Rick Scott on Welfare & Poverty
People don't want handouts; they want their shot at success
I know that it has become fashionable in Washington to think that our people are victims who need handouts. But the people of Florida are diligent and hard working people. They aren't looking for more promises from government, or
programs from government. They want their shot at success. They want the freedom to overcome adversity. They have their own dreams--and many of those dreams start with getting a great education.
Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Florida legislature
, Mar 4, 2014
Require drug testing for receiving welfare
One of the promises candidate Rick Scott made in 2010 was to push for a law requiring Floridians receiving welfare funds to prove they were drug-free in order to qualify for assistance.
That's understandable as far as it goes, but an unsavory--and,
as it turns out, inaccurate--corollary to this notion is that those in need must possess an inherent moral deficiency, otherwise they wouldn't be poor.
The Legislature passed the law in 2011 and Scott signed it, his stated reasoning being that he
was protecting taxpayer funds--and the children of welfare recipients--from abuse. It contained a particularly cruel twist--applicants needed to pay the $25-to-$45 testing fee up front, to be refunded by the state if they tested negative. For someone
counting every dime, this amounted to a staggering hardship.
Ultimately, only about 2% of welfare recipients tested positive for drugs (possibly because they couldn't afford them). This compares to roughly 8% in the general population.
Source: Sun-Sentinel OpEd on 2014 Florida gubernatorial race
, Jan 5, 2014
Page last updated: Jul 25, 2017