Sunday, February 05, 2006
Bill calls for drug testing of legislators
There have been times I have wondered what drugs the Missouri General Assembly is on when I see some of the bills that are passed each year. Apparently, I am not alone in that thought.
House Bill 1646 calls for state legislators to submit to drug tests every two years. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City.
The bill reads:
105.007. 1. Prior to taking office and once every two years thereafter, all state elected officials, state executive branch managerial staff, and all officers and leadership staff of the Missouri house of representatives and senate shall be subject to chemical testing of their blood or urine for the purpose of determining the drug content of the blood. The costs of such testing shall be paid by official, officer, or staff member. Prior to such chemical testing, each official, officer, or staff member shall be informed that the results of such testing may be made available to the public upon request. Any official, officer, or staff member who agrees to such chemical testing shall be deemed to have consented to the release of the results of such testing to the public upon request as authorized in subsection 3 of this section and no cause of action shall arise under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act with regard to such release of the testing results.
2. Chemical tests of the person's blood, or urine to be considered valid shall be performed according to methods and devices approved by the state department of health and senior services and shall be performed by licensed medical personnel or by a person possessing a valid permit issued by the state department of health and senior services for this purpose. A blood test shall not be performed if the medical personnel, in good faith medical judgment, believe such procedure would endanger the health of the person.
3. Upon request of the person tested, full information concerning the test shall be made available to such person. The results of any chemical test performed under this section shall be made available to the public upon request.
4. No person administering a chemical test under this section or any other person, firm or corporation with whom such person is associated shall be civilly liable for damages to the person tested except for negligence or by willful or wanton act or omission.
As tempting as it is to say this is something that should have been done a long time ago, I will say the same thing that I have said about drug testing of students; this is a bad idea. Of course, it stands little chance of success in a Republican-dominated legislature. It appears Ms. Chappelle-Nadal is seeking publicity.