The Department of Transportation (DOT) issues regulations concerning drug and alcohol testing of workers in the transportation industry. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues guidelines concerning drug testing in federal workplaces.
S. 2848 would require DOT and HHS to issue and revise regulations regarding who is subject to drug and alcohol testing and to report to the Congress regarding the implementation of previous regulations. The bill also would require DOT to establish a public database on drug and alcohol testing of employees in the transportation industry and to require the Governmental Accountability Office to complete a report.
Under current law, DOT collects information from employers about the drug and alcohol testing of employees. S. 2848 also would require DOT to revise current rules about which categories of railroad employees are subject to drug and alcohol testing. CBO expects that to expand that information into a publicly available database, the agency would have to hire up to two employees over a three-year period (at an average annual cost of $125,000 per employee) to develop the database and to complete the required rulemaking and reports.
HHS establishes the scientific and technical guidelines for federal drug-testing programs in the workplace. Current guidelines address testing for certain opioid drugs, but do not include testing for the synthetic opioid fentanyl. The bill would require HHS to update its drug testing guidelines to include fentanyl or to issue a report to the Congress that explains its decision not to do so. Based on feedback from HHS, CBO estimates that carrying out those activities would require the equivalent of about two employees for two years (at an average cost of about $125,000 per employee) and additional work from an outside contractor if HHS updated the current guidelines.
As a result, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost about $1 million over the 2019-2023 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated amounts.