FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2013
General Counsel & Press Secretary
AUSTIN — Today, Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) announces Senate committee passage of a bill which 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. I spoke on the Senate floor about building trust among our Texans' 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," Senator Lucio said. "I took this challenge myself less than a year ago. I invited my fellow elected officials to join me."
As passed today, Senate Bill 612 would require any individual who is elected to a state office to submit to drug testing the day they take office. The State Ethics Commission may post the results of this 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 cost of the drug testing would be paid by the elected official.
Senate Bill 612 is purely a disclosure bill. There would be no punishment mechanism in the bill; legislators who failed a drug test would not lose their elected position nor face any fines.
Now passed out of the Senate Committee on State Affairs, Senate Bill 612 moves to the full Senate.
"I would like to thank Committee Chairman Senator Robert Duncan for agreeing to give this bill a late-Session vote. I look forward to continuing this discussion with my colleagues on the Senate floor, and set the groundwork for further discussion on this issue next Legislative Session," Senator Lucio said.