Saying it is "unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction," Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday signed legislation requiring adults applying for welfare assistance to undergo drug screening.
"It's the right thing for taxpayers," Scott said after signing the measure. "It's the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don't want to waste tax dollars. And also, we want to give people an incentive to not use drugs."
well no one can be opposed to this except those on drugs..
"The real controversy of the mandatory drug testing push is because of Scott’s financial interests. Mother Jones reported last week that Solantic, Scott’s own company, would benefit from the new laws. Scott handed over his health care business to his wife before he took office. But, that doesn’t really distance him too far from the profits the company would likely see with the new drug testing order. Among the services that Solantic offer? Drug testing. Many Democrats are questioning the conflict of interest. The governor’s office dismisses ethics questions without elaborating.
Furthermore, Scott is seeking to privatize Medicaid in another move that would potentially benefit Solantic, which also operates a chain of urgent care centers. Is it possible that Rick Scott only ran for governor so he could pad his bottom line? It kind of seems that way. Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at Rick Scott’s questionable. ethics and business ties."
http://www.toonaripost.com/2011/05/flor … -interest/
The governor is also requiring drug testing of state employees at least every 3 months.
yes, I read about this. He's so corrupt. I can't stand him.
There's always more under the surface that we don't hear about.
It's economic profiling if you ask me.
The passage of this legislation sparked a debate in the legal community regarding whether Governor Scott’s drug testing requirement violates the Fourth Amendment rights of welfare recipients. This Constitutional discussion is certainly important – indeed, critics’ Fourth Amendment arguments against the legislation may ultimately lead to its invalidation – however from a civil rights perspective, the discriminatory nature of the legislation is even more important.
Brilliant! It took them long enough.
I agree with you 100% Stacie. Unfortunately, this is what some welfare recipients are doing with the money and not what they should be doing with the money that is, to make sure their children are getting an adequate meal everyday. The Governor did the right thing by taking this first step to stop the misuse of government assistance.
How do you respond to the idea that it will inevitably lead to a rise in the crime rate? To the idea that it is unconstitutional? You like the idea, but what about the details?
Except when you realize how easy it is to get guaranteed drug free p**s on the black market. And the labs that check that stuff are not always reputable. It also doesnt change the fact that even though someone who receives isnt on drugs, their spouse or someone in their household might be. btw what drugs are they screening? There are plenty of prescription drugs that are much more harmful and mind altering than anything you will find on the street. So, all in all, I would say it wont work at all. the Florida gov says he doesnt want to waste money. They'll waste a ton on this program. Glad I dont live in Florida.
You know, my husband has to be screened for drugs for his job and no one complains. In fact, this is a common practice for people who work, so why not screen those who don't or can't work? I know there are plenty of people who can't work with good reason, but there are also those who abuse the system. Look, the govt has to start somewhere and paying welfare to someone who is doing nothing to get off it is wasted money. isnt it?
Welfare is more or less designed to keep people from getting off of it. As for children, they are usually the first to be victimized by the welfare bureaucracy.
hmmm...I differ with you here. Welfare is also for single mothers or fathers and is designed to help them get through the first difficult years of raising children. but they eventually are able to get back to work in most cases and i have friends who are living proof of that.
Megs - is he screened every 3 months?
I think its a great idea. Its unfair that money that is supose to be used for the children is being used on drugs...I saw a girl the other day who used her welfare card to buy cigs. How wacked is that...
I have no objections to the drug screening for welfare receipients. As far as social security insurance, I personally think the people claiming SSI (not the ones who are 62 + and retired. I mean the ones who claim back injuries and other BS claims that weaseled their way into collecting benefits and think the gov't and everyone else owes them) should be rescreened every so often to be sure they acually qualify. My drunken sister and her loser boyfriend are both on SSI and fully capable to work. All they do is buy cigaretts and booze. Althoughthere are legit cases outv there, but then there's others that are pure BS.
Why not just do away with civil liberties completely and give everyone drug tests?
If they find these people have drug problems will they susidize their treatment?
Nope. Throw them on their arse.
