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TANF Applicants to take drug tests

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Applicants for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families wellfare program might soon be required to pass drug tests in order to receive assistance. District 43 State Representative Jimmie Smith says the measure will help make sure Florida tax dollars do not go toward drug abuse.

“The TANF program is simply a cash-assistance program. It does not designate where the cash would be spent and that is why it is so important to ensure that we provide the incentive to be drug free,” Smith said.

The bill is one of Governor Rick Scott’s legislative priorities. The bill passed along party lines, with most Republicans favoring the bill and most Democrats against it, but Smith says it was a constituent-driven issue.

“This is a very big constituent-driven issue. It’s something that is time for us to realize that people of all levels need to take personal responsibility for their lives and we want to make sure those of us in these positions are getting a helping hand up, not a hand out, and that’s the majority of why this program has been established,” he said.

The bill will head to the Senate where similar legislation is awaiting a floor vote.

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