The results are in: Only 2 percent of Florida’s temporary cash assistance applicants use drugs. The test results are an embarrassment to Gov. Rick Scott, who has claimed that welfare recipients use drugs at higher rates than the general public. Scott was elected in 2010 on the strength of his own fortune and Tea Party support.
Due to his claims, the legislature earlier this year passed a law that required drug testing of all applicants for temporary cash assistance. Ninety-six percent passed, while another 2 percent withdrew their applications for unstated reasons. According to the Tampa Tribune, the state will save between $40,800 to $60,000 from the rejected applicants. Costs of the program are undetermined.
While the state of Florida may not save much money from rejected applicants, drug-testing has led to a personal windfall for Scott who founded the company awarded the sole contract for the testing. In April, he sold his stock for $62 million.