HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) A bill in the state house would require that lawmakers be randomly tested for illegal drugs within three months of being sworn into office. Those behind the bill say it would be an act of leading by example. Eyewitness News Harrisburg Reporter Matt Heckel Explains
“Members of the legislature have talked about drug testing people that receive government assistance. They’re not talking about us, even though our salaries are tax payer funded.”
That is why representative Angel Cruz has sponsored House Bill 620. It would require state lawmakers to undergo illegal drug testing within three months of being sworn into office and every time they’re re-elected. The testing would be random.
“Anyone who fails or refuses will be subject to an ethics investigation” said Representative Cruz
Members of the house and senate would have to pay for their own test and the results would be public record. Representative Cruz has also included this requirement as an amendment to a bill which would require drug testing for those who receive government assistance.
“The only way I will support drug testing for public assistance benefits is if we, the elected official, are included in this testing” added Representative Cruz.
Representative Cruz has introduced the bill with bipartisan support. In three consecutive legislative sessions and with time running out to get it passed he says he intends to introduce it again next year.
“If you want transparency in government, then you have nothing to hide. I’m rolling up my sleeve. I’m ready.”
The bill has been in the state government committee since last year. Representative Cruz says he’s reached out to the Chair Daryl Metcalfe.. Even sending a letter requesting the bill be moved. But, he has yet to receive a response.