Drug Testing Bill Targets Florida State Workers, Excludes Lawmakers

Source: Arthur Delaney / The Huffington Post

A Florida state lawmaker is pushing a bill requiring state agencies to test their workers for drugs. But the bill wouldn’t mandate testing for all public sector employees; members of the Florida legislature would get a pass.

Rep. Jimmie Smith (R-Lecanto), the bill’s sponsor, said he supports drug testing for lawmakers, but requiring them to pee in cups like everyone else would violate their constitutional rights. In an email to The Huffington Post, Smith cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1997 decision in Chandler v. Miller, which struck down tests for political candidates in Georgia.

While he “strongly” supports drug testing for legislators, Smith said, “being elected to office is completely different from being hired by a company or agency.”

Some of Smith’s Democratic colleagues think his bill would set a double standard. “I firmly believe we have to lead by example,” Rep. Joe Abruzzo (D-Wellington) said last week, according to the Miami Herald. “The day that I have to go take a [drug] test as a state representative is the day that I’ll support this legislation.”

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