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Florida House Approves Random Drug Tests for State Employees, But Not Themselves


The Florida House passed a measure that allows random drug testing for state employees, but rejected an amendment that would have required the tests for themselves and the governor. The bill also passed its final Senate committee last week, according to The Miami Herald.

The measure would permit state agencies to randomly test up to 10 percent of their employees once every three months. Agencies could fire employees the first time they tested positive, the article notes. Under current law, random drug testing is only allowed for “safety sensitive” positions. Workers who test positive once must participate in treatment programs, and cannot be fired for substance abuse.

Last June, Florida Governor Rick Scott suspended an order that requires all state workers to undergo drug testing until a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is resolved. The ACLU says that requiring drug testing for workers, without regard to suspicion of drug use or other related activity, violates their constitutional protection against unreasonable searches. The case is pending in federal court, the newspaper notes.

In October, a federal judge temporarily halted a Florida law that requires welfare applicants to pass a drug test before they are able to receive benefits. Judge Mary Scriven said the law may violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. The judge’s ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Florida and a Navy veteran. The veteran, Luis Lebron, is a University of Central Florida student who cares for his son and disabled mother, and receives welfare.

5 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Mary Sue patterson
    Mary Sue patterson / March 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    This is a moot point. Will never come to fruition. The judge will strike down Rick Scott’s executive order from last year and this will be ruled against as well. Dick Scott is desperate to pee test any and everyone because he has financial interest in the drug testing industry. Plain and simple. I don’t know why these brainless idiots in Tallahassee don’t realize that if this is Unconstitutional as an Executive Order, it will also be unconsitutional as a law. Such nimrods we have ruling this state. Pathetic.

  2. Avatar of Cyndie Ford Purdy, LMHC
    Cyndie Ford Purdy, LMHC / March 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Until the people who pass the rules have to abide by them nothing will ever change.

  3. Avatar of Jeanne
    Jeanne / March 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Just in case the Florida House and the Governor don’t remember, they are public employees. They work for us, we,the taxpayers,we pay their salaries and their healthcare benefits. By the way, they shot down an ammendment that would have required them to pay the same for their healthcare as other public employees. Gee, whatever happened to what’s good for the goose. Oh, I forgot, Florida is Republican controlled.

  4. Avatar of Jess
    Jess / March 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    that makes me really mad.

  5. Avatar of Linda
    Linda / March 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Unacceptable…..legislators and the governors of these drug-testing states should be required to “drop urine” too…..

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