Told You So: Florida's New Drug Testing Policy Already Costing Taxpayers More

We've told you a few times about Florida's horrible new law that drug tests all families applying for cash benefit welfare applicants. The law, which went into effect July 1, makes applicants front the cost of the drug test and reimburses individuals if they test negative.

The ACLU and others predicted this program would be a failure and cost the state of Florida much more money than they would save. Guess what? In just the few weeks that the program has been in effect we have been proven right.

The Department of Children and Families' central region has tested 40 applicants since the law went into effect six weeks ago, and of those 40 applicants, 38 tested negative for drugs. The cost to the state of Florida to reimburse those 38 individuals who tested negative was at least $1,140 over the course of six weeks. Meanwhile, denying benefits to the two applicants who tested positive will save Florida less than $240 a month.

The ironic thing is that Florida should know better. They ran a similar pilot program a decade ago but ended up scrapping it because it cost the state way more money than it saved.

Like many other states, Florida is broke. To save costs it is cutting good, successful programs like Healthy Start which provides prenatal care and parenting education. Why are they cutting budgets for programs that work, instead of ones that don't?

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The only way this is failing is in not being required nationwide.


I would much rather my tax dollars be used for drug testing, than to allow someone without a job to buy them.


Um. So you've proved there is a 5-month ROI on this law. I don't think that counts as a hit.


i support this testing. the deadbeats abusing the system should find another way to get money for their fixes.


His wife owns the drug testing company, so the Gov is profiting off of this decision.


There's always some pessimist...


#4: $240 a month "saved" over the course of a year ends up at $2880.

$1,140 over the course of six weeks winds up at $9880 spent.

Net loss: $7000

Mind you, this is with continuing trends, which are never a given. But seriously, please do ALL the math. This was a bad idea, and it continues to be a bad idea.


because the person who pushed for this bill to test all applicants, owns a lab that does drug testing. He is getting paid straight from the state coffers.

Anonymous II

How are those who test positive suppose to subsist. Why not spend the money on treatment?


When will Florida begin drug-testing public officials? Do they not receive public monies?


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