Florida Gaming Bill Passes Senate Committee Hearing
The first step toward passing Senate Bill 492, legislation introduced in October
that would make it illegal to sell violent video games to minors, has been taken: the bill has passed the Florida Senate Commerce and Consumer Services Committee hearing by a vote of 7 to 1. It's not certain yet what the bill's next move is, but it must still be voted on by the full Florida Senate before it's enacted.
The bill is modeled on California AB1179, which imposes government-approved labels on games on top of the existing ESRB ratings, and fines retailers $1,000 per infraction for selling violent-rated games to minors. The California bill is currently being challenged in court
after a federal judge issued an injunction against the bill to allow for Constitutional review before the bill passes.
Similar bills have been blocked in the city of Indianapolis and the states of Illinois and Michigan, with legislation currently pending in Delaware, Maryland, and Indiana.
"Children don't have the same kind of maturity and experiences as adults do,'' said Florida Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, SB492's sponsor, in a statement to the Miami Herald. ''Left to their own devices, children often do not realize the harm they are causing themselves through the exposure to graphic sexual and violent content found in many of today's video games."