Florida has just under 168,000 state employees, including just over 105,000 in the executive branch. For Rick Scott, that means nearly 170,000 new potential customers for his … sorry, his wife’s … Solantic walk-in clinics.
Scott’s newest scheme, which will help him turn a profit from his $70 million investment in becoming a one-term Florida governor, would be genius if it weren’t so darned evil. Fresh off his plan to drug test welfare recipients in the state, compounding what for many people is an embarrassing experience, having to take public assistance, Scott now plans to visit the same humiliation on state workers. You know, the ones who haven’t had a raise in four years and who are about the have their unions shredded and their pensions hollowed out by the right wing legislature.
So what (more) can bald do to you, state worker?
TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Rick Scott has announced a new policy of administering drug tests to all applicants for employment in state agencies controlled by the governor’s office, and random drug testing of current employees.
In an executive order issued Tuesday, Scott directed the agencies under his control to implement the policy within 60 days. He said it should “provide for the potential for any employee … to be tested at least quarterly,” including senior management.
But the ACLU of Florida said Scott’s order “attempts to resurrect a policy previously found unconstitutional by a federal judge in a 2004
… Howard Simon, ACLU executive director, said in a statement Tuesday, “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.
“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.”
Scott has generated some controversy by proposing that recipients of welfare and unemployment be tested for drug use.
Critics say that idea is too expensive and impractical, but on Tuesday, a Senate committee moved forward a drug testing bill applying to welfare recipients.
Scott, in a statement praising the Senate committee and announcing his executive order defended both actions.
“Floridians deserve to know that those in public service, whose salaries are paid with taxpayer dollars, are part of a drug-free workplace,” Scott said in a statement.
And how will Floridians get that information? Who has the wherewithal to carry out the drug testing of state employees on a random basis, or when any are crazy enough to apply for a job working for Gollum’s kingdom?
Solantic. Beauuuutiful Solantic.
From their website:
Keep your employees where you need them…on the job.
At Solantic, we offer good medicine for your business.
From treatment of work-related injuries and drug screen testing to a wide range of physicals (DOT/basic physical, OSHA respiratory physical or customized exams) and a la carte wellness services, we can help trim employee-related healthcare costs.
Our ongoing clinician education program ensures we continue to provide the highest level of service to you and your workers. Plus, Solantic is an approved provider for most worker’s compensation networks and insurance carriers. The Florida Fee Schedule is used for self-insured companies.
Plus, we now offer an out-of-state solution for your drug screening and blood alcohol testing needs.
Our dedicated customer service team is always available for your convenience and support, with rapid turnaround of drug screen results, online reporting options, and timely, complete communications on every patient.
For a complete listing of employer-related services and prices, click here.
I wonder how many welfare recipients and public employees Solantic would have to drug test in order for Tricky Ricky to make back his $70-mil…
UPDATE: Key questions for the governor, which I’ll try to get answered tomorrow (yeah I know, good luck with that…)
1) Is Rick Scott prepared to exclude Solantic from any potential state contracts to conduct the drug screenings of either state workers or public assistance recipients? If not, why not?
2) Does the governor see a conflict of interest in enacting a policy by executive order that, even if there is no blanket contract, could benefit his company, Solantic, since either workers or public assistance recipients could obtain drug tests at Solantic clinics?
3) Did the governor seek legal guidance as to the potential ethical questions here? What about the potential unconstitutionality of requiring public employees or benefits recipients to submit their urine to the state?
4) Does the governor see any irony is his position opposing a pill mill database on privacy grounds, but mandating that state employees and benefits recipients to hand over bodily fluids to the state as a condition of either employment, or for receiving benefits that are legally permitted by the state?
Tick tock, governor.