Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Fails...Again


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah has spent more than $30,000 to screen welfare applicants for drug use since a new law went into effect a year ago, but only 12 people have tested positive, state figures show.

The data from August 2012 through July 2013 indicates the state spent almost $6,000 to give 4,730 applicants a written test. After 466 showed a likelihood of drug use, they were given drug tests at a total cost of more than $25,000, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, which administers welfare benefits and the tests.

Kaysville Republican Rep. Brad Wilson and South Jordan Republican Sen. Aaron Osmond sponsored the legislation last year and did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday. 
 In Florida, 108 people tested positive for drugs among the more than 4,000 tested. Florida's law was temporarily halted by a federal judge, and a federal appeals court upheld the ban in February. Gov. Rick Scott has said he's planning to appeal the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Michigan instituted a random drug-testing policy on welfare recipients that was stopped by a judge after five weeks. A four-year court battle followed before a federal appeals court ruled the policy unconstitutional. 

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