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  • More than Two Million Early Ballots Cast Already 1, October26, 2016
    Florida is on pace for record early voting turnout, and as Matt Galka tells us, both sides say the early numbers are good for their parties. Becky Bush wasn’t going to wait around. She voted early. “I work downtown and it’s convenient,” she said. And to her, this election cycle is “crazy.” So crazy that […]
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  • Trump train 1, October26, 2016
    Each of Florida’s  five statewide elected Republicans continue to support Donald Trump. But not all of them are jumping whole hog on the Trump Train. Governor Rick Scott was the first statewide elected Republican to jump on the trump train.   He was followed by Pam Bondi, Jeff Atwater, and Adam Putnam. All three supported […]
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  • Driver’s license troubles blamed on the move of an aging computer system 1, October26, 2016
    If you are going to be renewing your driver’s license or vehicles tags in the near future, you might want to budget some extra time, just in case, because aging computers at the state agency have become unpredictable. Taking a number at a Tax Collectors officer doesn’t guarantee you speedy service when you are renewing […]
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  • Trump Stumps in Tallahassee 1, October26, 2016
    In two weeks we should know who the next president of the United States is, and that means Florida becomes that much more valuable to the candidates. Matt Galka was in Tallahassee for Donald Trump’s rally in the capital…a unique choice for a GOP candidate to head into a perennially Democrat voting county. The trump […]
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  • Butterfly Magic 1, October24, 2016
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  • FDLE, Other Law Enforcement Ramp Up Counterterrorism Efforts 1, October24, 2016
    State leaders want to ramp up counterterrorism efforts, but as Matt Galka tells us, it starts with an old slogan and you. This gas station in Tallahassee doesn’t seem like where state officials would launch counterterrorism efforts. But the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, and local law enforcement say it’s just the place where […]
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  • Volunteer Gets Crafty With Hand Painted Yard Signs for Candidate 1, October21, 2016
    In a time of big money campaigns, volunteers in one Florida Congressional race are a real throwback. As Matt Galka tells us, some folks are getting crafty when it comes to yard signs. Meet Herb Shelton. He’s not running for anything so don’t expect to see his name on the ballot. But Shelton has become a […]
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  • Lawsuit says medical marijuana question not on some ballots 1, October21, 2016
    A lawsuit filed in Southeast Florida alleges that the medical marijuana amendment was left off some mail in ballots.  Attorneys say they aren’t sure if it was a half dozen, ten thousand or a hundred thousand ballots. A quarter million mail ballots have gone out Broward County, 60 thousand have already been returned. At least […]
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  • Federal Judge Rules Against Democrats in Registration Case 1, October20, 2016
    Thousands of Floridians took advantage of an extended voter registration deadline in the state, but getting them verified in time to cast a regular early voting ballot may be in doubt. As Matt Galka tells us, Florida Democrats hoped a federal judge could force the state’s hand and not make them cast provisional ballots. Florida […]
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  • Politics and Policy at the Pub Thanks to Florida State 1, October19, 2016
    Some people go to bars and restaurants to get away from the noise surrounding politics – especially during this unique political season.  But as Matt Galka tells us, Florida state University is serving up heady policy discussion at a local pub. A couple of beers, a little bit of food…and some voting issues. That’s what […]
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Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

September 22nd, 2011 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Legislation to repeal drug testing for welfare recipients faces an uphill battle. 71 percent of Florida voters support the tests, according to a new poll. Support is at 90 percent among Republicans and at about 50 percent for Democrats. As Whitney Ray tells us, Republican lawmakers are vowing to crush the repeal bill, even though the tests have excluded just a few welfare recipients.

The program is expected to cost the state about three million dollars a year. Part of that cost was supposed to be offset by kicking drug users out of the cash assistance program, but at this point its unclear if money will be saved.

Close to a hundred thousand Floridians, many of them kids, receive cash assistance though a state welfare program.

The average pay out is 240 dollars a month and state lawmakers want to make sure none of that money is used to buy drugs.

A new law mandating drug tests for welfare recipients went into effect July 1st, after many lawmakers claimed there might be a drug problem in the welfare system.

But there is no evidence welfare recipients are prone to use drugs at a higher rate than the general public and in fact, an early sample of the drug testing program showed only about two and half percent tested positive.

Republican Senator Don Gaetz calls those statistics into question. He believes the tests are keeping drug users from even applying for the cash assistance program.

Maybe this is having the affect that we had expected and that is that people who are using drugs, are using drugs arent coming forward, said Gaetz.

Senator Arthenia Joyner, a Democrat, disagrees. She sees the tests as invasive and a waste of taxpayer money. So shes trying to end them.

The general population is at eight percent drug use. We are talking about two percent among welfare recipients. I think that the entire thing is ill founded, said Joyner.

Joyners up against a Republican controlled legislature.

In terms of public opinion the prospects for appeal on that measure are probably not good, said Brown.

And a new poll that shows public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of the test.

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