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Alanis bill protecting children from exposure to sexually explicit websites passes Assembly
Juan Alanis
Assemblymember Juan Alanis addresses the Assembly prior to the vote on AB 3080 (Photo contributed).

Assemblymember Juan Alanis announced Thursday that his bill AB 3080 – Age Verification for Pornographic Websites – unanimously passed a full vote on the floor of the California State Assembly.

“This proposal is first and foremost about protecting children,” said Alanis. “We know there are serious negative effects on young people who are exposed to this type of material, who regularly consume it, and who become addicted to it at far too young of an age.”

In his speech on the Assembly floor prior to the vote, the Assemblymember highlighted how the consequences of early child exposure ripple out into future generations and society at large. 

AB 3080 would require these websites to utilize proven age-verification technology to confirm that the user is of legal age. Seventeen other states have passed similar laws already, and nineteen are actively considering legislation. The internet is filled with a plethora of free pornographic material that is readily accessible to anyone regardless of their age.  AB 3080 utilizes existing law, also known as the Parent’s Accountability and Child Protection Act, which has been long been used to protect children from other forms of harm.

When presented with privacy and free speech concerns, the Assemblymember pointed to the most recent decision from the Supreme Court denying an emergency stay against a much broader and restrictive Texas age-verification law, which was recently upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“I understand that California is different from other states, and may not benefit from a one-size-fits all legislation,” added Alanis. “I believe California requires its own approach which upholds our values and diversity. That is why I have promised my colleagues to continue working on this bill to ensure protections for the LGBTQ+ community and will work to further address privacy concerns.”  

AB 3080 passed both the Assembly Committees on Privacy and Consumer Protection as well as Judiciary unanimously, without any votes against the bill. Assemblymember Alanis has pledged to continue working in good faith with opposition groups in an attempt to craft a final piece of legislation that is a good fit for California.

“I am very serious about working with the opposition to find consensus if possible,” said the Assemblymember. “We will be holding serious working meetings with them as soon as next week. However, doing nothing on this issue and allowing the status quo to continue is unacceptable.”

The Assemblymember answered questions following the floor vote and stated that he has no desire to harm the adult entertainment industry or those who work in it. He simply wants to protect children. He pointed to the larger legislative package he has authored in his first two years of office and his nearly three decades as a Sheriff’s deputy as proof of his focus on protecting children.

AB 3080 now heads to the State Senate where it is pending referral to a committee for consideration. The Assemblymember has promised to amend the bill further in the Senate and bring it back to the Assembly for a final vote on a completed measure.