I doesn't sound like everyone is required to take drug tests. Only those that wish to live on the government dole.
As the OP says, the only ones to scream will be the druggies that won't work. The clean welfare recipients should have no problem - it is one way to help guarantee their income instead of putting it into illegal drugs for some addict.
All citizens should scream about it. Who is next?
Anyone else that wants money from the general population in return for nothing?
When I give to a beggar on the street a part of the reason is that I believe it won't be used for drugs or alcohol. I don't see this as any different.
And when a generous portion of the screening program winds up in the governor's pocket?
Would you then suggest that a governor should not sign any programs produced by the legislature that he/she may have a relative involved in that may profit from that program? You won't get many programs signed into effect that way...
If the governor's wife can provide the service cheaper than her competitors then by all means hire her company to do the work. If not, then don't.
The only way they provide such a service 'cheaper' is to kick off as many people as possible and then pocket the difference. And often the state gov gets swindled by the same company because, after all, state governments are wayy easier to swindle than the feds.
Your claim would seem to be that because her husband is the governor it mean that she cannot run a company efficiently. Nor does pocketing the difference make the price of a drug test go down.
That does not make a lot of sense to me. Or do you simply automatically assume that because he is in political power there will be fraud (I might actually agree with you on that one).
Wil, I'm not going to go grab a bunch of links for you because I'm not really in the mood, but yes when government (especially state government) gets into bed with private business to 'better run' a state program, there is almost always fraud, not to mention a massive swindle. The state usually ends up paying more somehow. Just ask Gray Davis.
This I would not doubt for one second (I do not have a very high opinion of our average politicians). Nevertheless, I do not find it reasonable to require that all governors refuse to sign any bill presented by their legislatures because a relative has a financial interest. If that is done there will be virtually no bills passed (perhaps not a bad thing).
It is a conflict of interest. It is the same reason that a judge might recuse himself on a case. His wife's company should not be allowed to participate in the windfall.
If the governor excuses himself from signing the bill, is there anyone else that can do it legally?
Take a deep breath.
It would be the company that would recuse itself. They would not be able to participate in the drug testing so as to eliminate any question of a conflict of interest.
Feel better now?
my question is why its ok to test people who work for their money and not those who don't???
Personally, I dont think it is ever ok to test people for drugs. The whole thing is a farce. There are more false positives in drug testing than there are in political campaign slogans.
i actually find it quite scary myself, but at the same time, you don't want a train engineer driving a train while all coked up do you? the public relies on a safe transport system and the reason why its safer today is because of the stringent rules that the company enforces. workers for this company think twice about consuming because they know that one little error, even from a team member, can send them all to a peepee test on the spot. its a very effective regulation.
Engineers on coke? Happens all the time! And those stringent rules are easy to circumvent. I know alot of people who get drug tested and many of them do drugs and find ways to get around it. And if theyre not the people getting around it, theyre the people getting drunk and then driving home. If a publicly traded company wants to waste their money on that, then fine, but as soon as its a waste of taxpayers money then it becomes the concern of the citizenry.
Btw, if you are someone's boss, you should know if your subordinate is drunk or high.
well, there are a lot more train accidents in the States than here in Canada, so maybe the reason why is because the stringent rules they have are maybe not so stringent. Of course there are still ways to get around it, but at least its not as easy anymore. im just saying...its not that i completely agree with it, but i dont understand the outrage to testing welfare cases when they have been doing it to workers all along.
I have always been outraged by any kind of drug testing. And it is easier to circumvent here in the states than ever before. The reason is because even the bosses know that it's a total joke. btw, most welfare recipients who do drugs do not pay for their drugs with welfare checks. They pay for their drugs by selling drugs. Mainly because it's an easy way to make money that the system wont pick up on. I know this first hand from working as a maintenence supervisor at a housing project in Providence.
Some trade their food stamps for drugs. I've seen it firsthand with people who used to work for us.
The problem with refusing money/food/housing to drug addicts is that their children suffer, and the kids are innocent. Also, as someone else said, drug tests are super easy to fool.
