Lawsuit Challenges Florida Law Requiring Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients
A lawsuit filed this week challenges Florida’s new law that requires welfare recipients to pass a drug test. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida and a Navy veteran, the Miami Herald reports. The lawsuit asserts the law’s drug-testing requirement represents an unconstitutional search and seizure.
The veteran, Luis Lebron, is a University of Central Florida student who cares for his son and disabled mother, and receives welfare. “I served my country, I’m in school finishing my education and trying to take care of my son,” Lebron said in an ACLU news release. “It’s insulting and degrading that people think I’m using drugs just because I need a little help to take care of my family while I finish up my education.”
The Florida law, which took effect July 1, requires applicants to be responsible for the cost of the screening. They can recover the costs if they qualify for assistance. Under the law, applicants who fail the drug screen can designate another person to receive the benefits on behalf of their children.