Only 2 Percent of Florida Welfare Applicants Have Failed Their Drug Tests

A controversial new law requiring all people in Florida to undergo a drug test before receiving welfare benefits from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program was championed heavily by Gov. Rick Scott. He claimed the new law would save Florida money, but new statistics show that only 2 percent of applicants who have undergone testing since the law went into affect July 1 have failed their tests. Which means the law could either cost the state or at least save it very little money.

So far, only about 20 people, or 2 percent who applied for state welfare between July 1 and mid-August, have failed the test. A Florida Department of Children and Families spokesman tells WINK News they expect the rate to remain at that level.

Information on the type of substances found, whether marijuana or harder drugs, wasn't released.

Applicants are required to pay for their own drug tests, running between $30 and $35. Those who pass are refunded out of the state's pocket; those who don't are not.

Altogether, that means the new law will save Florida only about $60,000 a year, according to WINK. In a separate investigation, WFTV finds that the law could actually cost taxpayers more than it saves. That doesn't include the costs that possibly could be racked up by law enforcement agents as they deal with drug users suddenly hard up for money.

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