A new law in Michigan targets union members with criminal prosecution if they use their public internet connections for any sort of political purpose. The penalties include prison sentences. Any other State of Michigan employee is evidently exempt from this provision. From Addicting Info:
Republicans in Michigan are pushing legislation that would have serious consequences for union workers such as teachers. The GOP led House of Representatives in the state have introduced a bill that would imprison union members for sending political emails using publicly owned email services.
The consequences for violating the law include a $10,000 fine for an organization, and a $1,000 fine and one-year imprisonment for an individual.
Forget the first Amendment implications, or even whether it treats one class of employees differently than other classes of employees. This will backfire badly on Republicans. Think for a moment. Union employees are the ones who interact directly with the public. They even make friends with regular folks. There are thousands and thousands of public union employees in Michigan, as well. The Republicans want to attack these employees regular citizens know so well? Ain’t going to work.