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Home / legislature / House approves anti-‘revenge porn’ law, plus several others

House approves anti-‘revenge porn’ law, plus several others

revenge porn guy computer dark620Today’s legislative session included the House moving measures forward outlawing “revenge porn”; allowing those convicted of prostitution to have their records cleaned and allowing Arizona high school students to gain admission into an in-state school without taking fine arts.

REVENGE PORN:
Without dissent the state House voted Tuesday to make another effort to outlaw so-called “revenge porn.”

HB 2561 is aimed at situations where couples may have pictures or videos of each other naked or having sex. The problem arises if the relationship ends badly and the partner who has those pictures posts them on the Internet.

The legislation makes it a crime to put publish those items without consent of the other person.

Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, pushed through similar legislation last year, only to have it challenged by book publishers and the American Civil Liberties Union as an unconstitutional infringement on First Amendment rights.

The case was put on hold after attorneys for the state agreed not to enforce the law while they crafted a more acceptable version. But attorneys for challengers said they do not believe this is any more acceptable, meaning the case will be back before U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton if the Senate, which now gets the bill, approves the same language.

SEX TRAFFICKING:
The state House voted unanimously to allow people who have previously been convicted of prostitution to have their criminal records cleaned.

Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson, said the measure is aimed at helping women who were forced into prostitution. She said that in Arizona, the average age that happens is 13, meaning there are children even younger being sold.

“This helps people who were victims of sex trafficking, of human trafficking, to get their lives back,” she said.

HB 2553 now goes to the Senate.

UNIVERSITY ADMISSION:
High schoolers would be able to get into state universities without taking fine arts courses under the terms of legislation approved Tuesday by the House of Representatives.

State law requires the Board of Regents to establish admission qualifications. That includes having a set of requirements for guaranteed acceptance of Arizona residents.

Those standards currently include showing competency in English, math, laboratory science, foreign language, social science and fine arts.

HB 2261 requires the schools to accept credits in career and technical education courses in lieu of the fine arts credits now required. The 52-8 vote sends the measure to the Senate.

INSURANCE TAXES:
The state House voted Tuesday to reduce the taxes insurance companies pay the state.

Current law sets the levy at 2 percent of premiums collected. HB 2568, which goes to the Senate following the 38-22 vote, reduces that over the next decade to 1.7 percent.

The measure drew opposition from Democrats because by the time it is fully implemented the it will reduce revenues to the state by more than $35 million a year. “This amount of money is not chump change,” said Rep. Andrew Sherwood, D-Tempe, who pointed to the $75 million Gov. Doug Ducey wants to take this coming year from state universities.

Proponents said the decrease is designed to match the reduction lawmakers already have approved in corporate income tax rates. Insurance companies are not subject to that levy but instead pay the premium tax.

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