— In response to revelations announced by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General last session, Rep. John Payne (R-Dauphin) today introduced legislation that would establish penalties for state employees who use Commonwealth-owned computers, networks or cellular phones to view and/or exchange pornography.
“While most state agencies have office policies prohibiting such use, there are no state laws banning this blatant misuse of taxpayer-funded assets or penalties for violations,” Payne said.
Specifically, House Bill 780
would make it a third-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine, for a Commonwealth employee to knowingly use a Commonwealth-owned computer network or cellular phone to display, disseminate, view, access, transfer, transmit or retransmit any photograph, video or other visual depiction of explicit sexual materials.
The bill would exempt conduct that is authorized or required by official duties and will not apply to someone who received and viewed the offensive material without prior knowledge of its content, as long as he or she didn’t forward it to anyone and notified his or her immediate supervisor upon receiving such email.
“My hope is that we can put a common office policy into statute; so that anyone caught using taxpayer-funded resources for this purpose can face the proper consequences for his or her inappropriate actions,” Payne added.
House Bill 780 has been referred to the House State Government Committee.
For more information about Payne’s legislative priorities, visit RepPayne.com
, or Facebook.com/RepPayne
Representative John Payne
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam