Arizona bill seeks to tax access to online pornography

Phoenix, Ariz., Jan 23, 2019 / 05:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An Arizona lawmaker has introduced a bill that would charge a fee to people buying electronic devices in the state who want pornography blocking software removed from the devices. The fees would help pay for the U.S-Mexico border wall.

Rep. Rail Griffin (R-Hereford) introduced House Bill 2444 earlier this month. The bill would require porn-users to pay a $20 one-time fee to access the explicit material online. The money would then be used to support a wall along the Mexico-Arizona border.

If passed, the bill would mandate that “distributors” to sell computers, smart phones, and tablets with porn restricting software already installed.

People 18 and over may choose for the software to be removed by paying the one-time fee. Manufacturers and retailers may include an additional fee on top of the $20 tax going to the state.

The money would be deposited into the John McCain Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Fund. The fund would be headed by the Arizona Commerce Authority and Department of Public Safety.

According to the bill, the fund will give grants to “uphold community standards of decency” and develop, expand, or strengthen “programs for victims of sex abuse.” One of emphasized options would be to fund a border wall or border security.

The program may also give grants to fund temporary housing, mental health care, and assisting schools or law enforcement.

If companies do not comply then they would be subject to a class 1 misdemeanor. Residents or the attorney general may also sue the company if they have been notified of the material and refused to comply.

In recent years, similar bills have been proposed in Utah, Alabama, Rhode Island, Virginia, South Carolina, and Kentucky.

According to the Arizona Mirror, Mike Stabile, a spokesperson for the Free Speech Coalition, called the bill “unconstitutional.” The organization has campaigned for pornography companies in the past.


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