March 23, 2011- 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 Tuesday to require that all cash-assistance welfare recipients over the age of 18 pay for and receive a drug test. One official estimated that this would affect about 58,000 people.
The governor’s executive order requires all prospective hires under his direction to take a drug test and orders that all current employees 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 ACLU says the random testing proposal was ruled unconstitutional in a 2004 ACLU case against the state Department of Juvenile Justice.