1ST AMENDMENT VOICE--RECORD LABELING BILL INTRODUCED; DIES

Published by the Greater Kansas City Coalition Against Censorship Written By: John Henson


Missouri State Representative Jacqueline McGee of Kansas City has, for the second time, introduced her record labeling bill. If enacted, the bill would require the extensive re-packaging of music in Missouri, if that music contained any of the offensive subject matter described in the bill. It never left committee. The GKCCAC lobbied against the bill, both in writing and twice in person. We speculated that the bill was sent to the Consumer Protection Committee in part to de-emphasize the 1st Amendment nature of the legislation, in that it implicitly defined music as a "consumer product" and not information or expression per se.

Committee chair Carol Jean Mays of Independence expressed surprise that the bill was in her committee in the first place, and indicated that it would be pretty low on the committee's agenda. It was never voted on.

Had the law passed, its broad definition of objectionable material would have required the re-labeling of such records as "Killing Me Softly with His Song" by Roberta Flack; "Friends in Low Places," by Garth Brooks; and "I Get a Kick Out of You", by Frank Sinatra.

17 States still have pending legislation that, if passed will allow them to impose their own versions of warning labels on records. If you're one of these people who think fighting censorship is a thing of the past, you'd better get a grip on reality.

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