Welfare drug tests: Not just for prior convicts anymore
The initial proposal in the Florida House to drug-test recipients of cash assistance applied only to former drug offenders. Under changes approved today as the measure cleared a second committee, the tests would apply to everyone applying for benefits.
Those who test positive would be barred from assistance for one year instead of three, a change sponsor Jimmie Smith, R-Lecanto, said would help allay concerns voiced by Reps. Lori Berman, D-Delray Beach, and Steven Perman, D-Boca Raton, that the measure would unfairly punish people who are struggling to get back on their feet. People who test positive a second time will be barred for three years.
Under all of the proposals, the people seeking benefits will pay the cost of the tests.