Random drug testing bill in limbo in Florida
TALLAHASSEE – A bill allowing state agencies to randomly drug-test employees was voted down Wednesday by a House committee, but the measure’s sponsor said he’ll try again after addressing fellow lawmakers’ questions about legality and cost.
An analysis done for the House Appropriations Committee said it wasn’t clear how much random drug testing would cost taxpayers. Individual tests vary from $10-$40. The analysis also said testing without a reasonable suspicion of drug use has largely been found unconstitutional, another sticking point for both Democrats and Republicans.
A few minutes later, the committee agreed to reconsider its vote in an apparent face-saving move to bill sponsor Jimmie T. Smith, an Inverness Republican who said he was surprised fellow Republicans weren’t in support.
After reviving the bill, committee members indefinitely postponed any further consideration. With the legislative session past its halfway point and budget deliberation starting in earnest, its future is unclear.
Smith said he just wants to ensure a drug-free state workplace. Last year, he also sponsored a law that mandates drug testing of welfare recipients. That law is now being challenged in federal court.
“My intention is to keep it moving forward,” he said of this year’s bill (HB 1205). “We’ll address what concerns we can.”
Rep. Darryl Rouson, a St. Petersburg Democrat who opposed the bill, joked that lawmakers should be included in the testing. No problem, Rep. Rich Glorioso said – he’s used to drug testing from the Air Force.
“Give me the cup; I’m ready anytime,” the Plant City Republican said.
USF joins the Association of American Universities
USF has accepted an invitation to join the Association of American Universities (AAU) according to a universitywide email from President Rhea Law on Thursday morning. The AAU is a “prestigious” group in higher education composed of 71 research universities, according to the email. Member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research […]
Students pleased, concerned for DeSantis’ 2024 presidential run
When she found out Gov. Ron DeSantis had announced his run for the 2024 presidential election, international student Shaikh Raisa Afreen said she was scared of what lies in her future. “We know very well that he is not very lenient with diversity coming in over here. That’s maybe understandable. Maybe that’s good for the […]
BOT ACE committee approves grant application, degree termination
The Board of Trustees’ (BOT) Academics and Campus Environment (ACE) committee approved a grant application for the Eileen Hoffman Hafer UMatter program, an updated Master Plan for ONE USF and the degree termination of the Master’s in foreign language education in a Tuesday morning virtual meeting. UMatter is applying for a grant renewal of $2.5 […]
New Nursing/STEM building at Sarasota-Manatee campus in final design stages
USF is finalizing the design for the new Nursing/STEM building at the Sarasota-Manatee campus to expand its accelerated nursing program, according to Regional Chancellor of the Sarasota-Manatee Campus Karen Holbrook. The 75,000-square-foot building was designed by Willis A. Smith Construction – a general contractor from Sarasota – architects and an ideation committee of around 80-100 […]
BOT finance committee approves recreation fields relocation plans, capital improvement plan summary
In a virtual Tuesday morning meeting, the Board of Trustees (BOT) finance committee voted to approve a recreation field relocation plan and a five-year capital improvement plan summary to be sent to the Board of Governors for approval. Due to the construction of the new on-campus stadium, various currently-operational student recreational facilities will be displaced. […]
Judy Genshaft Honors College not operational due to supply chain delays
The new Judy Genshaft Honors College (JGHC) will not be operational until June 12 due to supply chain delays and to conduct systems checks, according to Director of Communication and Engagement Aaron Nichols. A sign on the doors of the JGHC reads “We appreciate your interest in our beautiful new building, but it is still […]