New poll: Floridians call new budget unfair, favor welfare drug testing
A new Quinnipiac University Poll released today shows that Floridians think Gov. Rick Scott’s budget was “unfair to people like them.” The poll also found that most voters back a new controversial law that requires welfare recipients to take a drug test before receiving benefits.
According to the poll:
Florida voters now say 48 – 41 percent that Scott’s budget is unfair to people like them, an improvement from August when they said “unfair” 51 – 33 percent and May when they said “unfair” 54 – 29 percent.
While voters split down the middle on Scott’s personal rating, they say they don’t like his policies by 53 – 35 percent. By 53 – 36 percent they say they do not approve of his handling of the state budget.
Public policy groups have said that the state’s austere budget cuts this year, which included deep cuts to health programs and education, were “unnecessarily harmful.” Economists have warned that such cuts are endagering the country’s economy by putting it at risk for another recession. Recent data shows the state might be poised for more budget cuts this year.
Voters, however, do seem to approve of one controversial policy: a new requirement that welfare applicants submit to a drug test before being approved for benefits.
Poll results show:
Florida voters support 71 – 27 percent a law requiring welfare recipients to pass drug tests. There are substantial partisan disagreements, but no gender gap.
Republicans back the law 90 – 8 percent, as do independent voters 75 – 24 percent. Democrats split 49 – 50 percent. Men back the drug test requirement 70 – 28 percent, while women support it 73 – 25 percent.
“Voters overwhelmingly like the requirement that welfare recipients must pass drug tests to receive benefits. But the issue is now before the courts where the only opinion that matters is that of the judge,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling said.
The newly implemented law still faces a lot of uncertainty.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is currently representing Luis Lebron, an Orlando resident who has filed a lawsuit over the constitutionality of the drug testing law. Lebron is a full-time student, a Navy veteran and a single father. He was recently denied benefits he was otherwise qualified for because he refused to waive his Fourth Amendment rights and submit to a drug test.
State Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, has filed legislation that would repeal the drug testing law.