Florida Governor Rick Scott may have handed over his interest in a medical company that would benefit from mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients (and by hand over, I mean give the shares to his wife), but that didn’t stop him from approving a bill forcing the poor to prove they aren’t on drugs to get welfare benefits.
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.”
Scott was previously a shareholder in a company that specializes in drug testing, before turning the shares over to his wife, instead. He more recently sold the stock, before singing the bill into law, and has pledged that the company will not vie for state government contracts.
There were two large issues with the proposal to test all welfare recipients. First that mandatory drug testing is a violation of privacy and civil rights, and secondly, that mandatory testing is expensive, potentially costing the state more money than it would save.
Scott thinks he found a way to deal with the second issue — charge the people requesting benefits for their own testing. If they pass, they get reimbursed.
Yes, Governor Scott wants the poor to pay money in order to get welfare. Apparently you now have to put out a downpayment for government assistance.
Even with the “money back” process, mandatory drug testing is of course highly unconstitutional, and the ACLU is already taking action to sue, saying it violates the fourth amendment.