And some trade their food stamps for cartons of cigarettes and liquour. But those are the drugs the establishment wants you to use so a drug test wont pick that up. And children are often the first to be victimized by the welfare system regardless of the situation at hand.
i had a patient who put a bottle of drug-free urine closed with plastic wrap in her vagina. she intended to poke the wrap at her drug test to make it look like she was urinating into the drug test cup. somehow she missed her drug test and forgot the bottle was in there. she showed up at my office with a mean vaginal infection. there was no need for her to explain when i removed the bottle.
yes, if you're smart, you can get around the tests sometimes.
I get that and i know what you are saying, but there are still those that fritter away the grocery budget or clothes budget on a fix, its everywhere here and the worst thing to see here in freezing cold wintry quebec are the kids who come to school under dressed with blue legs and frozen toes. kids who are hungry every morning. its just a good thing that we have programs in place for these children in our school. i am just saying, we have to find some way to combat this. because i don't give a shit about someones constitutional rights if he is taking away those of his children. thats the problem.
Be careful what rights you are willing to give up. They'll be used against you when you least expect it.
The COTUS is the law. If you don't like it, repeal the Fourth Amendment and see what happens.
A very wise man named George Carlin once said, "Americans are always willing to give up some of their freedoms in exchange for the ILLUSION of safety and security."
Never said anything about constitutional rights. Those are violated at the drop of a hat in regard to everything else, anyway. I'm just saying the drug tests dont work anywhere else in society, so it wont work here. If someone comes up with a way to combat the situation you described, I would be happy to hear about it and even support it. No one's come up with one yet. Well, I mean there have been plenty of free breakfast programs, clothing drives and sickle cell anemia testing ventures over the years but most of those either get squashed or the people who run them go broke because they have no support.
I have taken many drug tests for one reason or another over many years. I have never had a false positive. So where do you find the information that confirms these allegations?
Only from my own experience. Oh, and the experiences of many others who have told me. Oh, and the people who told me they were high when they took their tests and they came back negative . . . or the boss just fabricated the results because they didnt want the person to be fired. It happens all the time. Especially in the corporate world.
If that's your experience then I can't say anything more than I'm sorry for your experiences. You might want to stay away from people such as you describe they don't seem to be a very good type.
now the druggies will starve to death!
hooray for government idiocy!
just. f*cking. legalize. drugs.
What? We agree again?
So now people who have a serious drug addiction can be assured of being on the street with no income and a desperate need to get money. What do you imagine will be the result of that?
Of course: our very thorough penal system will cure them, rehabilitate them, and set them free to earn an honest living!!
Well that's a relief.
Anyone that wants to support this new law needs to reconcile it with the Fourth Amendment. If that is not addressed, I can't take your support seriously.
I would like to know what the percentage of welfare recipients on drugs is. I suspect it might match the same number as all those rich welfare queens they used to talk about. And what about false positives that may come up due to prescription drugs?
Well, the prescription drugs are far more dangerous than, say, pot. But of course that's illegal thanks to our treasonous paper and textile companies. Personally, I would like to see people who work in Congress get drug tested. An ex-girlfriend of mine worked as the day care director at the US House of Reps. She used to joke with me that the Rules Commitee must be the best place in DC to score the best quality cocain.
How about drug screening the rich to qualify for their tax deductions? Isn't that government welfare?
the problem is not WHO is on drugs, it is who is PAYING for the drugs.
Will they be checking for alcoholism as well?
What with all the drunk driving deaths and domestic violence associated with alcoholism, I think that would be a good thing.
After all, it's considered an addictive disorder.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. The Fourth Amendment
This is what's at stake in this decision. This is what is different from a private firm and the government performing this intrusive test. This is why we should all be unified against this.
Why are jobs allowed to do it? I think if someone wants to be a drug addict then get a job and support that habbit. Dont take from the working people.
Because the Fourth Amendment does not control private enterprise, only governmental search and seizure.
Pretty simple, isn't it?
Even if you like the idea, don't you want it to be Constitutional? Or don't you care anymore?
the ACLU will take a case about this to the supreme court and the law will be struck down.
The government can't do things because governments aren't voluntary: they are coercive.
