Florida Becomes First State to Drug Test Public Employees…Except Elected Officials

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
No drug tests for Gov. Rick Scott
Following the time-honored tradition of lawmakers (“do unto others as you would not do unto yourself”), the Florida legislature adopted the first-in-the-nation law that allows state workers to be tested for drug use.
Legislators are exempt.
Promoted by Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who signed the bill into law on Monday, the legislation allows (but doesn’t require) state agencies to randomly test up to 10% of their public employees for illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol every three months. It follows another Florida edict requiring welfare recipients to be screened for substance abuse.
The new law has not produced much outcry from the general public. Civil libertarians, however, object to the drug-testing mandate.
“People are always in favor of locking up miscreants, and, despite our constitutional legal traditions, there’s always a lot to be reaped from the argument that if you haven’t done anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about,” Colin Gordon, a labor historian at the University of Iowa, told the Christian Science Monitor.
The law, which will go into effect July 1, does not include funding for the drug testing, meaning that any agency that wants to pursue the testing will have to cut its budget somewhere else.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Drug Testing: Florida Aims To Be First To Test Public Workers (by Patrik Jonsson, Christian Science Monitor)
Congress Gives States the Right to Drug Test the Unemployed (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Florida Orders Applicants for Federal Needy Families Program to be Drug Tested…and Pay for It (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


Lenny 6 years ago
why does rick scott refuse to take a drug test? we need a colbert follow up interview.
Billy T 6 years ago
i'm a public employee in a south florida county. i'll be happy to take a random drug test anytime the county (my employer) asks, so long as i'm on the clock while doing so. that the elected folks, the ones most responsible to the voters (and also usually paid the most taxpayer money) don't get randomly screened as well: that's not hypocritical at all.
orionsune 6 years ago
rick scott also owns a chain of drug screening labs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/rick_scott#solantic just another example of politicians using their public office for personal financial gain.

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