The Recording Industry Association of America has hired one of Annapolis' busiest lobbyists to fight a bill in the state Senate that would limit sales of recordings with obscene lyrics.
The bill passed the House of Delegates by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on Friday, but faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Prince George's), chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, has condemned it as the "worst bill" of the 90-day session. Senate President Melvin A. Steinberg (D-Baltimore County) also called it an "election year tactic."
The bill was sponsored by Del. Judith Toth (D-Montgomery) and championed by Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph Owens (D-Montgomery).
No record industry representatives testified against the bill during its House committee hearing, but Trish Heimers of the recording industry group said yesterday that after Friday's vote it was agreed to pay attorney Bruce Bereano a $5,000 retainer to fight it in the Senate. Bereano received more than $300,000 from 43 clients in the six months that ended last April, according to financial statements on file with the Maryland ethics commission.
The bill would prohibit the sale of targeted recordings to anyone under 18.