Governor Scott Fulfills Campaign Promise to Require Drug Screening for Welfare Recipients

5/31/2011 Panama City, Fla. – In keeping his promise to require drug screening for welfare recipients, Governor Rick Scott today signed House Bill 353, which requires adults applying for temporary cash assistance to undergo drug screening.

The bill is designed to increase personal accountability and prevent Florida’s tax dollars from subsidizing drug addiction, while still providing for needy children. Parents failing the required drug test may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of the children.

“While there are certainly legitimate needs for public assistance, it is unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction,” Governor Scott said. “This new law will encourage personal accountability and will help to prevent the misuse of tax dollars.”

In addition, Governor Scott also signed House Bill 1039, which makes “bath salts” a Schedule 1 controlled substance, considered in Florida to have no medical value or usage. The chemical substances found in “bath salts” constitute a significant threat to health and public safety. Poison control centers in Florida have reported 61 calls of “bath salts” abuse, making Florida the state with the second-highest volume of calls. The hallucinogenic substances are readily available at convenience stores, discount tobacco outlets, gas stations, pawnshops, tattoo parlors, and truck stops, among other locations.

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