Utah Governor Smacks Down Thompson Bill

Illustration for article titled Utah Governor Smacks Down Thompson Bill

After passing through the Utah House and Senate with flying colors, Jack Thompson's video game.movie bill has been vetoed by Utah Governor Jon Huntsman.


HB 353 would have added stiffer fines to video game retailers and movie theaters that gave minors access to games or movies rated above their age level. After breezing through the House and Senate by wide margins, it was expected that Governor Huntsman would back it as well. Not so. Industry lobbying seemed to play a big part in the bill's failure, according to Huntsman's letter to the heads of the House and Senate, found on Saintless:

After careful consideration and study, I have decided to veto HB 353, TRUTH IN ADVERTISING ACT AMENDMENTS, and have transmitted it to the Lieutenant Governor for filing.

While protecting children from inappropriate materials is a laudable goal, the language of this bill is so broad that it likely will be struck down by the courts as an unconstitutional violation of the Dormant Commerce Clause and/or the First Amendment.

The industries most affected by this new requirement indicated that rather than risk being held liable under this bill, they would likely choose to no longer issue age appropriate labels on goods and services. Therefore, the unintended consequence of the bill would be that parents and children would have no labels to guide them in determining the age appropriateness of the goods or service, thereby increasing children's potential exposure to something they or their parents would have otherwise determined was inappropriate under the voluntary labeling system now being recognized and embraced by a significant majority of vendors.

I'm guessing that the Governor really sweated over this, perhaps while the song "Pressure" played over and over again in the background.

Speaking to Game Politics, Thompson indicated that the bill's backers are seeking to override the veto. Good luck with that.

BREAKING: Utah Governor Vetoes Video Game/Movie Bill [Game Politics]



Don't see the problem with fining vendors who break the rules. What's the point of having a rating system if no one is bound to abide by it?