Facebooking and Tweeting on CA taxpayers’ dime?

150 150 Cheryl Getuiza

Photo courtesy of studentbranding.com
Photo courtesy of studentbranding.com

I’m sure you’ve done it. 

In fact, I’m sure the majority of people who are working, sitting at their desks staring at a computer all day have done this at one point throughout their work day: Facebooking and Tweeting on the job.

Let’s face it, some people spend so much time doing it that they should probably get paid for their finely tuned social networking skills.

But wait! This is actually possible, at least if you’re a Capitol Aide. Facebooking and Tweeting could soon be a new job description for aides as part of “official legislative business.”

But the real kicker is that you, the taxpayer, will be paying for it.

Yup, you heard right!

Lawmakers and designated aides could post comments as part of their official, paid duties under a new policy approved unanimously by the Assembly Rules Committee on Monday.

Right now, most legislators have their own pages on Facebook and their aides maintain them but in their own time.  You, the taxpayer, have not picked up the tab—perhaps, until now.

The new policy will provide guidelines and restrictions for their operation: it would limit a lawmaker’s official social media site to legislative business, would require training for aides who operate the sites; would permit only the posting of comments about legislative matters and would allow campaigning or a link to the campaign website.

Assemblyman Curt Hagman of Chino Hills supports the policy saying it’s a sign of the times. “It’s everywhere now (Facebook and Twitter). It’s the best way to communicate with voters, and it doesn’t cost any money. Those who listen, can.”

Assemblyman Roger Dickinson of Sacramento agrees. “It makes sense to me to try in a prudent way to allow members to communicate with their constituents by the means that constituents use.”

The Senate Rules Committee is expected to consider the new policy within a few weeks. It does not require a floor vote.


Cheryl Getuiza

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