Legislature Drug Testing Includes No Penalties

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) A man chosen to administer a new drug testing program for state lawmakers say those who fail the tests won’t be penalized, and their names might not be made public.

The law allowing the drug testing for lawmakers also requires testing of some people who receive government benefits. If those people fail drug tests, they will have their welfare benefits frozen unless they complete a treatment program.

Jeff Russell, director of the Legislative Administrative Services, will run the testing program. He told The Topeka Capital-Journal Thursday that the bill does not give anyone authority to penalize lawmakers. And he says he doesn’t think he can disclose names of lawmakers who fail the tests because of privacy laws concerning medical records.