Florida is Requiring Drug Testing of Welfare Recipients-Previously Truth! Now Ended!

Florida is Requiring Drug Testing of Welfare Recipients-Previously Truth! Now Ended!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a forwarded email that says that the state of Florida has become the first state to require drug testing of welfare recipients.

The Truth:

There was a law but it was put on temporary hold and later rescinded by the Florida District Court.

Florida’s Governor Rick Scott made true a campaign promise and signed a new law that will begin testing welfare recipients for illicit drug use according to a May 31, 2011 article by Reuters.  The article said, “supporters say it will help ensure that taxpayer money is used to get families on their feet and not to fuel drug habits at state expense.”

The article also said that after July 1, 2011 any “recipients who test positive for drugs would be denied benefits for a year.”   A three year denial of benefits would be enforced to those who failed a second test.  The federal food stamp program will not be affected by this new law.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and Florida Legal Services are opposed to the new law and said they are considering filing suit against the state.

On September 9, 2011 VFTV in Orlando, Florida reported that “the fight over Florida’s new law requiring welfare recipients to pass a drug test is heading to court, and an Orlando man is leading the charge. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of Luis Lebron.”   The news report said that the case is scheduled to be heard at the federal courthouse in Orlando in September.

On December 31, 2013, Judge Mary S. Scriven of the United States District Court in Orlando Florida struck down the law saying that the court could find “no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied.” This according to a New York Times article dated that day.

Posted 8/30/11  Updated 06/01/14