Florida Bill Will Require Public Officials to Take Drug Tests

By Paul Gaita 03/06/14

The proposed law is the latest in a long, convoluted effort spearheaded by fraudster Gov. Rick Scott to hold Florida constituents and state employees accountable.

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Rick Scott's maniacal quest continues. Photo via

Florida State Representative Dane Eagle has filed HB1435, a bill that would require all federal and state public officials to submit to drug testing or resign from their posts.

Dubbed the “Drug-Free Public Officers Act,” the bill includes those holding school district offices, as well as Supreme Court justices and appellate, circuit and county judges, to undergo testing in order to preserve their jobs. Eagle, a Republican representing Cape Coral, Florida, also filed a companion bill, HB1437, which keeps the results of any officials' drug tests out of the public record for fear of “unwarranted damages to [their] reputation.”

The bill is the latest in a long and convoluted attempt by Florida lawmakers to make their constituents and state employees accountable through mandatory drug tests. In 2012, Governor Rick Scott attempted to require 85,000 state agency workers to undergo drug testing while exempting the very lawmakers who sponsored the bill from the same degree of tests. Scott previously drew national attention for passing a law in 2011 which forced parents to not only submit to drug tests, but also pay for them when they applied for welfare. Federal courts struck down the latter bill on multiple occasions as a violation of the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches by the government.

However, Scott remains steadfast in his determination to keep it alive through appeals, despite reports that showed that the number of welfare recipients who tested positive for drugs was lower than that of the general population.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.