Businesses CAN do this because they are voluntary organizations that you can always choose not to cooperate with.
This is essentially the response you would get from T. Jefferson.
How is this law coercive? Each person has a choice - either take the free money and get tested, or do neither. Business would seem to be the same - either take the test and have a job or do neither.
You can choose not to cooperate with the govt drug testing just as you can with business drug testing - just give up the money or job.
That doesn't change the fact that these laws violate the Fourth Amendment? Why doesn't that matter to you? Aren't you giving up any future Constitutional arguments regarding any topic that may ever come up? Doesn't it make it just superfluous paper?
Ironically, the same argument can be made for churches who can be as political as they want to be as long as they are willing to give up their tax exempt status.
I'm not sure I understand how it violates the 4th amendment. Anyone can opt out of it by simply saying "No" - the law does not require anyone to take a drug test. It is strictly voluntary.
In order to receive charity from the govt. everyone must meet certain criteria. This law simply adds one more criteria to be met, but requires that people meet the criteria ONLY if they wish the govt. to support them.
Should the law require all people to be tested, ti would be a clear violation of the amendment. It doesn't do that - the testing is very clearly at the option of the individual.
It is illegal search without cause or warrant.
Again, a search that is not required but is voluntarily agreed to by the "searchee" would not seem to be illegal.
If a cop asks to search your car and you agree to that search irregardless of any "reasonable cause" it is a perfectly legal search. If you agree to a search of your urine or blood for any cause whatsoever it becomes quite legal and a warrant is neither needed nor required.
But if you refuse the search, there are no consequences unless they can make their case in some other way. In this case, the consequences come due to your refusal. That is illegal in all other cases but this one.
The "consequences" in this case is that you won't get charity. This is not something guaranteed under the constitution and you have no right to any free money from uncle Sam. You have therefore lost nothing and there is actually no consequence at all.
By taking the test you may get something, but refusal doesn't cost you anything as you had nothing to begin with. There is a difference.
The search is not based on evidence of guilt. It is completely without provocation. That is illegal under the Fourth Amendment.
It is only illegal if it is required. If it is totally voluntary and agreed to by the "victim" there can be nothing illegal about it.
By your reasoning it would be illegal to require proof of insurance to drive a car, but it is commonly required by any police stopping you for any reason. If you wish to drive you must have insurance; if you wish charity you must provide a clean urine sample.
If a cop asks to search my car and I agree and open it up for him there isn't a court in the land that would deem it an illegal search. If he does it without my permission it would likely be illegal, buy my permission makes all the difference.
If you don't want to be searched that's fine, but if you agree to provide that sample for testing and do so voluntarily then it is quite legal to make the tests you have agreed to. Because that agreement nets you free money from the govt. doesn't make the search a violation of the fourth amendment.
Now if you are arrested for possession based on that drug test it could quite possibly be considered illegal. You didn't agree to have those results used for any purpose except to get the charity you want and that might make a seizure (of your person) illegal. But if those results are used only for the purpose you agreed to it is quite legal.
I would also add that the term "provocation" indicates the search was forced. Were it indeed forced, it would indeed be illegal, but there is absolutely no requirement for any citizen to submit to the search.
First the search would be voluntary, you have the right to refuse. Any voluntary search is by definition legal. The person filing for welfare files willingly and with the knowledge a drug test will be done.
Two unrelated processes are being comingled by this illegal search. We have a right to apply for assistance as it is offered by the government. The government has no right to search our person without due cause and process. One does not circumvent the other.
To make your case, you would have to follow the analogy and if the recipient refused the search, the government would have to come up with some other reason to deny a citizen's right to apply for the benefits that are available them.
So, is this all about dealing with drug problems or the government deciding where welfare dollars should NOT be spent?
Neither is a very compelling reason.
If it's about drug problems, those who collect welfare and buy drugs will turn to crime instead. What savings then will the state of Florida see in return when crime rates escalate?
If it's about the government deciding where welfare dollars are spent, where does that end? It's a can of worms.
