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Granholm Signs New Laws to Protect Children from Violent and Sexually-Explicit Video Games

September 12, 2005

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed legislation that that will make the sale or rental of mature or adult-rated video games to children illegal.  The new law applies to children age 17 and younger and will take effect on December 1, 2005.

“Making sure that our children are protected is an essential function of government,” Granholm said.  “This new common-sense law is one more tool we can provide to help parents protect their children from the effects of violence and graphic adult content.”

Granholm first called for this type of legislation in her 2005 State of the State Address when she applauded Senator Hansen Clarke’s untiring efforts on the issue.  Senator Clarke (D-Detroit) and Representative Kathy Angerer (D-Bedford Twp.) were instrumental in getting the legislation passed and joined the Governor for today’s event.

In May, a series of independent investigations conducted at the request of the Granholm Administration found that children as young as age nine were able to purchase adult-rated video games (rated M for Mature or NC-17) nearly half of the time.  The investigations were conducted in Cass, Genesee, Ingham, Lenawee, Monroe, and Wayne counties and found that 26 of 58 stores in the six participating counties sold to minors.  Among the games purchased were Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt, Doom 3, Mortal Kombat, and Resident Evil.

“The graphic nature and wide availability of these games should disturb all of us, whether or not we are parents,” Granholm said.  “I am proud to sign legislation that will protect children from this kind of content.”

Granholm has been a long-time advocate on child protection issues.  As governor, Granholm has worked hard to prompt action on the legislation being signed today as well as the package of bills passed two weeks ago that will provide greater protections for children from convicted sex offenders.

As attorney general, the Governor formed the High-Tech Crime Unit in conjunction with the Michigan State Police to crack down on Internet child pornographers and child predators.  Attorney General Granholm took on retailers who made alcohol and cigarettes available to children and shut down Websites that sold the ingredients to make GHB, the “date rape” drug.

In addition to praising the efforts of Senator Clarke and Representative Angerer, Granholm also applauded law enforcement leaders who advocated on behalf of this legislation and who assisted with this summer’s undercover operations.  The Governor was joined by representatives of several local and county law enforcement agencies, including the Wayne County Sheriff’s department.

At today’s event, the Governor signed House Bill 4702 sponsored by Representative Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair Township) and House Bill 4703 sponsored by Representative Tom Pearce (R-Rockford) which are part of a four-bill package.  The two remaining bills, Senate Bill 416 sponsored by Senator Alan Cropsey (R-DeWitt) and Senate Bill 463 sponsored by Senator Gerald Van Woerkom (R-Norton Shores) have passed the Legislature and will be signed later in the week.

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