Members of the Oklahoma House voted that legislators throughout the state should take the same drug test that would be required of welfare recipients.
The bill passed 82-6, and now moves to the state Senate, Reuters reports. The bill requires applicants to the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to pass a drug test in order to receive benefits. An amendment to the bill requires Oklahoma legislators to be included in the same drug-testing regimen, according to the article.
Under the amended bill, anyone seeking local or state public office would have to certify they had passed a drug test within 15 days of filing their candidacy papers.
Almost two dozen states are considering measures that would require welfare recipients to undergo drug testing. Although the measures are popular because of a perception that people on public assistance are using state funds to buy drugs, statistics have largely shown that to be untrue.
Critics of the bills point out that courts have struck down similar programs on the grounds they amount to an unconstitutional search.
The Florida Senate recently approved a bill that would allow random drug testing of state employees. The bill, which was passed by the Florida House earlier this month, would be the first of its kind in the country. It would allow up to 10 percent of state employees to be randomly tested every three months. The measure also would make it easier to fire a worker who had a single confirmed positive drug test.
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