Today is another day of stickin' it to The Man in Rick Scott's Florida. And by The Man I mean poor people.
Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) signed legislation into law on Tuesday that requires anyone applying for temporary government assistance to pay for and undergo drug screening.
Under the new law, applicants for the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program who test positive for illegal drug use won't be eligible to receive benefits for one year or until they successfully complete a drug abuse program. Those who don't test positive will be reimbursed for the cost of the test.
Around 60,000 people would be affected, according to earlier reports.
“While there are certainly legitimate needs for public assistance, it is unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction,” Scott said in a statement. “This new law will encourage personal accountability and will help to prevent the misuse of tax dollars.”
Except in this case Florida taxpayers will be subsidizing drug-tests by reimbursing the overwhelming majority of the 60,000 people who fail to test positive. That reimbursement will come out of a state budget which you may mistakenly believe to be in dire straights after Rick Scott felt the need to scratch that itch known as Public Broadcasting.
Governor Scott didn't stop at requiring drug-testing of welfare recipients though, as he also signed an executive order today requiring all new state employees to take a drug test and all current employees be subject to random drug testing.
TALLAHASSEE -- — On the same day a bill was filed to make good on Gov. Rick Scott’s pledge to require people receiving welfare to pass drug tests, he signed an executive order that would make state workers take them, too.
The governor’s executive order requires all prospective hires under his direction to take a drug test and orders that all current employees be subject to random drug screenings, affecting potentially 100,000 people. If tests cost the state $35 each, it could add up to $3.5 million.
Wait a minute... If you add up the cost of drug-testing welfare recipients, and the cost of drug-testing state employees, you could easily come up with the cost of funding Public Broadcasting.
That would not fit in line with Rick Scott's priorities though, as a portion of the now-required drug testing may be performed by walk-in clinics operated by Solantic, a company in which Governor Scott owns over $62 million dollars in stock. Scott transfered the stock to his Wife's name, Frances Annette Scott, several days before taking office.
I can't imagine a better campaigner for the Democrats in 2012 than Governor Scott.