House bill filed to force drug testing of elected officials

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Asserting that sobriety is essential in policy decisions, State Rep. Dane Eagle filed a bill to require drug testing for both judges and elected officeholders.

The Cape Coral Republican’s bill (HB 1435) comes in the wake of controversies and legal battles over Florida requiring drug testing of state employees and recipients of public assistance.

Eagle’s proposal adds to that the required testing of those elected to federal, state and regional offices, Florida Supreme Court justices, appeals-court and local judges.

Officials refusing to take the tests would have to resign.

Any positive results continue to the state Commission on Ethics, and the public official referred to employee-assistance programs.

The intent of the bill is to “ensure that public officers are sober as they undertake their responsibility to make policy decisions that affect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens they represent.”

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.