A bill funding a long-range study of the impact of electronic media on children has passed by unanimous voice vote in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
The bill, which would look at the impact of television, films, DVD's video games, the Internet and cell phones, was introduced last October by longtime video game critic Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) for Senators Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.).
The bill would create a program under the auspices of the Centers For Disease Control to track the media habits of children and impact of the meida on their behavioral development, then report the findings to Congress.
The program would be funded through 2010, with a report to Congress no later than Dec. 31, 2011. It would also require that initial projects deal with media's role in "cognitive and social development during infancy and early childhood," and the the development of childhood obesity.
Funding would break out as follows: Fiscal year 2006, $10 million; FY2007, $15 million; FY2008, $15 million; FY2009, $25 million; FY2010, $25 million.
A floor vote has not yet been scheduled for the bill.