Rick Scott's Welfare Drug Testing Law Even Bigger Failure Than Previously Thought

Categories: Politicks
Thumbnail image for rick scott_pot (1).jpg
Gov. Rick Scott championed a controversial law that required all recipients of state welfare to submit to drug tests, claiming it saves the state money. We've known for a while now that in fact the program actually cost the state money, but supporters pointed to potential "hidden savings" of potential applicants who decided not to apply because they knew they would fail.

Well, the New York Times dug in and found that that's probably not the case, and the number of applications has remained about the same despite the new law.

The controversial program only ran for four months: from July of 2011 until October 2011 when a court placed an injunction on the policy by claiming that it violated the fourth amendment of the Constitution.

As has been widely reported, only 2.6 percent of applicants failed the test (108 in total, though another 40 opted out of the tests before taking them). The vast majority passed. All applicants are forced to pay for their own drug tests, but the state reimbursed them if they passed. That lead to a $118,140 bill in four months alone.

By the way, the vast majority of people failed because only marijuana was detected.

That bill outnumbered the money that Temporary Assistance for Needy Family welfare funds that would have been doled out to those who failed by $45,780. Nothing new here, but the Times points out that the program had no apparent effect of lowering the amount of applications:
And the testing did not have the effect some predicted. An internal document about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, caseloads stated that the drug testing policy, at least from July through September, did not lead to fewer cases.

"We saw no dampening effect on the caseload," the document said.
So yeah, it appears that there were no "hidden savings" incurred by the program as there was no noticeable dip in the amount of applicants anyway.

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11 comments
Commonsense
Commonsense

After 32 years of Reaganomics, you would pretty much have to be an imbecile to believe a Conservative who says their policies are going to save money.

They'll save money alright, like the Bush invasion of Iraq is going to pay for itself. 

Marilyn Fenner
Marilyn Fenner

Just a way for tricky Dickie to make more money !!!

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Nina Spencer
Nina Spencer

It was NEVER about saving any money. It was ALWAYS about demonizing those who are in need of welfare.

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

 Why drug testing welfare recipients is unconstitutional AND stupid

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

This is Lex Luthor. Only one thing alive with less than four legs can hear this frequency, Superman, and that's you.

It's kryptonite, Superman. Little souvenir from the old home town. I spared no expense to make you feel right at home.

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

 How can Politician complain about health care when taxpayers are paying for there family socialized medicine?

welfare=poor bailout=rich

What's the difference between Welfare and a Bailout again?

Everybody knows by now, all politicians are completely full of s h!t; just the worst kind of low-life, criminal, c o cksuckers you could ever wanna' run into - a funkin' piece of s h!t politicians And the proof of it, the proof of it is, they don't even trust each other.

ivxx
ivxx

All they would detect is pot anyways... coke, meth, heroin, real narcotics are out of your system in a week or less... i could smoke pot and stop, and still be "dirty" 3 weeks later...

Ldygdva757
Ldygdva757

if you can afford to smoke pot then you dont need to be on welfare. Since you can afford drugs then you can afford food and other things that are essential for living. Welfare isnt for people that have money to spend on drugs so they can get their food and what ever else for free. There are people with kids that go to bed with out food while these bastards on well fare doing and dealing drugs get it but the folks who actually need it cant get it. Give me a break I think they need to pop up at breakfast time and say pee for me now and ets see what you have in your system and if they are dirty then off of welfare you go. There should not be a second chance for that. it is a shame that our government sucks and they are part of the problem. 

Chi-Town
Chi-Town

pot is a plant dumb @$$ it dont cost anything to put a seed in the ground!! You people in Miami are idiots!!

Nina Spencer
Nina Spencer

Well then, as the good preacher that introduced Santorum to his flock said to us liberals, GET OUT! You don't like the system of government we have, go someplace else. I love how all you so-called "patriotic" Americans talk about our system of government being part of the problem and how it sucks. This is the system of government that was created by our founding fathers. This is the system of government that, whether you hate it or not, is the best in the world. It works because of the way it was set up. For you and people like you to continue talking about how it needs to be changed to what you want means that you are against the Constitutionally Founded United States of America. The America that I and my ancestors fought, bled and in many cases died for. Oh, and MY ancestors have been here for about 10,000 years. Blackfoot Indian. Less than 3% of welfare recipients tested positive. Pot stays in the system for up to 3 months depending on a persons body fat. I have known people that were on welfare that didn't spend a single penny on pot because they knew other people that would get them stoned. I have a medical marijuana card because I am going through cancer treatment. Personally I think pot should be just as legal and regulated as alcohol. Or do you think all welfare recipients should be tested for booze and thrown off welfare for buying beer? moron

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