Tom Humphrey does a good rundown on my drug testing for public benefits bills and how they are different from the Florida bill.
Campfield said his proposed legislation will be designed to eliminate objections that arose in Florida, both as to the cost and the legality.
"I've looked at Florida and there were some things good and some things bad. We're going to do it differently and make a better scenario," he said.
First, Campfield proposes to have the legislation exclude persons already signed up for benefits and apply it only to new applicants. Also, the applicant would be required to cover the cost without state reimbursement. He estimated the costs could be kept to "only $4 or $5" by limiting the tests to "hardcore illegal drugs," such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana.
One objection to the Florida law, he said, is that the screen included prescription drugs in violation of medical privacy rights. Another legal objection in Florida was that those found to be using drugs could be prosecuted. His bills, Campfield said, will provide that a positive test be used only to block benefits, not for prosecution.
Campfield said that he believes, when calculations are complete, passage of the legislation will result in the state saving a substantial amount of money, not spending more.