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Sen. Joyner files bill to repeal law requiring drug testing of welfare recipients

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows 71 percent of Florida voters approve a new law pushed by Gov. Rick Scott  that requires welfare recipients to pass drug tests to receive benefits. But Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, is not among that 71 percent. She filed a bill this week that would repeal the law, which is being challenged in court.

"The bill Republicans pushed last session is not only likely to be found unconstitutional, it was unnecessary," Joyner said in a prepared statement. "Floridians who through no fault of their own fell victim to the Great Recession are not only being forced to submit to mandatory drug testing to receive emergency help, but taxpayers are being forced to pay for a screening that has already been found to be a waste of money. This is Big Brother at its worst."

So far, only about 2 percent of these tested have tested positive, Joyner said. She also argues the legislation was never needed, saying the federal government allows states to opt out of providing the financial assistance to people convicted of a felony-level drug possession, use or distribution charge. Florida, she said, never agreed to that provision and continued allow convicted felony drug offenders to receive the money.
"Not only are the Republicans wasting money by requiring a test that most applicants pass, but the process was already in place that made a lot more sense and wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime," Joyner said. "Instead of targeting those we know use illegal drugs, they put the financial burden on everyone to prove that they don’t, racking up the costs to taxpayers through reimbursements and an expensive court fight. Their politics trumped their common sense."


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Joyner who constantly tries to be a divider might want to read the recently released study by the Foundation for Government Accountability.


taxed enough

Joyner - here is a fact, the government takes money I expend my life earning and gives it to somebody who did not earn it. I don't want them spending it on drugs. If that is inconvenient for them or seems unfair to you - too bad.


Jim's link is a great study and I wish North Carolina would take this on. Alas, the Great North State has gone progressive and all they think about are ways to squeeze more taxes from us.

Personal Injury

Its inhuman to supports life taking drugs!! How one can?


I say we extend this law.

Let's drug and alcohol test ALL drivers, monthly. I don't want any drivers using the roads I PAID FOR to go buy drugs or alcohol.

As well, we should administer psychological examinations to everyone in the state and require those who fail to be treated or move from the state. I don't want to supplement the lives of the psychologically unstable.


The cost of administering the program and fighting it in court will be far more than the savings since only some 2% test positive.

Soon, this is going to be a "principle thing". That's right people like "taxed enough" will be spending more of their taxes for that principle.

Drug Test Friend

Senator Joyner, you have my full support with your position on this drug testing issue.

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