Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Judge delays welfare drug ruling

A federal judge decided to take more time before ruling on whether to grant an injunction to a man challenging a Florida law that requires state welfare applicants to be drug-tested before receiving assistance.
Judge Mary Scriven also gave attorneys for the Florida Department of Children & Families a 14-day extension Monday to challenge a motion on whether Luis Lebron's lawsuit can represent all Florida welfare applicants.
A 35-year-old Navy veteran and father of a 4-year-old son, Lebron applied to Florida's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families this year. He met the program's eligibility requirements but was denied assistance after he refused to take the drug test as required by a law that took effect in July. He then sued DCF.
"I feel I have served my country and served my Constitution," Lebron said. "I just want it to serve me."
The Florida American Civil Liberties Union says Lebron and other welfare applicants are being forced to forfeit their constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure by submitting to the drug testing. They argued that the program has been in existence since 1996 and never required the test before.
DCF, which oversees the program, has tested 1,500 to 2,000 recipients since mid-July. About 2.5 percent tested positive and about 2 percent declined to take the test, state officials said.
I don't understand what the problem is with this program. If you really need assistance and you're not on drugs then so be it! Take the damn test! If you are taking drugs, then how about stop spending money on that and pay some rent! Deal with it!

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