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Politics & Government

Bill would ban use of government property for political purposes

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Michigan teachers and other government worker would not be allowed to use public property -- including computers, phones or copiers -- to conduct political activities.

A bill in the state House would ban public employees from using most government property or services for political or union purposes. 

 Under the bill, anything that belongs to the government would be off-limits for public employees to use for fund-raising, lobbying  or campaigning -- including e-mail, phones and copiers.

State Rep. Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville) says he tweaked the bill he originally introduced in April, in part of because of an incident that occurred in June.

“You shouldn’t use the school like in Lawrence, Michigan, where the emergency communication system was used to tell people where to go to get recall petitions against the governor," Pscholka says. "That’s not right, and that’s not right on either side of the aisle.”

The bill calls for a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail for individual violators and fines up to $10,000 for organizations.

Property that’s available to the public at large – like libraries – would not be covered under the bill.