Public Hearing Set For Texas Censorship Bill

If the bill gets through the House, Texas state entities will be barred from investingmoney in corporations linked to so-called offensive lyrics. Like the eloquent work of Mr. Dogg.

The wheels may roll to a stop this week for Texas legislation that

would ban state entities from investing in record companies associated with

offensive lyrics. Tomorrow (May 20), the Pensions & Investments Committee of

the State House of Representatives will hold a public hearing on the bill,

known as SR 1923. Ken Whalen, a representative from the office of committee

chair Barry Telford, told ATN this morning (Monday, May 19) that he's skeptical

that the measure will make it out of committee and to the House floor for a

vote.

Whalen stressed that Rep. Telford "agrees with what the concept is,

that states shouldn't be investing in any kind of obscene lyrics. But as far as

the reality of spending millions of dollars to divest yourself and millions

more to make sure that any stock you invest in has no ties to a company that

may have a subsidiary that does put out this type of product--the cost of it

overrides his concerns about it."

Last month the State Senate passed the

same measure unanimously. If the bill were to pass the House and were then

signed into law by Governor George W. Bush, the legislation will ban state

entities from investing money in corporations directly linked with offensive

lyrics, as well as in those indirectly linked by virtue of a 10 percent or more

stake in such ventures.

The legislation, sponsored in the House by

Republican Rep. Tom Uher, considers offensive any musical work that explicitly

describes, glamorizes, or advocates acts of criminal violence, including

murder, assault, and robbery; necrophilia, bestiality, or pedophilia; illegal

use of controlled substances; criminal street gang activity; degradation or

denigration of females; or violence against a particular sex, race, or ethnic

group.

According to Texas state law, the House must consider...

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