Friday, November 18, 2011

Florida Drug Test Law Makes It to a Top Five List

The Center for American Progress is compiling a list of the top five efforts by the ultra-right to deny Americans living below the poverty line any ability to escape poverty. And today I read that the recently passed Tea Party-backed Florida law to require state welfare applicants to take and pass a drug test before they could receive welfare checks is now on that list.

Teabaggers, it seems, all seem to think that people on welfare are all a bunch of low life parasite junkies. So they got a law passed this year requiring all applicants to put out a
$30 expenditure for a drug test to prove they are drug free. Only then will they be able to collect welfare checks. Those that fail will be kept off the welfare rolls for a year. And if they fail in the next year, they stay off for 3 years.

But really, according to the Center for American Progress, all this does is keep people from escaping poverty.

In all, since July, 96% of all those tested passed. These individuals were then reimbursed by the state for the drug test fee. The other 4%? Well the state is enjoying cost savings of tens of thousands of dollars in not giving the junkies money to buy drugs with. At the cost of millions of dollars in expenditures to reimburse the other 96%.

That is, Teabaggers, always on the lookout for a way to cut costs, have added costs to the state’s budget through this law.

But wait, it gets better.

The company that has the exclusive contract to conduct these drug tests was founded by Florida’s current Tea Party governor, Rick Scott, was a co-founder of this company in 2001. A company that got the state contract. A company whose stock Scott sold last April for a cool $63 million.

But wait, it gets even better.

The sale of the stock precedes a ruling late last month by a Bush-appointed federal district judge, Judge Mary Scriven, that the law just might be a violation of the 4th Amendment which protects Americans from unreasonable search and seizure. In fact, these drug tests, which are actually medical records, are not kept confidential but are made available to law enforcement groups. Judge Scriven halted enforcement of the law pending decisions on whether the law is unconstitutional; a thing that she thinks is highly likely.

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