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Could Your Elected Officials Be Next in Line for Drug Testing?

Lawmakers could be the next group on the state payroll to undergo drug screenings.

The Senate Committee on State Affairs heard testimony on SB 612 today, which would require drug testing for elected officials.

State Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville,  told fellow Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houton, in committee this morning that his bill would serve as a counterpoint to bills that would drug test citizens who get state benefits.

“This last week we took up and considered a couple of bills that require those seeking unemployment compensation benefits to submit to a test. We also require those that are seeking TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] to submit to a test,” Lucio said. “If we can do that … as policymakers, I feel very strongly that we could also be … part of, what I believe, will set up a system where we too can be accountable to those that we want to make accountable.”       

Sen. Lucio said his bill would require drug testing for newly elected officials, but would allow them to opt out of displaying test results publicly through the Texas Ethics Commission. Lucio even offered his own drug screening results to the committee as proof of his commitment to the bill, which was left pending in committee.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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