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Friday, September 2, 2011

Welfare drug-testing yields 2% positive results


TALLAHASSEE -- Since the state began testing welfare applicants for drugs in July, about 2 percent have tested positive, preliminary data shows.

Ninety-six percent proved to be drug free -- leaving the state on the hook to reimburse the cost of their tests.

The initiative may save the state a few dollars anyway, bearing out one of Gov. Rick Scott's arguments for implementing it. But the low test fail-rate undercuts another of his arguments: that people on welfare are more likely to use drugs. [...]

Net savings to the state -- $3,400 to $8,200 annually on one month's worth of rejected applicants. Over 12 months, the money saved on all rejected applicants would add up to $40,800-$98,400 for the cash assistance program that state analysts have predicted will cost $178 million this fiscal year.

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