State rep suggests drug testing lawmakers

Published 02/13 2014 11:20AM

Updated 02/13 2014 12:23PM

ILLINOIS -- Could your lawmaker be a drug user? That's the question behind a new bill in the State House. A state representative wants all members of the General Assembly to be drug-tested before they serve the public. That's not all this bill does.

The heart of Forsyth Representative Bill Mitchell's proposal has to do with public aid. He's tried for years to pass a bill requiring anyone applying for state assistance to take a drug test.

Those bills never get too far, so this time, Mitchell decided to try something different. He's included members of the General Assembly too. He says they should be held to the same standard. Mitchell says he's pretty sure this idea will not go anywhere, but he hopes to get the conversation started.

Nine other states have laws involving drug testing and public aid. Some require people to get tested first, other laws only require testing when there's suspicion of illegal drug activity.

There was a law to drug-test public aid applicants in Florida. A federal judge banned the law in December saying it violated the constitution because it qualified as an unreasonable search.

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