Behind the News, The Unemployed Life

Proposed Florida law seeks drug testing for the unemployed …

statesenatorbennett. . . Because, obviously, everyone on unemployment in this bountiful economy are unmotivated, crack-smoking losers.

SB 2062 would require Floridians collecting unemployment benefits to undergo random drug testing. To top it off, they would have to pay for their own test.

This slap in the face comes courtesy of Florida State Senator Michael S. Bennett, a Republican from Bradenton. He’s 64, Baptist and hails from the Midwest. Besides finding ways to demean laid-off workers, Bennett enjoys long walks on Siesta Key, gutting smart growth initiatives, running retirees out of trailer parks for fun and profit, and — well, looky here — taking campaign donations from a company that sells drug testing kits (h/t to the Raw Story for pointing that out).

In addition to the obvious constitutional issues, Bennett’s law faces some problems of practicality. Even though workers would pay for their own drug tests, our cash-strapped state would need to invest in clinicians and a whole new bureaucracy inside the Agency for Workforce Innovation. But most of all, SB 2062 (HB 969 in the Florida House) furthers the humiliation many workers feel after losing their jobs.

In the words of Bill Piper, a director for the Drug Policy Alliance: “. . . to require someone to pass a drug test to get their unemployment insurance after they’ve been laid off is pretty cruel — and to require them to pay for the test themselves is even more cruel.”

The complete outrageousness of this bill leads me to wonder what Bennett and Co. are smoking up there in Tallahassee. In the interest of finding out what that substance may be, I propose a compromise:

Under only one circumstance should SB 2062 become law — if an amendment is added that requires the random drug testing of state lawmakers.

I nominate Bennett to take the first one.

8 thoughts on “Proposed Florida law seeks drug testing for the unemployed …”

  1. Ecommerce Job ... Where Are You? says:

    Wow! They must be joking. Your amendment sounds like a reasonable compromise though.
    The drug testing company doesn’t make enough money from people on probation and in MLB? They need to go after people with no income?
    Crazy.

  2. Lynn says:

    Screw the people collecting unemployment. That means at some point in the near past they actually had a job. Im ALL for testing those collecting WELFARE. I have to take drug tests to earn my money why shouldnt they??

  3. salizaar says:

    Unemployment insurance is NOT a welfare program. It is not based on income or how bad you need it or how poor you are. Even when this idea was tried for those receiving actual welfare payments of some type, it was struck down as unconstitutional, because it violates the Fourth Amendment dictates against unlawful search and seizure. There is a big misconception that people who are on unemployment insurance are receiving your tax dollars, but this isn’t true. Unemployment is paid by employers, against the day when they might have to let their employees go through no fault of their own. You do not have to be poor or needy to get it,just out of work through no fault of your own, and able and available for work according to the dictates of your state. Drug testing for unemployment will not stand up to the first basic legal challenge, but is a mean, snotty way to try to make the unemployed feel demeaned. Blame the victim of this current economic recession for their own unemployment. Great idea!

  4. Scott says:

    As if the person who gets laid off or fired doesn’t have enough to worry about now when they try and relax and smoke a joint to heal the emotional strain of where they are going to get money for the overdo light bill, here comes Bennett.
    Q: what comes next Bennett? random breathalizars?
    But I know your secret Bennett, when you used to visit us and stay over I went threw your suitcase and found your cocaine and your marijuana and took a little, think?
    I will give you a hint? the year was 1982 when you were with Fawn Vending and you and my dad were in the navy together…
    What a son of a bitch you turned out to be, leave the pot smokers alone you were once there too and maybe still are?

  5. Bubba says:

    Florida need new law makers! Florida State Senator Michael S. Bennett, and his cronies must go. Time to clean them out! They are the ones that hurt people more than they help. I think Crist once said ,”WE ARE IN THE PEOPLE BUSINESS. TIME FOR DEMOCRATS to run FLORIDA!

  6. Lynn2 says:

    Mmmmmm I wouldnt want to target those collecting unemployment but if the objective is to keep them ABLE to work as well as keeping those recieving WELFARE able to work then so be it. If they arent working they shouldnt be druggin anyway because they need to be ready to go back to work at any given time. So who cares. If this is aimed more towards welfare recipients I can GUARANTEE that we dont need to charge for it. Getting those losers (the majority of them) off our system would pay for all the tests needed 1000 times.

  7. doug says:

    well if i feel that anyone getting any kind of gov assistance should have to take a drug test it is no more demeaning to take one when you get a job than when you get a gov check however i also feel feel you should have to pay for it only if you fail

    we should start wit the wellfare system first then the unemployed if you can afford drugs then you don’t need my dollars.

    if you feel we don’t pay for it your wrong cause when buisness has to pay more the unemployment ins they will charge more money for their goods and services that means we all pay for it!

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