Scott says agencies will do drug testing

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Gov. Rick Scott made clear Tuesday that he expects agencies under his control to begin employee drug testing, reports the News Service of Florida. Scott signed a controversial bill (HB 1205) late Monday that allows, but does not require, agencies to conduct random testing. But the governor, who last year tried to impose drug testing through an executive order, told reporters that he “absolutely” will ask his agencies to carry out the bill. “I think it’s the right thing to do for the state,” Scott said. “Just like a private company, we want to have a productive workforce.” A legal challenge to Scott’s 2011 executive order put testing on hold for most employees. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which has spearheaded that federal-court challenge, issued a statement Tuesday that promised another legal fight about HB 1205. “Gov. Scott signed this law in clear defiance of constitutional principles,” ACLU Executive Director Howard Simon said in the statement. “It’s amazing that the governor and the Legislature would move ahead with a law that so clearly violates the constitutional protections against invasive government searches without suspicion — especially while a legal challenge on precisely the same issue is pending in the federal court.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.