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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 3, 2018 03:13 PM
From: Representative Christopher B. Quinn
To: All House members
Subject: Additional Funding for School Safety Measures
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation to provide additional funding for schools to implement safety measures to protect students and teachers across the Commonwealth.

Over the past few years, acts of violence in schools seem to be occurring more frequently and with more intensity. From Colorado to Connecticut to most recently in Parkland, Florida, students have experienced unthinkable actions by peers in a place that should promote learning and enrichment, safety and protection.

One factor that may be contributing to the rise in, and intensity of, school violence is the material kids see, and act out, in video games. The National Center for Health Research recently posted an article finding “studies have shown that playing violent video games can increase aggressive thoughts, behaviors, and feelings in both the short-term and long-term. Violent video games can also desensitize people to seeing aggressive behavior and decrease prosocial behaviors such as helping another person and feeling empathy (the ability to understand others). The longer that individuals are exposed to violent video games, the more likely they are to have aggressive behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.”

While at the state level we have undertaken numerous actions to combat this, including Act 44 of 2018, I believe there is still more we can do. As such, I plan to introduce legislation which would assess a 10% sales tax on video games that contains violent material. The generated revenue from this tax assessment will placed into a restricted fund for the sole purpose of providing funding opportunity for school safety enhancements, a proposal similar to one the State of Rhode Island is considering.

Schools should be a place in which students should be safe. I respectfully ask you to join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation and help provide the vital funding needed for our schools to ensure the safety and well-being of our students.

Document #1

Introduced as HB108

Description: Former HB2704 - Amending the act of March 10, 1949, known as the Public School Code of 1949, establishing the Digital Protection School Safety Account; and providing for duties of school entities and the department.

Document #2

Introduced as HB109

Description: Former HB2705 - Amending the act of March 4, 1971, known as the Tax Reform Code of 1971, providing for video game tax, establishing the Digital Protection for School Safety Account and imposing penalties.