Many West Virginia Lawmakers get Drug Tested

It was completely voluntary, but dozens of members of the State Senate and the House of Delegates gathered at the Capitol Wednesday morning, to get drug tested.

Members of various labor unions – who are often required to be drug tested – were on hand to watch. Many believe that when Delegates and Senators pass drug testing laws that apply to the public, they should be obligated, too.

“We’re asking people to take drug tests. We pass laws that require people to take drug tests in order to qualify for employment. And so we need to put our money where our mouth is, and step up, take the test,” said State Sen. Bill Ihlenfeld, (D) Ohio.

“Well, I’ve always been a big supporter of drug testing. And I think we need a drug free workforce. We need a drug free legislature, too,” said Del. Steve Westfall, (R) Jackson.

While the focus was on testing lawmakers, the unions were trying to make a point, too. They say despite public perceptions, there are plenty of drug-free union workers, available to fill jobs in West Virginia.

“So, in the construction industry, it is untrue. We will supply those folks, whether it’s the people behind you right now that are the sheet metal workers, or carpenters or electricians. We have the people that can pass those drug tests,” said Steve White, WV Affiliated Construction Trades.

The union says nationally 15 percent of workers fail random drug testing, but in West Virginia, it’s less than 2 percent.

Lawmakers will be sent their test results in the mail and may keep them private. However, several lawmakers, the Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis spoke with promised to make their drug test results public.

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