Sen. Lucio works to require drug tests of elected officials - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Sen. Lucio works to require drug tests of elected officials

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 9:45 pm | Updated: 7:15 am, Fri May 17, 2013.

State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, wants all state elected officials to submit to drug screenings.

Thursday, the Senate Committee on State Affairs approved a bill sponsored by Lucio that, if passed into law, would require state elected officials to submit to drug testing upon taking office.

“This Session, we’ve had at least a couple bills move through the Legislature related to drug testing individuals who accept either welfare or state unemployment dollars,” Lucio said in a news release Thursday. “I spoke on the Senate floor about building trust among our Texas voters. This is how we can start. The use of illegal drugs and the holding of elected office are unquestionably incompatible activities. We need elected officials to also stand up as role models and tell our young people the dangers associated with taking illegal drugs.”

Senate Bill 612 would require the drug test on the day an elected state official takes office. The State Ethics Commission may post the results of the test only after the candidate agrees to release the results.

The secretary of state would create rules and forms needed to waive any privacy issues dealing with medical records. The elected official would pay for the drug testing.

However, there would be no punishment mechanism if an elected official failed the drug screening or chose to keep the results private. Legislators who failed a drug test would not lose their elected position nor face any fines, Lucio explained.

The bill will now move to the full Senate for consideration.

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