Rick Outzen: I will, if you will, Governor Scott

Gov. Rick Scott and our state lawmakers tried to make Florida welfare recipients submit to drug testing. Scott also wanted state workers to be drug tested. School boards across the state have instituted random drug testing for students and teachers.

The new state symbol could easily become the urine specimen collection cup, especially if Gov. Scott wins any of his court appeals.

In 2011, Scott signed the law passed by the Florida Legislature requiring applicants seeking Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to first pass a drug test. A few months later, an Orlando judge issued a temporary injunction, which was affirmed this past February by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. The governor vowed, at the time, to take it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last month, the governor also said that he plans to appeal to the highest court in the land a ruling by U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro that tossed out his executive order issued in March 2011 requiring drug testing for all state employees. Ungaro had said random drug tests of the state’s 85,000 state workers violated the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches.

What I find unfair is that elected officials never pass laws that require themselves to be tested for alcohol and drugs.  Imagine the impact of random alcohol and drug testing given legislators on a daily basis when the Florida Legislature is in session. We might have fewer floor fights and shorter committee meetings. The state budget might even make sense for the first time.

We should also require drug tests of the officers and boards of the corporations that receive state grants and other economic incentives to move to Florida to create jobs. They, too, are beneficiaries of state welfare. Heck, let’s drug test the entire Florida Chamber of Commerce.

And while we’re at it, the Legislature should require drug testing before any one can register to be a lobbyist. If a single mother trying to find work to feed, house and clothe her children must be drug tested, then why shouldn’t the lobbyists who pushed the legislation also be tested?

This idea could really catch on. We could set up testing stops at the visitor centers on our state borders. We can’t allow dope heads into our state. Guns are fine, drugs no way. We can offer them a glass of orange juice, too, just to show our hospitality.

I will agree to be tested – that is, if Gov. Scott does, too. We can post our results online.

What do you say, Governor?

Guest Author


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