Florida Governor Signs Law Requiring Drug Screening for Welfare Applicants
Florida Governor Rick Scott this week signed into law a measure requiring that adults in the state who are applying for welfare assistance undergo drug screening. The law, which takes effect July 1, requires applicants to be responsible for the cost of the screening. They can recover the costs if they qualify for assistance.
Governor Scott said that it is “unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction,” CNN reports. Under the law, applicants who fail the drug screen can designate another person to receive the benefits on behalf of their children.
After the law was signed, five Florida Democrats from the state’s congressional delegation issued a statement opposing the legislation. One called the law ‘downright unconstitutional,’ while another called the drug screening ‘an extreme and illegal invasion of personal privacy.’
Governor Scott also signed a law on Tuesday that outlaws synthetic drugs known as bath salts. In a statement, the governor said that poison control centers in Florida have reported 61 calls of bath salts abuse, making Florida the state with the second-highest volume of calls.
The powdered stimulants – sold online, in gas stations and drug paraphernalia stores, as bath salts and plant food under names like “Ivory Wave” — are said to produce highs like cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamines.