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Florida mandates drug screening for state employees

Apr 01, 2011 Matt Roesly

Florida mandates drug screening for state employees
Florida Governor Rick Scott recently mandated new background screening measures that included a required drug test for nearly all newly hired public employees, while existing employees will face four random drug screenings per year. However, WLRN-FM reports that while Scott believes the program to be in the best interest of public workers, it has been rebuffed by public unions.
 The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, the largest public union in the state, said that mandating random drug screenings is unconstitutional and that Scott's initiative violates a similar 2003 case which the state lost. "We are definitely going to protect the rights of state employees and we are moving forward in terms of taking the legal action necessary to do so," Alma Gonzalez, the union's attorney, told WLRN. Additionally, Scott's measure has received further opposition because of its cost. The Famuan reports that issuing drug screenings at $35 per test to more than 100,000 public employees will likely add another $3.5 million to the state's budget deficit.