It’s a headline that you could see coming to Kentucky. On May 31 Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott signed a bill into law that requires welfare applicants to pass a drug test in order to qualify for temporary cash assistance. The law went into effect on July 1st making Florida the first state to require testing of welfare recipients.
Missouri’s Governor Jay Nixon followed Florida’s lead and signed into law House Bill 73. This law requires the state Department of Social Services to “develop a program to screen each applicant or recipient who is otherwise eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families,” the federal government’s cash-assistance program. The new law says that if there is “reasonable cause to believe” he or she “engages in illegal use of controlled substances,” then they may be subjected to a drug test.
Some opponents to the new laws argue this process is “unconstitutional” and in 2003 a federal court agreed by declaring similar law in Michigan unconstitutional. However, with the recent passage of the new laws in Florida and Missouri other states including Kentucky, Kansas, West Virginia, and Illinois are considering their own versions of the drug testing policy.
So Martin County do you think any form of drug testing to welfare recipients is unconstitutional or do you think this is a fair way to keep the system in check?