Republican Congressman Wants to Take Rick Scott's Welfare Drug Testing Law National

Despite Florida Governor Rick Scott's idea to drug test people receiving state assistance turning out to be an embarrassing failure on multiple levels, a Republican congressman from Tennessee has decided to take the idea national.

Rep. Stephen Fincher of Frog Jump, Tennessee has introduced a bill that would require all states to randomly drug test 20 percent of the residents that receive welfare. So much for civil liberties and state's rights.

During the brief time it was in effect, Florida's welfare recipient drug testing problem was pretty much a massive failure. Only two percent of applicants tested positive for drugs (the vast majority of marijuana), and the state actually lost money because it had to reimburse all applicants who tested clean and racked up a number of legal fees defending the law. There also wasn't evidence that it deterred drug users from applying in the first place.

A federal judge eventually placed an injunction on the law, stating that it likely violated the fourth amendment.

This hasn't stopped other states from trying to institute similar laws, and it hasn't stopped Rep. Fincher from pursuing similar legislation on the federal level.

"Currently the federal government enables drug abusers a safety-net by allowing them to participate in the TANF program," Fincher said in a statement. "Instead of having to make the hard-choice between drugs and other essential needs, abusers are able to rely on their monthly check to help them pay their bills."

Which is similar language that supporter's of Florida's law used. Language that all turned out to be amazingly disproved.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.