Random drug testing bill does not get hearing, but Zais still optimistic
Olympia, WA - A bill that would allow local municipalities to vote on mandatory random drug testing for its police officers fails its first test, but proponents say this is only the beginning for House Bill 31-78.
Yakima City Manager Dick Zais says he remains undeterred and thinks the bill just needs more time.
This is the latest move by the City of Yakima to get a mandatory random drug testing policy in place for its police officers.
The union won a binding arbitration case this past fall that blocked it from being included in the upcoming labor agreement.
Zais says the bill did not have enough time to make it through the appropriate channels before it was introduced and believes it will only gain momentum in the future.
"We think we've accomplished what we sought out to do at least in this short session by getting that on the table," says Zais, "Getting it more in focus and having the opportunity for a larger dialogue beyond the City of Yakima. Because I think there are many other communities and other law enforcement jurisdictions that are thinking about this more readily."
Zais says 180 city employees already undergo random drug testing.
He says city officials plan to meet with important lobby groups in an effort to get this bill pushed through in the next legislative session.