Random Drug Testing State Workers

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - There are more than 100-thousand state workers in Florida, and Governor Rick Scott wants to know they drug-free. Scott’s ordered random drug testing for all state workers.

The ACLU is crying foul and points to a 2004 case in which a federal judge ruled in favor of a state worker who didn’t want to take the test.

“It’s the same grounds as what occurred in 2004, that with out a reasonable suspicion of wrong doing, that this is a violation of their privacy,” said ACLU Spokeswoman Danielle Prendergast.

There are also financial concerns over the tests. They cost about 35 dollars a pop, and opponents say that means the state will be flushing 3.5 million dollars down the drain every year.

Only one state worker would talk to us on camera today, State Senator Mari Sachs. Sachs, a Democrat, says there are better ways to spend the cash.

“Let’s first make sure they have enough money to do their jobs. Number two, what’s the need,” said Sachs.

But Governor Rick Scott is sticking to his guns. We caught up with him late Wednesday afternoon. He says the tests will protect taxpayer dollars.

“Private companies are doing it. It creates safety. It’s the right thing to do, so I’m very excited about doing it because it’s good for the taxpayers of the state,” said Scott.

Scott is giving his agencies 60 days to begin the random tests. The ACLU is offering free legal representation to any state worker who refuses a drug test and wants to challenge the new policy in court.

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