COPY-House poised to approve stiff increase in indecency fines

CAPITOL HILL Broadcasters could be in for bigger fines for airing racy programming.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill today are taking up a bill that would boost the maximum fine for indecency from 32 and a-half thousand dollars to a-half (m) million.The measure easily won the approval of the House Commerce Committee last week.In addition to increasing fines, the House bill also would allow the Federal Communications Commission to fine individual entertainers, like morning shock jocks, without first issuing a warning as is the case now.All five members of the F-C-C favor stiffer fines. But some lawmakers worry the measure could threaten free speech and cause more broadcasters and entertainers to censor themselves.

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