The sponsor of Utah’s failed video game bill told the Salt Lake Tribune he’s comfortable with a House committee’s preference for a non-binding resolution.
Rep. Scott Wyatt (R, left) was the sponsor of HB50, a measure written by controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson.
When it became clear that the bill would not pass, Wyatt agreed to co-sponsor HJR15, a resolution calling upon Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff to monitor and support efforts to legislate violent game content in other states. Wyatt told the Tribune:
I’m OK with this… Once I took the bill, a variety of people came to me suggesting it was unconstitutional. When I presented it to the [House] judiciary committee last summer, I made a commitment I would not take it to the floor until I could fully address the issues raised.
I learned courts had reviewed similar bills in nine other states and found them all unconstitutional. HJR15 is a fair compromise… There just weren’t the votes in committee. I don’t even know if I would have voted for it, though I do support the concept.
A member of the ultra-conservative Utah Eagle Forum told the Tribune that lawmakers can expect to see a new video game bill introduced in 2008. Said Maryann Christensen, who lobbied for the bill:
If this is the best we can get, it’s the best we can get. But we would have liked the state to have its own law rather than just supporting other states. We think it would be a law worth defending. But instead, we’re saying, ‘Let’s just put our children in danger because we’d rather not spend the money.’ That’s a weak argument to me.
GP: For all GamePolitics coverage on the fascinating, occasionally bizarre situation regarding the Utah legislation, click here.