Florida Governor Wants to Drug Test All State Employees

Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott plans to force public workers and welfare recipients to undergo random drug testing every three weeks. Why? Because he doesn’t like either group, Cenk Uygur argues on the Young Turks. “It’s an attempt to stigmatize, demonize, and punish those people,” Uygur says:

Suzy Khimm of Mother Jones explains why Scott’s plan is almost certainly unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has ruled that public employees cannot be forced to take drug tests unless public safety is at stake. The government can impose random drug testing for bus drivers, but not clerks at the DMV. Scott wants to spend millions of dollars testing all state employees. The only beneficiary of Scott’s plan will be the drug-testing industry.

From vitamins to purity balls

Martha Kempner of RH Reality Check profiles Leslee Unruh, the eccentric vitamin saleswoman-turned-crisis pregnancy center maven and abstinence crusader who is spearheading the drive for increasingly draconian abortion restrictions in South Dakota.

Unruh founded a crisis pregnancy center in 1997. Gradually, she became convinced that cajoling unhappily pregnant women to give birth was backwards. What she needed to do was save women from sex in the first place:

As Amanda Robb explains in her 2008 expose on Unruh published in MORE Magazine: “after working with hundreds of women who got pregnant unintentionally, she says she began to realize that this kind of counseling put the cart before the horse in women’s lives. To truly empower women, she became convinced, you have to ‘save them from sexual activity.’”

Unruh’s Abstinence Clearinghouse is famous for sponsoring “purity balls” at which fathers promise to guard their daughters’ sexual purity until marriage.

My uterus is a closed shop

Last weekend the Wisconsin AFL-CIO held a rally with Planned Parenthood in Madison, Wisconsin, Mike Elk reports for Working In These Times. Elk writes:

The labor movement, at its core, is about class struggle – the working class overcoming the power of the owning class in order to take control over their own lives. For women, class struggle historically has centered on overcoming the oppression of men who want to have control over their lives.

It makes sense that organized labor and the reproductive rights movement are being drawn closer together. Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker has declared war on unions and reproductive health care. Walker’s notorious anti-collective bargaining bill also declared war on the state’s highly successful, money-saving family planning program.

The Walker administration declared the union-busting bill to be law last Friday, in defiance of a court ruling, Matthew Rothschild reports in The Progressive. A court had ruled that the legality of the bill was in question because it seems to have been passed in defiance of the state’s strong open meetings laws.

De-funding family planning

Some Minnesota Republicans are taking a page from Scott Walker’s playbook, Andy Birkey reports in the Minnesota Independent. A group of Republican state senators are working to de-fund the state’s family planning programs by cutting off state funding and refusing federal dollars to fund these initiatives. An estimated 40,000 people receive reproductive health care each year through programs that the GOP is trying to eliminate. Their position is surely not motivated by concerns about the deficit. Joint state-federal family planning programs have been shown to save money for the state and the federal government.

HIV/AIDS at 30

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. At Colorlines.com, LaShieka Purvis Hunter profiles a distinguished community leader in the struggle against HIV, Rev. Edwin Sanders of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Sanders and his congregation have been engaged in the struggle for 26 years, ever since one of the founding members of this predominantly black church died of the virus.

Saunders says that, as far as he knows, his is the only African American congregation operating an HIV/AIDS primary care clinic:

“There are other congregations with primary care clinics that do other things, but ours is exclusively focused on HIV/AIDS,” he explains. “We were really fortunate to get a planning grant from the URSA Institute about 10 years ago, and have a fully operating clinic four years after that. Now we are able to serve a population in our community that represents those who are truly disenfranchised.”

The URSA Institute is a non-profit social interest consulting firm which supports HIV/AIDS-related research and prevention programs.

Dig for victory

Spring is here. Ellen LaConte of AlterNet explains why gardening is good for your health and your pocketbook. Produce prices are rising, thanks to increasing oil prices, dwindling soil reserves, monoculture, and other factors. LaConte predicts that gardening and small-scale collective farming will become an increasingly important source of fresh fruits and vegetables for average Americans in the years to come.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the economy by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint.

Related Stories:

South Dakota Bill Would Mandate Religious Counseling Prior to Abortion

Graphic, Frightening HIV Ad Causes Controversy

Abstinence-Only Education Lesson 1: Drink the Spit (Video)


Photo courtesy of bluewinx15 via flickr


W. C
W. C13 days ago

Thanks for the information.

William C
William C13 days ago

Ridiculous, thank you.

Nonya B.
mike hankins4 years ago

Drug testing is a huge profit industry takes why the test.90% of all positives are for marijuana the testing window for most hard drugs isn't long enough to catch users so you can smoke crack,shoot heroin and drink a 5th a day and be fine,drug testing is just more capitalist insanity.

Lynn Demsky
Lynn D4 years ago

Any and all state, government employees should be tested at random even after they are hired by a reliable source.

sean m.
fred m5 years ago

Nothing wrong with Drug testing it's when the Govenor's wife and himself own shares and the company that does testing and makes a big profit from His position. Much like Justices Thomas wife who makes big bucks for PAC group. It's dirty money and it seems only TEA Party and Starch conservaties think there is nothing wrong with bribery>>>>>>>love their profitable motives.

Don Isaksen
Don I6 years ago

I believe all people working for the government should be tested for drugs. I believ anyone found to be using illegal drugs should be given a warning for the first offense, and fired, or demoted with a second infraction. NOBODY in goevernment should be excluded from having to take the tests.

If Gov, Scott (or his wife) owns those drug testing clinics, those clinics should not get any contracts to do the states drug testing.

Katie K.
Katie K6 years ago

Just about the only job you apply for now days that does not drug test is a goverment job. Why shouldn't they have to pee in a cup like the rest of us. Those at the top should be tested monthly. The whole government thing is sooooo out of control i doubt we'll ever get things right and just for all and not just the select few.

Katie R.
Katie R6 years ago

Gov Scott is now allowing Tallahassee to have a say in a womans uterus! Hidden agendas galore here in the land of the tea partiers grrrrr!

Tom Sullivan
Tom C Sullivan6 years ago

Dam thanks you guys, you said pretty much all my feelings.

Roger R.
Past Member 6 years ago