DESPITE SOME SIGNIFICANT VICTORIES - ANTI-MUSIC LEGISLATION STILL LOOMS
By: John Woods
In the last issue of THE ROC we told you about six pending pieces of anti-music legislation around the country. We might add that this information was the subject of a two page spread in METAL MANIACS magazine (the one with Sean of White Zombie on the cover). A big thanks to Alicia Morgan. With this issue we are happy to report that currently only one of these bills remains an immediate threat.
On June 1, the bills pending in New Mexico, South Carolina and Louisiana all died when the legislature broke for the summer. In Louisiana an attempt was made to ram HB-373 through before the deadline, but due to an intense campaign conducted by Paul Russinoff of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) from a command post set up in a hotel room, the ram-through was halted and HB-373 died a well deserved death. Good job Paul!
Unfortunately folks, these are not total victories We've won this round but we can expect to see all of these, and more anti-music bills introduced this fall when state legislatures come back in session. KEEP ALERT IN YOUR STATE! KEEP US POSTED OF ANY BILLS YOU HEAR ABOUT.
The big victory salute goes out to all our friends and comrades-in-arms out in the state of Washington. Due to the extensive grassroots efforts of the Washington Music Industry Coalition (WMIC) and newly formed JAMPAC - on May 12 Washington Governor Mike Lowry vetoed SB-5466. In the Senate an immediate attempt was made by conservatives to over-ride the veto. This attempt was successfully blocked by WMIC's generation of thousands of calls to state legislators within a five hour period calling for the support of the veto. The over-ride motion was defeated by a vote of 25 to 19.
WMIC and JAMPAC know that their three year battle with the Washington State Legislation is far from over. Members of the state legislature have already expressed their intent to reintroduce similar anti-music legislation during the fall legislative session. If you're from the state of Washington we urge you contact WMIC or JAMPAC and GET INVOLVED! WMIC can be contacted by calling Virginia Piper at (206) 622-7177, and JAMPAC can be reached at 1-(800) 8800 JAM.
Meanwhile, back in Pennsylvania, State Representative T.J. Rooney will be proceeding full steam ahead for the passage of HB-377. Last fall he offered to drop the bill if the Recording Industry Association and the National Association of Record Merchandisers agreed to put together a "task force" to explore the issue of "explicit lyrics." God only knows what he expected this task force to accomplish, but anyway, both the RIAA and NARM declined his demand. We can expect some movement on HB-377 in September. Rooney has been telling the media that he has the votes needed to pass the bill in the Pennsylvania House. If HB-377 clears the House and goes on to the Senate, we understand another public hearing on the bill must be held. Over the past months R.O.C. has collected thousands of signatures on our HB 377 petition. We will be in Harrisburg when hearings are held and present the Pennsylvania Senate with these petitions, in addition to the ones we gave the House Judiciary Committee last September when we testified. If you're a resident of the Commonwealth it is imperative that you, voice your opposition to HB-377. We urge you contact your State Representatives and demand that they VOTE NO ON HB-377. You can also call T.J. himself at (610) 882-1510 and voice your opposition, And last, but not least, phone or fax Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge at (phone) (717) 787-2500 or (Fax) (717) 783-3369 and urge that he vetoes HB-377 or any bill like it that comes across his desk. If you don't think this makes a difference, re-read the above story about the State of Washington.
Anyone in Pennsylvania who would like to circulate the anti- HB-377 petition should contact us here at R.O.C. We would also urge bands to think about organizing some fall fund raising shows to help us effectively fight this bill. Call John at (740) 946-2011 if you can do a show.
HELP DEFEAT HB-377
PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS, WRITE TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY!
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
House Box 202020
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2020