FL Poll: Voters Overwhelmingly Favor Drug Testing Welfare Applicants

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September 21, 2011 10:25 am
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott has had a tumultuous first term, often coming under fire for his conservative policies.

But a new Quinnipiac poll shows Florida voters overwhelmingly support at least one of the governor’s initiatives: a law that requires welfare applicants to pass a drug test.

Voters support the law 71 percent to 27 percent, according to the poll. And while voters are split on partisan lines, both genders support the law equally, more or less. Republicans support the law 90 percent to 8 percent, while democrats are split 49 percent to 50 percent.The results are surprising, given the law’s merit has essentially been debunked. Scott has argued drug use among welfare recipients is “much higher” than the general population. But early results show only about 2 percent of welfare applicants tested positive for drugs. And the Florida ACLU recently filed suit against the law, saying it violates the Fourth Amendment.

But Scott’s administration stands by the law. Earlier this month, Scott’s press secretary wrote TPM to say, “It’s important we make sure taxpayer money isn’t going to help pay for someone’s drug habit, but that the money is going to help the children for whom it was intended. That’s what this law does. We’re confident we’re on solid legal ground.”

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