Rick Scott Suspends Drug Testing for Most State Employees, Saying It "Does Not Make Sense" Yet

If you're a state employee -- not in the Department of Corrections -- you don't have to detox quite yet to get those doobies out of your system.

Gov. Rick Scott sent out a memo to agency heads on Friday stating that departments do not yet have to comply with his executive order mandating random drug tests of state employees, except Department of Corrections employees.

Mostly in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Scott is suspending the order -- at least until the state is done being sued for keeping the drug testing going in the Department of Corrections.

"Nonetheless, while the case is pending, it does not make sense for all agencies to move forward with the logistical issues involved in instituting the new policy," Scott writes in the memo, stating that he's waiting for the lawsuit to be resolved. "Once that occurs, all agencies can then engage in a coordinated procurement of drug-testing services."

Instead of avoiding the lawsuit altogether by not implementing the drug testing, the governor is still implementing the program in the Department of Corrections -- apparently just to see what happens.

This is the second announced suspension of drug-testing state employees, since it was immediately halted after it was ordered for "feasibility and logistics steps" to look into how to implement the drug-testing cheaply.

Howard Simon, executive director of ACLU of Florida, says the governor's order is "a massive and embarrassing retreat" on his part.

"It's also ironic that he is now citing cost as a reason for this delay when everyone knew his illegal order was going to cost taxpayers millions of dollars from the start," Simon says in a statement. "It's also inconsistent with the governor's previous statements that he will take this challenge to Supreme Court, which would expose taxpayers to even more large legal costs to defend his indefensible order."

Now it's unclear what Scott is actually doing with his drug-testing plans, even though he says he's "confident" his order was constitutional.

Meanwhile, it looks like a few joints and bong hits are going to be part of Scott's "safe, effective, productive, and fiscally accountable workforce."

Click here to read the memo, provided by ACLU of Florida.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley