Legislators shake hands as they end the annual budget address Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre. (Photo: Briana Sanchez / Argus Leader)Buy Photo
PIERRE — Lawmakers would be required to take random drug tests to determine their sobriety during legislative session under a proposal filed Tuesday.
Under House Bill 1133, South Dakota legislators would have to take a drug test within two weeks of being sworn into office and again within the last two weeks of the legislative session.
Those who refuse to take the test and those who are found to have used illegal substances without a physician’s approval would be reported to legislative leaders for disciplinary action. The measure is unclear on which substances would be tested as part of the urinalysis screenings.
Rep. Tim Goodwin, R-Rapid City, said he’d heard fellow lawmakers had been using drugs during the legislative session and wanted to ensure those voting on legislation pertaining to drug penalties didn’t have substances in their systems.
“We’re hypocrites if we can’t pass a drug test and are willing to convict drug dealers,” Goodwin said. “And I’ve been told we can’t all pass it.”
If approved, the measure would become law in July, exempting lawmakers if they don’t care to run again in 2018.
“They don’t have to re-run,” Goodwin said. “I’m not trying to embarrass anybody, I’m not trying to do anything, I’m just trying to make sure that there’s decency here and that we don’t send people to the pen for a long period of time without taking a drug test ourselves.”
Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter @bydanaferguson, call 605-370-2493 or email [email protected]
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