WikiLeaks Exposes Private CIA »« Tea Partiers Lap Up Anti-Education Rhetoric

FL Bill Would Drug Test All State Employees

Not content to force suspicion-free drug testing on everyone who gets public assistance in the state of Florida, now the Republican legislators want to drug test all state employees — except themselves, of course, because that would violate their rights.

A proposal to allow state agencies to conduct random tests of employees once every three months passed through a key House committee on Friday, part of the Legislature’s push to crack down on illegal drug use. After surviving its third party-line vote—and a brief death—it moves next to the House floor for a full vote.

Bill sponsor Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Lecanto, said the proposal would not include state Representatives and elected officials, as that would be a breach of lawmakers’ First Amendment rights…

Smith said the elected officials work for the citizens of Florida, and if the citizens ask their representatives to take a drug test, they should do it voluntarily.

He said he did just that a few weeks ago.

“My constituents called me and asked us to take a drug test,” he said, adding that he paid for the $40 test with his own money. He said he passed.

But he said he would not accept an amendment to the bill that would mandate drug tests for elected officials.

How terribly unsurprising.

Comments

  1. eric says

    At the federal level I believe there’s a requirment for the government to produce a cost estimate for all new mandates. Do the States have that too? I can’t imagine FL’s conservative voters would be all that thrilled about this measure if they saw the bill.

  2. says

    Bill sponsor Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Lecanto, said the proposal would not include state Representatives and elected officials, as that would be a breach of lawmakers’ First Amendment rights…

    What’s the matter? If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear. ;)

    Part of me wonders if the double-standard comes from an inability to understand that other people are people and thus have the same rights.

  3. Michael Heath says

    Conservatives are becoming increasingly blatant in their political positions. When do they start to transparently and directly concede their current antipathy for the Declaration of the Independence, U.S. Constitution, and the entire idea of a government chartered with enabling the exercise of human rights to flourish?

  4. d cwilson says

    @Bronze Dog:

    Part of me wonders if the double-standard comes from an inability to understand that other people are people and thus have the same rights.

    Well, that is one of the markers of sociopathic personality disorder.

  5. naturalcynic says

    First amendment??? What is he thinking, is it religion or free speech or assembly? I guess he’s special. Try the 4th.

  6. d cwilson says

    eric @#1:

    This isn’t about saving money. It’s about reminding the teabaggers who the enemy is: State workers and their unions. They must be stimatized as lazy parasites who are buying drugs with taxpayer money.

    By that standard, the effort to drug test people on welfare was a rousing success, even though the results showed that they were using drugs at a lower rate than the population at large and it cost the state more money to run the tests than they saved from the 1% who failed the test.

    If I were a Florida state worker, I’d gladly take the test every week and mail my sample to Jimmie Smith’s office so that he can deliver it to the lab personally.

  7. jamessweet says

    In fairness, I believe courts have already struck down the drug-test-for-representatives thing. Correct me if I’m wrong; I could be making that up.

    If my recollection is correct, then yeah, it would be pretty stupid to put that in the bill.

    It’s a stupid bill anyway. I don’t know why I’m even saying anything other than that.

  8. says

    Bill sponsor Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Lecanto, said the proposal would not include state Representatives and elected officials, as that would be a breach of lawmakers’ First Amendment rights…

    WTF? Was there more context to the article than this? (I didn’t see a linky.) Or is this guy really of the opinion that legislators have 1st amendment rights but other state employees don’t, as if they’re animals or something?

    Smith said the elected officials work for the citizens of Florida…

    Yet again, a stunning inability to understand that the group targeted for harassment also works for the citizens of Florida.

    …and if the citizens ask their representatives to take a drug test, they should do it voluntarily.

    He said he did just that a few weeks ago.

    But there’s no telling what drugs he’s used since! He needs to take another one. I hereby request that he take them everyday. I also request that he undergo a polygraph, a psychological evaluation, and an IQ test.

  9. beezlebubby says

    This is nothing short a transparent diversion of taxpayer money to the pockets of the testing lab owners. Politicians learned years ago that they could brush Constitutional rights aside if they can find a way to attach it to the drug menace. Let’s piss test elected officials FIRST as a test case, DA’s and judges ESPECIALLY. Are they gonna piss test FLA State Troopers? County Sheriffs? Of course they won’t. How about developing a piss test for alcoholics? RISE UP PEOPLE!

  10. gvlgeologist says

    Bill sponsor Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Lecanto, said the proposal would not include state Representatives and elected officials, as that would be a breach of lawmakers’ First Amendment rights…

    Is he seriously, really, suggesting that the lawmakers have 1st amendment (or 4th, or whatever) rights that other people don’t have? And here I thought that we were all protected equally by the constitution.

    Animal Farm, here we come. Some are more equal than others.

  11. raven says

    Is this another Tea Party example of their small government principles?

    They want to shrink government down small enough to crawl up everyone’s vaginas and camp out in their uteruses.

    Now they want to monitor what is in state employees blood streams and bladders.

    Rick Santorum wants to know what everyone is doing with their partners in their bedroom so no unapproved (by who) nonprocreative sex occurs.

    Hypocrisy really is their third Sacred Sacrament.

  12. shouldbeworking says

    If taxpayers need to be protected from state employees doing their work under the influence of drugs, shouldnt the voters be protected from legislators doing thier job under the influence? Might cut down on some stupidity.

  13. stuartvo says

    I also request that he undergo a polygraph, a psychological evaluation, and an IQ test.

    I’m sure all those tests will come back negative. Especially that last one

  14. Aquaria says

    I used to say back in the Cold War days that the Republicans hated the USSR because they were jealous of them.

    I see that it still holds true.

  15. says

    Is this another Tea Party example of their small government principles?

    It’s another example of what can happen in a state that is so gerrymandered that one party owns a permanent two-thirds majority in what is, in reality, only a 50-50 state. The way to fix this is to support efforts to put redistricting in the hands of an independent commission that is required, by law, to act impartially, without favor.

    Not all state governments can be improved in this way, but Florida is one state that would benefit greatly if the make up of their state government more accurately reflected the political preferences of the voters. Certainly it would prevent the Republicans from passing any borderline insane legislation they happen to think of.

  16. michaelcrichton says

    Eric: I can’t imagine FL’s conservative voters would be all that thrilled about this measure if they saw the bill.

    Why would you imagine that it’s going to be the State that pays for it, rather than forcing the employees to pay for their own tests? To the wingnut crowd, sticking it to the “greedy public service parasites” is a feature, not a bug.

  17. michaelcrichton says

    jamessweet: You’re right, the courts have struck down laws mandating testing for elected officials, but since when have republican lawmakers cared about that?

  18. sezme says

    Aren’t these same Republicans the ones who have been pushing a bill at the national level that requires that all laws that are passed apply equally to all elected pols? The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing … and neither do I.

Leave a Reply