Governor Scott signed an Executive order last Tuesday requiring new government employees to be drug tested and current workers to be randomly selected, and now feedback has started to roll in.
After making campaign pledges to eliminate 8,700 state jobs and force state employees to contribute to their pensions, Scott's move to implement drug testing could further sour his relationship with the state work force, according to John Kennedy with our news partner the Palm Beach Post.
"I think Scott feels very passionately that this is something that an employer should be mindful of, should be aware of. So, yes, people could lose their jobs if this were to be implemented, but that is not how he is hoping to reduce the size of the government," said Kennedy.
State Representative Mike Weinstein told WOKV he thinks drug testing is a great idea. "If you're in the business of being a public servant, being drug free would be one of the pieces of your responsibility," said Weinstein.
Weinstein said he wasn't surprised at Scott's decision, given the Governor's background in the health care industry.
But the American Civil Liberties Union is already poised to challenge Scott's executive order. In a statement, Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida, wrote "Rick Scott’s Executive Order today (11-58) attempts to resurrect a policy previously found unconstitutional by a federal judge in a 2004 ACLU case against the Department of Juvenile Justice."
Simon argues that the drug testing policy goes against settled law, and will likely be challenged in court. “The state of Florida cannot force people to surrender their constitutional rights in order to work for the state. Absent any evidence of illegal drug use, or assigned a safety sensitive job, people have a right to be left alone," wrote Simon. "Coming from a Governor who promised to protect our freedoms by limiting the intrusive reach of government into our personal lives, this massive expansion of government power at the expense of basic rights is stunning and exposes the state to serious future legal liability."
Simon went on to say that the ACLU of Florida will represent any state employee or association of state employees who will "have their rights infringed upon if the announced policy takes effect.”