Welfare drug tests proved problematic, court documents showby Dara Kam | September 12th, 2012
New court filings in a lawsuit over Gov. Rick Scott’s mandatory drug testing of applicants for welfare assistance reveal a hastily patched-together system marked by a lack of protocol and uniformity and concerns by state workers that the process was overreaching.
Documents filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida on Monday revealed that one applicant with kidney failure and on dialysis was forced to submit urine via a catheter. Another had to leave her young children alone with a drug test company employee while going to the bathroom to provide a urine sample. And one batch of drug tests from an unapproved lab in West Palm Beach was found in a box in a Department of Children and Families office.
Dozens of applicants who tested positive for drugs were then referred to the state abuse hotline and investigated, the records showed, although testing positive for drugs alone is not a reason for an investigation under other circumstances.
The documents, uncovered by the ACLU as part of the discovery in the lawsuit against Scott’s administration, also reveal that some counties did not have approved testing labs and the department would not provide funds for transportation.