Faith-Based Policymaking in West Virginia

From an article published today in the Charleston Gazette on West Virginia Governor Tomblin’s executive order requiring drug testing for anyone participating in training programs funded under the federal Workforce Investment Act:

Labor union leaders and other worker advocates have questioned the push for workforce-related drug screenings. West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue called on the state’s major industries to provide more information amid concerns that the drug issue has become an excuse to hire out-of-state.

“I do believe that the over-abuse of drugs in this state is not as bad as everybody makes it to be,” Perdue said Tuesday. “I’ve talked to too many people and learned of too many cases that show that it’s not as serious as they say.”

Steve Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, said his group has no hard data but that he encounters businesses with this concern in all parts of the state.

“Many employers really do have trouble finding people to hire who are eligible to work, who have the skills the employer requires and who can pass a drug test,” Roberts said Tuesday. “I have to believe that the problem is significant, or I wouldn’t be hearing it every place I go.”