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R.I. bill would tax violent video games to pay for mental-health counseling in schools

Providence Journal - 2/21/2018

Feb. 21--PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Rep. Robert Nardolillo III, R -- Coventry, will introduce legislation to increase mental health and counseling resources in schools by implementing a tax on video games rated mature or higher.

"There is evidence that children exposed to violent video games at a young age tend to act more aggressively than those who are not," Nardolillo said in a statement. "This bill would give schools the additional resources needed to help students deal with that aggression in a positive way."

Because states cannot ban the sale of certain video games to minors, Nardolillo's proposal would allocate money to counteract the aggression they may cause. The legislation would levy an additional 10-percent sales tax to video games sold in Rhode Island with a rating of "M" or higher.

Revenue generated by this tax would then be placed in a special account for school districts to use to pay for counseling, mental health programs, and other conflict-resolution activities.

"Our goal is to make every school in Rhode Island a safe and calm place for students to learn," he said. "By offering children resources to manage their aggression today, we can ensure a more peaceful tomorrow."


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