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Senate Commerce Passes Indecency Fine Hikes

Senate Commerce Passes Indecency Fine Hikes

Members of the Senate Commerce Committee unanimously passed a heavily amended bill to increase fines for broadcast indecency violations tenfold. The measure, S. 2056, would increase the base fine for a first violation to $275,000, increasing to $375,000 for a second and $500,000 for a third and more. The measure caps the penalties at $3 million per day.
The House is expected to vote later this week on its version, which begins the fines at $500,000.
Sen. Fritz Hollings successfully attached an amendment he long sought to requiring the FCC to study the effectiveness of the so-called V-chip in protecting children from violent material on TV.
Lawmakers defeated a provision to include subscription TV in the broadcast indecency rules.
The Senate bill includes a provision to direct the FCC to hold a mandatory license revocation hearing after three indecency violations and require the General Accounting Office to conduct a study on the relationship between consolidation and indecency complaints. It would have the commission reinstate its former ownership rules until the study is complete.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey is trying to tack on a similar amendment to the House version.