Brownback Decency

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Senator Sam Brownback wants to raise the possible penalties for radio and TV stations that violate federal decency rules.

The Kansas Republican is co-sponsoring a bill with Connecticut Democrat Joe Lieberman that increases existing fines ten-fold. Twenty other senators, including Kansas Republican Pat Roberts, have added their names to the legislation introduced Wednesday.

Existing federal law caps the penalty for violating FCC decency rules at $32,500 for each offense. Brownback and Lieberman want to raise the maximum per violation to $325,000.

Total fines for any single act of broadcast indecency would be capped at $3 million. Brownback says the legislation would add a “meaningful deterrent” to federal decency legislation approved by the Senate last year on a vote of 99-to-one.