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Gov. vetoes video game bill



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Gov. Jon Huntsman has vetoed a bill that would have cracked down on stores selling graphic video games to children.

The bill would have exposed stores to civil action if they advertised that they don't sell video games rated "Mature" to underage children, but did anyways. Lawmakers said it should be considered deceptive advertising.

House Bill 353 would let a parent file a civil lawsuit against the retailer.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Morley, R-Spanish Fork, also provides exemptions like protecting stores with employee-training programs and forgiving the first two instances.

Morley says the bill includes no criminal penalty and stores could only face civil action after the third violation.

Huntsman's veto letter says he opposed the bill because the language in the bill is too vague and likely would have been struck down by courts as a violation of the of the Dormant Commerce Clause or the First Amendment.

He also said it would have led to stores deciding not to label any video games, rather than risk running up against the law. "The unintended consequence of the bill would be that parents and children would have no labels to guide them in determining the age appropriateness of the goods or service, thereby increasing children's potential exposure to something they or their parents would have otherwise determined was inappropriate under the voluntary labeling system now being recognized and embraced by a significant majority of vendors," Huntsman wrote.

A message left with Morley Wednesday was not immediately returned.

His bill passed in the Senate 25-4 and in the House 67-3, creating the possibility lawmakers could override Huntsman's veto.

(Copyright 2008 Bonneville International Corporation. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed. AP contributed to this report.) AP Rights & Restrictions

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