Florida didn't save money by drug testing welfare applicants, data shows
Required drug tests for people seeking welfare benefits ended up costing taxpayers more than it saved and failed to curb the number of prospective applicants, data used against the state in an ongoing legal battle shows.
The findings — that only 108 of the 4,086 people who took a drug test failed — are additional ammunition for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which sued the state and won a temporary ban on the drug-testing program in October, said ACLU spokesman Derek Newton.
Attorneys for the state immediately appealed the ban, and will face off against the ACLU again at the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta and the U.S. District Court in Orlando in coming months.
The costs and benefits of the law — and the outcome of the court case — could reverberate nationwide. This week, Georgia passed its own drug welfare law.