The Illinois Senate approved a version of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed restrictions on the sales of violent and sexually explicit videogames to children, even though some senators said the idea is
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois Senate approved a version of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed restrictions on the sales of violent and sexually explicit videogames to children, even though some senators said the idea is unconstitutional.
The measure approved May 19 would require store owners to determine which games are too violent or sexually explicit for anyone under 18. Anyone selling them to a minor could be fined.
Both chambers have now approved the videogame restrictions, but the Senate version removed the possibility of jail time for offenders. That means the revised bill now goes back to the House.
The sponsor, Sen. Deanna Demuzio, denied the measure would interfere with free speech rights.
"Videogames are not art or media," she said. "They are simulations, not all that different from the simulations used by the U.S. military in preparation for war."
But other senators said the courts have already struck down similar laws elsewhere. They predicted the Senate-approved measure would never take effect and the state would end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Still, even some critics said they would not vote against the measure for fear it would be used against them politically.
"I'm going to vote for this bill, but I'm voting for it for one reason -- because this is a political bill," said Sen. Mike Jacobs. "If I vote against it, it will show up in a campaign mail piece."