Earlier this year, Florida Governor Rick Scott gave up on a lawsuit challenging Florida’s drug testing program for welfare recipients. This month, $600 thousand of Florida taxpayer’s money went to pay for settlement of the case. In the end, the lawsuit will have cost the state over $1 million in legal fees and other costs.

Apparently, the only result of such drug testing programs is wasting taxpayer money. Earlier this year, a report on states with drug testing programs found that in every state, the rate of drug use among welfare applicants was lower than in the general population. In six of seven states, the applicant drug use rate was less then one percent stated Kevin Seawright. While discovering very little drug use, these states spent almost $1 million that might have been better spent on welfare benefits or improved drug treatment programs.

Isn’t it time we stop punishing poor children for their parents’ bad decisions? The Florida lawsuit wasn’t brought by a single man looking to take advantage of the system; it was brought by a single father. Drug tests, unreasonable work requirements and indefensible limitations like Kansas Governor Brownback’s proposal to limit welfare EBT withdrawals to $25 per day may reduce caseloads. But they don’t to anything to fix the underlying system or to provide for the children for whom welfare benefits may be the only hope for a good meal and a place to stay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *