Md. Lawmakers Vote to Require Reports on University Porn Policies
Budget negotiators from the Maryland General Assembly agreed this afternoon to require reports from public universities about their policies on displaying or screening pornographic films. But the provision adopted by lawmakers does not make university funding contingent on the report.
The move appeared designed to contain a burgeoning controversy over the showing of a XXX film on the University of Maryland's flagship campus at College Park.
Last week, Sen. Andrew P. Harris (R-Baltimore County) proposed a budget amendment on the Senate floor that would have withheld $424 million in state aid to the university if administrators allowed the film to be shown. The amendment was withdrawn after the screening was canceled. Upon word that students planned to show the movie anyway, Harris has been threatening another amendment that could deny construction funds to the university.
The language adopted today by a joint House-Senate conference committee says the legislature "is concerned about the use of public higher education facilities to display or screen materials and films that are defined as obscene by the U.S. Supreme Court for purely entertainment purposes."
The provision asks for reports on policies for showing such films by Sept. 1 from the University System of Maryland and other public universities.
Both the full House and Senate are expected to vote in coming days on the state operating budget to which the provision was added.
April 7, 2009; 5:37 PM ET
Categories: General Assembly , John Wagner
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