Bill would limit access to adult Web sites
By By Steve Swogetinsky/regional editor
Jan. 7, 2002
People who allow children access to their pornographic Internet Web sites could face felony charges if lawmakers approve a bill before the Mississippi Legislature.
State Sen. Terry Burton, D-Newton, is sponsoring the proposal for the second year in a row. The issue passed the state Senate last year, but died in the state House.
If approved, "computer luring" would be a felony punishable by three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Burton defined "computer luring" as intentionally using a computer to have or solicit sexual contact with a child.
The bill would let people take safeguards to restrict the access of children, such as requiring passwords for a Web site. Internet providers or employers would not be liable.
Lawmakers file bills
Burton's bill is one of hundreds of proposals pre-filed for the 2002 Legislature which opens its three-month session on Tuesday. Proposals cover all subjects, including education, economic development and state finances.
In East Central Mississippi, members of the legislative delegation joined Burton in pre-filing proposals for the 2002 session.
State Rep. Tommy Horne, I-Meridian, has filed two bills that would affect volunteer firefighters.
One would give them legal authority to direct traffic at accident scenes and require motorists to comply. State Sen. Videt Carmichael, D-Meridian, plans to file a similar bill in the Senate.
Horne is also sponsoring a bill that would remove an additional fee for volunteer firefighters when they purchase a distinctive license tag for their car.
Sales tax holiday
State Rep. Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, filed a proposal to create a "sales tax holiday" on the sale of some clothing items and school materials during a weekend in August.
Snowden said he believes exempting purchases from sales tax for a weekend will not only make back-to-school shopping more affordable for families, but will also benefit the economy in two ways.
Snowden is also proposing a bill that would gradually reduce the state sales on grocery items.
Income tax break
State. Rep. Eric Robinson, R-Meridian, has filed a bill that would exempt state residents who are on active duty in the military from paying state income tax.
Robinson added that this bill will have "an uphill battle" because of the sluggish economy.
Besides the Internet bill, Burton also has filed a proposal that would change the way appointees are chosen for the state College Board.
In 1944, when the current law was written, Mississippi had seven congressional districts. College Board appointees are chosen today from within those districts.
Burton wants to choose board members from within the state's four new congressional districts, which are expected to be drawn this year. Three appointees would come from each district, he said.