You voted in a guy who literally wants to take larger portions of your money and give it to crony lawyers to make sure that a small amount of your money doesn’t go to poor people.

    Well played, Florida. Well played…

  3. Dumbfounded... Says:

    Not to mention the fact that the program, according to the state is slated to cost 178 million dollars annually.

    According to Scott’s office, only 60K a year is actually being saved annually.

    So we’re spending $178,000,000 to save $60,000, and Scott and his team want to fight it.

    Rick Scott is exemplary of what happens when someone willfully and purposely defrauds the government to the tune of 2 billion dollars, doesn’t do a day in jail, gets a slap on the wrist and a fat $310,000,000 on the way out.
    They just settle somewhere else to defraud taxpayers all over again.

  4. Worker Says:

    Good for Senator Joyner! I am worker for DCF and have been forced to enact this stupid law; as mad as I am I can only follow what our so-called elected leaders put into action. And of the 1,597 who didn’t provide a test result, the majority of them did not because they didn’t have the damn money in the first place! This is out and out class warfare, forcing people who you know have no money (I mean, to even qualify a family of two has to make less than $241 a month!) to pay out of pocket for a test that is illegal anyway!

  5. Pee Up! Says:

    Totally support this measure. We go thru airline checks where we are felt up by people, naked photos are made of our bodies, so what’s up with protesting peeing in a cup. If you are a school bus driver you are tested, too.

    Take money from the government, pee up!

  6. T 4 2, 2 4 T Says:

    Its unconstitutional, but don’t let that stop these tea party morons who say they uphold the constitution.

  7. RealAngst Says:

    Pee Up…All of those you note as being tested are not being coerced and forced to PAY for the test. That is the point you moron! If they want the State to pay for the testing (done by one of his wife’s companies no doubt) then thats fine. To compel a family that is getting benefits of $250 per month to pay for the test out of their pocket is absurd. Now, are we the taxpayers going to be coerced into paying for the testing of these individuals? That is going to increase the tax burden on us, but I guess it’s ok because his wife’s companies will still be doing the testing AND making more profit off the taxpayers, like the billions of dollars he already absconded with!

  8. GT Says:

    Why do the Democrats, ACLU and this judge want these people to do drugs?

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