Florida Senate Approves Bill to Test State Workers for Drugs; Moves to Governor’s Desk

The Florida Senate has approved a bill that would allow random drug testing of state employees. The bill now moves to the desk of Governor Rick Scott, who is certain to sign it, the Associated Press reports.

The bill, which was passed by the Florida House earlier this month, would be the first of its kind in the country, according to the AP. It would allow up to 10 percent of state employees to be randomly tested every three months. The measure also would make it easier to fire a worker who had a single confirmed positive drug test.

Last year, Governor Scott tried to mandate state employee drug testing through an executive order, which was suspended while it is being challenged in federal court, the article notes.

Rich Templin, Legislative Director for the Florida AFL-CIO, predicted the measure will lead to more lawsuits. “This is just another attempt to vilify state workers and make them the problem,” he told the AP.

Some legal scholars in Florida said the bill probably is unconstitutional. They note drug testing invokes the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. They add that while private employers can require drug testing, the state cannot.

3 Responses to Florida Senate Approves Bill to Test State Workers for Drugs; Moves to Governor’s Desk

  1. Houghton | March 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I do not see this as a fourth degree question. When I sighed my contract with NM State University I agreed to random drug testing. If it is the contract as a condition of employment it should not be a problem. I think everyone who revive funds from taxpayers should be randomly tested, welfare, food stamps, teachers, road workers, congressmen, police, Governors. Have a program where if test dirty, a system of support is setup,don’t fire them get them help. As long as they are making improvements support them, if their job requires driving or is hazardous, change positions until they are clean.

  2. Michael Shore | March 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I certainly hope this includes testing of the Governor, all the legislators and as well all the executive and legislative branch employees !!

  3. Joshua | March 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    i guess it’s a good thing that Florida has a large enough tax base to pass laws like this that seem like they are specifically designed to waste money. it has no better chance of being enacted than the bill a couple of months ago to test welfare recipients, you know, with it being unconstitutional for the state to search people without a warrant, probable cause, evidence, or even a suspicion of wrongdoing. so they’ll pay for a bunch of drug tests, not find anything, and then pay for a huge lawsuit, which they’ll lose.
    I guess if you have a few million dollars sitting arround, there are better ways to spend it. but if you are facing an election, you need the people to be afraid of something. and why not waste a bunch of money to show that a much smaller amount of money is being paid to people who used drugs (in exchange for their labor, which they did well enough that no one suspected they were using drugs)

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