Drug Testing State Workers Passes

Legislation authorizing random drug testing of state employees is on its way to the Governor for approval. The measure cleared the state Senate by a vote of 26 to 14 Friday, but the drug testing is a long way from becoming reality.

Up to 50 thousand drug tests could be given to state workers a year under the legislation. The tests are optional agency by agency, and to prevent retaliation, a computer would have to decide who is tested.

Senator Evelyn Lynn of Ormond Beach voted yes on the bill, despite saying this. “I think there is something really wrong with this bill.”

What’s wrong says Lynn is that lawmakers themselves are exempt from the tests. Others, including Sen. Bill Montford of Tallahassee asked... “The old advertisement, where’s the beef? Where’s the problem. I don’t see where we have a problem.”

Republican Joe Negron of Stuart called the tests invasive. “The police can’t come and take your urine without getting a search warrant.”

“26 yeas, 14 nays”

Supporters say drug testing will make the workplace safer. They were forced to make the bill less punitive than the original version. Sen. Alan Hays of Lake County says it will now be tougher to fire someone who tests positive. “If you have a positive test, before any action can be taken, it has to be confirmed with a second test. And then we have a series of steps that can be put into place for them to enter a rehab program.”

The bill now goes to the Governor, and he is almost certain to sign it. That’s because he tried to implement drug testing with an executive order last year, and backtracked when the courts got involved.

Civil liberties groups say courts have already ruled the random testing is unconstitutional. They plan a challenge as soon as the bill is signed.

Last year, lawmakers passed legislation requiring welfare recipients to be drug tested. Initial results found two percent testing positive, but the Federal courts stopped the testing within months o fits implementation.

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  • by rick Location: youngstown on Mar 13, 2012 at 05:01 AM
    This is not going to make the workplace safer but instead make it more dangerous because when you fire someone thats when they become desperate and angry. This is lining someones pocket somewhere.
  • by Spartacass Location: Compass Lake on Mar 12, 2012 at 10:52 AM
    I don't mind the testing so much as the fact that the person pushing so hard for it owned a company that does drug testing. He is heavily involved in the industry. You would have to be pretty naive to think he isn't getting some kind of pay-back from somebody. He's so fixated on it (like corporate tax breaks for his rich buddies) that you have to wonder why? You don't suppose he'd use his position to better himself financially, do you?
  • by Dumbski on Mar 12, 2012 at 10:46 AM
    Hey anybody remember the 4th Amendment? Another big money giveaway to the healthcare industry and you suckers fell for it....Good job FloorDuh. I can guarentee that the supporters of this bill would be the first to complain if suddenly "big brother" came knocking at their door under the guise of protecting their interests.
  • by CG Location: Bay on Mar 12, 2012 at 09:36 AM
    Once again WOW! This is typicall of Florida Republicans, "Do as we say, not as we do". You got to love the FACT that they are to good to be TESTED also lol...I wonder who is going to pay for all this? And, why do they spend all their time @ energy attacking working class people???
  • by Paul Location: Florida on Mar 12, 2012 at 08:34 AM
    Members of the legislature are subject the Florida Drug Free Workplace Act. S. 112.0455, F.S. in Section 13, subparagraph F. (f) The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives may adopt rules, policies, or procedures for the employees and members of the legislative branch implementing this section.
  • by goto Location: bay county on Mar 11, 2012 at 02:33 PM
    If it is good for 1 state worker, it should be for everyone....Thats the bottom line....So if the governor dont have to take it, why should everyone else ? Just cause you the governor, Dont make you above the law...But thats whats wrong with the u.s.a. to this day.... As hank williams jr would say, there is corrupted politions, cops, public pretenders....the us is goin to tell us next how much air we are aloud to breathe next....or they will tax the air..
  • by Randy Location: Fountain on Mar 11, 2012 at 07:23 AM
    Everyone that works or gets aid food stamps ...on and on!
  • by None on Mar 10, 2012 at 07:22 PM
    Why would the lawmakers exempt themselves, unless THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE!!!!!!!! They should not have had the option of exempting themselves....
  • by JD Location: PC on Mar 10, 2012 at 04:45 PM
    No problem with the testing requirement, but I do have a big issue with the holier than thou lawmakers exempting themselves.
  • by Jeff Location: Panama city on Mar 10, 2012 at 04:03 PM
    It is about time! They have to be high on something given thier past failures. FDOT and the 11th st and Hathaway bridge snafus. The DMV is as screwed up as a two headed goat! And the grand finale...not allowing casinos when the state is severly short on cash! They must be high on something besides life!
    • reply
      by DBC on Mar 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM in reply to Jeff
      Okay Jeff, let's blame EVERYTHING on Sate employees being high. LOL!!! Do some research on your issues BEFORE you give your OPINION!!
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