A state lawmaker in Arizona has introduced legislation to add a tax to pornography consumption, and she wants to use the revenue to help fund the border wall.
Rep. Gail Griffin, a Republican, introduced the bill, known as HB 2444, earlier this month. If passed, the proposal would require “distributors” — like technology companies or retailers — to install software that blocks access to pornographic website.
In order to remove the porn-blocking feature, users would have to pay a $20 state tax, plus any additional fees tacked on by the distributor, according to the Arizona Mirror.
Meanwhile, in Arizona… State Rep. Gail Griffin (R) wants to require all computers sold in state be locked from accessing porn unless users pay $20 fee to unlock them.
Naturally, the fee would go towards [checks notes] paying for Trump's border wall. 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/fipAmlLhMm
— Jamie O'Grady 🤔 (@JamieOGrady) January 22, 2019
The pending law stipulates any distributor that fails to install the appropriate software on its devices can be charged up to $500 for every pornographic website a user may visit during the unfiltered period.
Ryan Anderson, a spokesman for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, said he had never heard of the concept of adding an entrance fee for pornography access prior to the introduction of Griffin’s legislation.
Critics have argued the idea is a violation of citizens’ rights.
“It’s pretty clearly unconstitutional,” said Mark Stabile, a spokesman for the Free Speech Coalition, a nonprofit organization that often lobbies on behalf of the adult entertainment industry. He noted, “The border wall twist is new.”
How would the tax fund the border wall?
All the revenue raised by the pornography access fee would be deposited into the John McCain Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Fund, which the legislation establishes.
The Commerce Authority, alongside the director of the Department of Public Safety, would then be free to allocate grants to “uphold community standards of decency” as well as invest money toward “developing, expanding or strengthening programs for victims of sex abuse.”
At the top of the list of 10 items the grants can be used for is “build a border wall between Mexico and this state or fund border security.”
It should be noted it is unclear whether the McCain family supports the legislation. In order to pass, the bill would require the support of at least two-thirds of both the state House of Representatives and Senate.