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In search of a drug-free Ohio

Published: Sun, September 4, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

In search of a drug-free Ohio

State Rep. Robert F. Hagan knows that his latest proposal has as much chance of passing the General Assembly as Gov. John Kasich has of being invited by AFSCME to lead a Labor Day parade.

Some legislators are playing to their constituencies with legislation that would require drug testing for anyone receiving public assistance or unemplyment benefits from the state. Hagan is playing to his with a what’s-good-for-the-goose-is-good-for-the-gander counterproposal.

Hagan says that he won’t vote for state Sen. Tim Grendell’s legislation aimed at mandatory drug testing applicants for benefits at Job and Family Services unless legislators and other elected officials, including Supreme Court justices, are also subject to mandatory drug and alcohol testing.

The Hagan and Grendell proposals each raise questions of constitutionality — and not only in requiring people to pay for their own tests up front. But those millions of people who are subject to entry-level or mandatory random testing to get or keep their jobs, should be inclined to support both Hagan, D-Youngstown, and Grendell, R-Chesterton.

All Hagan and Grendell have to do is demonstrate that the law would be constitutional, fair and cost-effective.

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