Senate Passes Impact Study Bill

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The Senate has passed a bill that funds ongoing studies into the effects of the media on child development.

The bill, which passed out of committee last March, 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 media on their behavioral development, then report the findings to Congress.

The center would then report to Congress with recommendations for action.

The bill authorizes the program, but does not appropriate the money, which is why the bill passed by unanimous consent--with no opposition. Now the second step will be to get the money for it, which won't be as easy.

When it was introduced in March, funding levels were put at about $90 million over the next five years.

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