Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law a bill to require applicants for cash assistance from the Temporary Aid to Needy Families program – also known as the welfare program called TANF. House Bill 861 requires that applicants pay for the test. They will be reimbursed if they pass the drug test. They are denied benefits if they fail the test.
The money-saving argument of supporters of mandatory drug testing for applicants for state assistance programs has been disputed by new data from Florida just reported by the New York Times. From July through October, 2011, drug testing cost the state $118,140. The small number who failed the test, 108 out of 4,086, and were denied benefits didn’t outweigh the overall tests costs – the program still ended up costing state government $45,780 according to analysis of state data completed by the ACLU in Florida.