Drug Testing Constitutionality
Recently Floridas governor Rick Scott put a new drug testing law into action. This law calls for the drug testing of welfare recipients, simply because taxpayers do not want to support drug addictions, but would rather the money go toward necessities like children and food. What do we as Americans do about this? Are there options to reform the welfare system? Other states have attempted laws similar to this but none have succeeded. Why? Is drug testing welfare recipients unconstitutional?
WELFARE IN HISTORY
The goal of welfare is to assist individuals in a time of need, lift them out of poverty and make them self sufficient. The welfare system was introduced in the US in the 1930s during the depression. Until welfare reform in the mid 1990s, states were given limitless funds to aid families. This gave states no need or incentive to encourage people to get jobs, or direct more funds toward needier recipients. Under president Clinton, congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which gave control of welfare back to the states. The amount of welfare money the states were given was a flat rate based on the states population. Each state must meet criteria that proves that they are encouraging recipients to work themselves out of welfare. The new program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) encourages states to require an employment search for recipients, in exchange for the funds. Recipients can now only be on welfare for 5 years, and restricts welfare from legal immigrants and increases financial assistance for child care. After the welfare overhaul, there was a 60% drop in unemployment, and child poverty rates decreased. There was also a 35% increase in the affected families incomes. The overhaul was widely applauded. THE LAW
The law, which went into effect July 1 2011, forces the Florida Department of Children and