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Random Drug Tests For State Workers Ordered By Gov. Scott

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Gov.-elect Rick Scott speaks at a breakfast before his inauguration.  (Source: CBS)

Gov.-elect Rick Scott speaks at a breakfast before his inauguration. (Source: CBS)

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Legislative Session Coverage

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – State workers will now have to submit to random drug testing under a new executive order signed by Governor Rick Scott on Wednesday.

According to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald, the order was signed on the same day a bill was filed that will require those 18 and over who are on welfare to pay for and pass a drug test before receiving cash assistance. Officials estimate this new bill will affect about 58,000 people.

Scott’s executive order requires all prospective hires to submit to a drug test during the application process. Those already employed by the state will also be tested at random. At a cost of $35 per test, it could potentially cost the cash-strapped state $3.5 million a year.

The ACLU is pushing back at the governor’s order, claiming it is unconstitutional according to a 2004 ACLU 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.

The ACLU told the paper it would represent any state employee who would wants to challenge the policy.

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