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Proper Use of State Web Site by Elected Officials

H.C.R. 33
Rep. Brian Calley

Current Status
H.C.R. 33 was introduced by Rep. Brian Calley on June 20, 2007, and referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations. The resolution would require that an ad hoc committee consisting of 5 members each from the House and Senate be appointed to issue a report recommending standards for using web sites to advocate certain policies. The committee would also be charged with notifying those citizens who sign online petitions that their name will become public record and may be used for political, charitable or commercial purposes.

Background
The official home page of the state's web site should promote the well being of all the citizens of our state. Elected officials have a right to express their policy positions, as long as they are in the proper location such as on the elected official's web page. This resolution would establish standards for oversight concerning the official use of the web site.

This is a legislative response to the request of prolife residents of Michigan, to remove the Governor's controversial, one-sided, online petition supporting embryonic stem cell research from the official home page of the State of Michigan's web site. The link on the home page enticed the reader to speak out in support of  "stem cell research" by signing a petition to encourage the Legislators to take up the embryonic stem cell research bills. Those bills allow the killing of embryos for research purposes. This is a blatant ideological bias, especially since there is no option on the petition to voice an opposing view. By the end of August, 2007, due to the pressure from prolife citizens of Michigan and the introduction of this resolution, the Governor’s staff removed the controversial online petition from the state’s home page.

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