Jack Thompson e-mailed GamePolitics a few minutes ago to say that Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) has vetoed HB 353, the video game/movie bill passed overwhelmingly by the Utah House and Senate.
We’ve also confirmed this with another source in Utah.
According to Thompson, backers of the bill plan to seek an override of the Guv’s veto.
We’re hearing (not from Thompson) that the word on the street is that retailers lobbied the Guv energetically.
GP: Color me surprised. I did not think that Huntsman would buck the legislature on this one.
UPDATE: Saintless has Gov. Huntsman’s explanation of his veto:
After careful consideration and study, I have decided to veto HB 353…
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.