Fla. Passes Random Drug Tests Of State Workers

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – A bill that would allow the State of Florida to randomly test many state employees for drugs has passed the Florida Legislature.

The Senate on Friday passed the House bill (HB 1205) by a mostly party-line vote of 26-14.

It now goes to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.

He already tried to enforce random state employee drug testing through an executive order now being challenged in federal court.

Some Florida legal scholars have already said the plan likely is unconstitutional.

State employees could be randomly tested every three months under the plan but the random sample can’t involve more than 10 percent of the agency’s workforce.

The measure also makes it easier to fire a worker after a first confirmed positive test. No extra money was budgeted for testing.

Opponents included Senate Democrats and a Libertarian Republican. “I’ve had a drug free workplace for more than 20 years,” said Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater. “I believe that it has contributed to higher quality employees.”

Critics railed at the measure as an intrusive and unnecessary. “It is a waste of our time and our money,” said Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)




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