The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rick Scott: Fill it up to the line please

22

March

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who pledged during his campaign to make people receiving welfare assistance pass drug tests, is making state workers take drug tests, too. Scott signed an executive order today requiring all prospective hires under the governor's direction first take a drug test. He also ordered that all current employees be subject to random drug screenings.

The ACLU says the random testing proposal already was ruled unconstitutional in a 2004 ACLU case against the Department of Juvenile Justice. 

"I'm not sure why Governor Scott does not know that the policy he recreated by Executive Order today has already been declared unconstitutional," said Howard Simon, the executive director of the ACLU of Florida. "The state of Florida cannot force people to surrender their constitutional rights in order to work for the state. Absent any evidence of illegal drug use, or assigned a safety-sensitive job, people have a right to be left alone."

Simon said the ACLU would represent any state employee who would like to challenge the policy should it take effect.

(If it does, and if you happen to be wondering, Scott's agencies have 60 days to amend their drug testing policies. The agencies must start the random drug testing within 60 days after that. That's a total of up to 120 days. In case you are wondering).

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 5:43pm]

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