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A Florida state senator has filed legislation that would repeal a new state law requiring welfare applicants to pass a drug test, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

The Florida law, which took effect July 1, requires applicants to be responsible for the cost of the screening. They can recover the costs if they qualify for assistance. Under the law, applicants who fail the drug screen can designate another person to receive the benefits on behalf of their children.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit to stop the testing.

“It’s the bad economic times that have driven many people to apply for benefits,” State Senator Arthenia Joyner told the newspaper. “Why should these people who are for the first time in their lives asking for help and most of it temporarily until they can get their jobs back, why should we subject them to having a drug test?” She said if Florida wants to test welfare applicants, the state should have a reason, such as a history of drug use or a prior conviction.


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