Parisi says county may sue over drug testing provisions

Parisi says county may sue over drug testing provisions

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi says he is exploring legal remedies to a drug testing provision expected in Gov. Scott Walker’s two-year state budget.

Walker has said his budget will require mandatory drug testing for individuals getting food share, unemployment or Medicaid benefits from the state.

In a news conference Monday, Parisi said that many of the W2 programs are currently administered by county workers, and should the language in the budget require those employees to also administer drug tests, Parisi intends to sue the state over the provision. Parisi said he has met with the county’s lawyers on the issue and is prepared to take legal action after seeing how the language is worded in the governor’s two-year spending plan.

“I do not believe at the end of the day that the governor has a legal leg to stand on,” Parisi said Monday. “I don’t believe the federal government will allow it. It’s a waste of time and a waste of tax dollars to even explore this.”

The governor would have to seek a waiver from the federal government for the plan. Other states including Florida have had legal challenges against similar laws.

In a statement Monday, a spokeswoman for the governor said his proposal is “focused on workforce readiness.”

More details on the plan should released in the governor’s budget on Tuesday.