You make it sound as if we should start a new branch of welfare - free illegal drugs for anyone that wants them. In order to stop theft, you know. Personally, I can't agree with that one much.
Should we also allow food stamps to buy fast food, cigaretts, gasoline and whatever else they want? Govt. has long controlled where welfare $$ are spent.
Regarding the result being a greater crime rate, the point is to consider the impact of legislation before implementing it. It is poorly thought out and will bite the state in the butt.
You may very well be right in that crime (theft) will go up and end up costing the state more.
Still, it is abhorrent to think that the taxes we pay to provide charity for those that need it is instead going to support drug habits.
Not really, all I'm saying is that it is an ineffective way to deal with the drug problem.
If the government wants to control where welfare dollars are spent, they shouldn't be giving money to welfare recipients who themselves will decide where the money gets spent.
Like I said, it's a can of worms.
Agreed on both points. This will not affect the drug problem to any significant degree.
The food stamp is a good example of trying to limit where the money can be spent. It is somewhat effective, but there are many ways around it and a good deal of the available funds are spent on "illegal" items. Nevertheless, I can support the effort to make sure the the funds go towards food even though it's not very effective.
I had mentioned this to be can of worms, which it is on so many levels.
Firstly, if you have paid taxes and you want to make sure your tax dollars are spent wisely, do you lobby to make sure each and every dollar is spent where and how you want it? If the government signs over a check to a third party contractor to do a project, would you scrutinize how that contractor spends its money on that project?
There is the argument, "I earned my money and welfare recipients did not earn their money, so I should be able to decide where and how they spend it"
With that argument, we would have to look at all the times we received monies we did not earn and ask ourselves if we decide where and how it is spent or does someone else decide? If someone asked you to loan them money, are you going to decide what they do with it?
There is the argument, "I want to make sure people are feeding their kids and not buying drugs"
That is all about how parents treat their kids, regardless of whether they are on welfare or not. If there's a drug problem, cutting off welfare won't feed those children and the parents will still get drugs somehow, most likely by turning to crime.
It's not really a matter of how effective your support is here, as the solution presented by Florida will not be effective at all.
If you really want to be effective, you need to lobby the government in how they dispense welfare. If they are giving out money, we really can't do much in terms of how it's spent, which is really the bottom line here.
Again...what is the percentage of welfare recipients with drug habits?
That is good why should we help people that don't even want to help themselves, it's an ideolegy of being self centered and every one owes them.
I saw all the comments on this thread (and they're all "the usual" kind of comments that happen in a discussion about welfare, poor people, beggars, and money (etc.). Some of the comments I agree with (entirely or in part). In any case, rather that even try to make some points here, I decided I'd write a Hub.
It turned out to be a 4000-worder -- so thanks for the inspiration everybody. In all seriousness (although I AM serious about that 4000 words ), I think one of the biggest reasons welfare programs are designed to be as toxic as they are is that people who design them, vote for them, and work in them often don't have a clue about the microscopic roots of both the big pictures and small pictures when it comes problems like homelessness, poverty, etc.
That 4000-word Hub I wrote amounts to - like - one grain of sand on a whole coast's worth of beaches. No, more like a whole world's worth of beaches. It's no wonder so many people have such a "surface-level" assessment of the problems and the ways to solve them. One problem is that by the time people are so damaged and/or destroyed that they're among some of those groups on welfare and/or are penniless and homeless; they don't have much of a voice to speak for themselves for any number of reasons. Other than my one measly grain of sand that I sort of have some rough idea about, I probably only have another "grain" or two before I run out of my version of what some of roots of problems are. Any of us only has so much exposure to, or understanding of, some of those roots (and it's usually pretty limited).
I think one subject for that new weekly thing on here that replaced the old HubMob (I haven't really been paying attention, so I've forgotten the name of it ) might be an invitation to people to write a Hub about what they, themselves, have seen first hand when it comes to how these problems take root; or else write what they know about some of the "how's" and "why's" they may have learned if they've ever known any decent, caring, responsible, person (who would prefer to be working) who has used a welfare program or otherwise struggled at that level of poverty.
Just an idea.
by Peeples 11 years ago
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