- Faith & Family
Governor Scott will continue to challenge the justice system in Florida and cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. This is the second time that our governor has lobbied the legislators in both Houses and pushed to get the drug testing bill passed. In 2011 and 2012, the governor has signed a bill for random drug testing for state employees —both times the courts have ruled that the bill is unconstitutional.
“The governor can’t order the state to search people’s bodily fluids for no reason — the Constitution prohibits that sort of government intrusion,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida. “And the governor can’t demand that people surrender their constitutional rights for the privilege of working for the state or receiving some other government benefit.”
There is something wrong with a bill when the sponsor wants the members of both Houses, the governor and his administration exempt from the rules of the law. Basically the sponsor, Rep. Jimmie Smith, is telling the workers to do as I say, don’t follow what I do and don’t expect us to follow the law.
Scott is determined to implement drug testing bills and it appears that he will use taxpayers’ funds to test his policies. During committee meetings, the drug testing bill was positioned as a way to raise state workers to the same standards as employees of private companies as a preventive measure for workers with drug problems. Our governor has a hard time understanding that the government cannot arbitrarily search people just because he thinks it is a good idea and it will be popular.
Once the government is allowed to search bodily fluids of employees, the government can hypothetically search employees’ homes and cars for drugs. Once our leaders begin to go down this slippery slope there is no telling to what extent they will go.
It is ironic that our governor was initially against a computer network to track the distribution of prescription drugs. Florida was considered the largest pill mill factory in the country and eventually a computer network was incorporated in the state system to control pharmaceutical and prescription drugs.
In 2011, Governor Scott signed a law to test welfare recipients and the Florida courts issued an injunction to stop the law. There is no way that I can understand our governors’ logic with fighting the drug epidemic in Florida.
Fighting drugs is a local, state, national and international problem. But searching workers and arbitrarily searching welfare recipients is an intrusion on civil rights. The courts are correct when they rule that “suspicion-less” drug testing is unconstitutional.
Roger Caldwell is the CEO of On Point Media Group in Orlando.
By Roger Caldwell