1,588 welfare applicants decline to take drug test

3:29 PM, Oct 11, 2011   |    comments
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MIAMI (AP) - New figures reveal less than one percent of Florida welfare applicants tested positive for drugs under a new law. But nearly 1,600 applicants did not take the drug test for unknown reasons.

According to figures released by state officials Tuesday, 32 failed the test, 4,056 passed and 1,588 did not take the test in August and September. The Department of Children and Families said it's difficult to draw concrete conclusions from the results.

A federal judge in Orlando is mulling over a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union calling the measure unconstitutional.

Proponents of the law suggest applicants are deterred because they knew they would test positive. Critics say residents didn't take the test because they couldn't afford the $25-$35 test fee or couldn't access a testing facility.

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