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House Bill 144

House Bill 144

Wayne Hoffman
February 15, 2017

Bill description:  Creates a new government program, a sort of “do not call list” for children on the Internet.

Rating:  -5

Analyst note: This bill creates a new chapter in Idaho law allowing the state government the authority prohibit marketing certain products or services to children. The bill gives this responsibility to an unnamed “division,” rather than specifying a particular agency. The bill is also not specific about which products or services violate the statute, making a reference only to Idaho Code 18-1514, which defines obscene materials. Specifically, the bill says,  “A person may not send, cause to be sent or conspire with a third party to send a communication to a contact point or domain that has been registered for more than thirty (30) calendar days if the primary purpose of the communication is to,directly or indirectly,advertise a product or service that a minor is prohibited by law from purchasing, possessing, viewing, participating in or otherwise receiving.”

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government?

This bill clearly expands the role of government, although it is unclear which agency would be expanded. (-1)

Does it transfer a function of the private sector to the government?

Many private resources allow parents to control what content their minor children receive through the Internet. This new program transfers a function of the private sector to the government. (-1)

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market?

The legislation says, “Any person who proposes to send a communication under this subsection shall: (a) Verify the age of the adult who controls the contact point by inspecting the adult's government-issued identification card, with a photo and proof of age,in a face-to-face transaction; (b) Obtain a written record indicating the adult's consent that is signed by the adult;

(c) Notify the adult that she may rescind her consent or opt out of receiving future communications at any time; and (d) Notify the division that the person intends to send communications under this subsection.” In this manner, government is also inserting itself into the regular marketplace activities of adults. (-1)

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments?

Marketers would made to pay a fee of no more than 2 cents (presumably per registrant) in order to transact business in Idaho. (-1)

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non- violent crimes?

Each transaction in violation of the law is a separate offense, subject to misdemeanor penalties, whether or not a marketer willfully violates the statute. (-1)  

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