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House To Vote on Brownback Bill

It looks like, as of next week, the fine for indecent broadcasts will be raised to $325,000 per violation, the long anticipated legislative response to Janet Jackson's Super Bowl reveal.

According to a pleased Parents Television Council, the indecency bill sponsored by Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan), which ups the fines but does no more, will be brought up for a vote in the House June 6 on the suspension calender, usually reserved for noncontroversial items.

It will almost certainly pass given that it has already passed the Senate unanimously and an even tougher House bill passed overwhelmingly last year.

“Next week, the House will vote on the broadcast decency enforcement act, and I hope we can send a bill to the president’s desk for him to sign and enact into law," said Brownback. " This is a victory for children and families.”

PTC echoed that sentiment, while adding that it was turning to the other side of the equation: cable. Dan Isett, director of corporate and government affairs, said PTC was looking at several options on ways to control content on multichannel video, including a la carte, tiers, and more.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has been pushing an a la carte regime, in part as a way to address the cable content issue.
The Brownback bill lacks virtually all the poison pill provisions that have kept any indecency bill from passing in the past two years. Those have included bringing a station's license into play and upping the fines on performers, both provisions were in the House bill that passed, but got no traction in the Senate.