A bill that could affect the dance music scene and potentially be extended to concert and club owners has passed in the Congress and been sent to the White House for President Bush's expected signatur

A bill that could affect the dance music scene and potentially be extended to concert and club owners has passed in the Congress and been sent to the White House for President Bush's expected signature.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), was included as a provision in the Amber Alert Act, a bill designed to heighten public awareness of missing children. Biden's bill extends current "crack house" laws to allow prosecutors to slap fines and jail sentences on venue promoters or owners who host raves "for the purpose of providing an arena for illegal drugs." Critics say the bill's provisions are too broad and that innocent people could be prosecuted.

Bill McColl, national policy director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which has led the dance/electronic music community's lobbying efforts against the bill, is "disappointed" but cautions against overreaction. "Is it a threat? Yes. But does it kill the music scene tomorrow? No. We can work through this," he says.

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