Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gov. Rick Scott orders random drug tests for state workers

On the same day a bill was filed to make good on Gov. Rick Scott's pledge to require people receiving welfare to pass drug tests, he signed an executive order that would make state workers take them, too.

Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, offered legislation on Scott's behalf in the Criminal Justice Committee to require that all cash-assistance welfare recipients over the age of 18 pay for and receive drug tests. One official estimated that this would affect about 58,000 people.

Scott's order requires each prospective hire under his direction to take a drug test and all current employees to be subject to random drug screenings, affecting potentially 100,000 people. If tests cost the state $35 each, it could add up to $3.5 million.

The American Civil Liberties Union says random testing was ruled unconstitutional in a 2004 case against the state Department of Juvenile Justice.

"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," said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida. Simon said the ACLU would represent any state employee who would like to challenge the policy.

Gov. Rick Scott orders random drug tests for state workers 03/22/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 8:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI

    Bucs

    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  2. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look

    Blogs

    Having lost 11 of their last 14 games and dropping to a season-worst four games under .500 at 60-64, the Rays continue to search for ways to get out of their extended offensive slump.

    And with the M's starting LHP Ariel Miranda today, that means another new look to the lineup, which includes having struggling …

  3. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often

    Bucs

    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  4. Two Boca Ciega students arrested on charges they brought gun to high school football game

    Crime

    PINELLAS PARK — Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for having a loaded semi-automatic handgun with them at a Friday night football game at Pinellas Park High School.

    Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for bringing a weapon on school property on Friday night at a high school football game at Pinellas Park High School.
  5. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005

    Bucs

    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)