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Tim Johnson on Families & Children

Democratic Sr Senator (SD)


Voted NO on killing restrictions on violent videos to minors.

Vote to kill an amendment that would prohibit the distribution of violent video programming to the public during hours when children are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial portion of the audience. Voting YES would kill the amendment proposing the new restrictions. Voting NO would suport the amendment proposing the new restrictions.
Reference: Bill S.254 ; vote number 1999-114 on May 13, 1999

Give parents tools to balance work and family.

Johnson adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Strengthen America’s Families
While the steady reduction in the number of two-parent families of the last 40 years has slowed, more than one-third of our children still live in one- or no-parent families. There is a high correlation between a childhood spent with inadequate parental support and an adulthood spent in poverty or in prison.

To strengthen families, we must redouble efforts to reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, make work pay, eliminate tax policies that inadvertently penalize marriage, and require absent fathers to pay child support while offering them new opportunities to find work. Because every child needs the attention of at least one caring and competent adult, we should create an “extended family” of adult volunteer mentors.

Family breakdown is not the only challenge we face. As two-worker families have become the norm, harried parents have less time to spend on their most important job: raising their children. Moreover, parents and schools often find themselves contending with sex- and violence-saturated messages coming from an all-pervasive mass entertainment media.

We should continue public efforts to give parents tools to balance work and family and shield their children from harmful outside influences. For example, we should encourage employers to adopt family-friendly policies and practices such as parental leave, flex-time, and telecommuting. Public officials should speak out about violence in our culture and should press the entertainment media to adopt self-policing codes aimed at protecting children.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC4 on Aug 1, 2000

Small Business loans for child care businesses.

Johnson co-sponsored the Child Care Lending Pilot Act

A bill to create a 3-year pilot program that makes small, non-profit child care businesses eligible for SBA 504 loans. Amends the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to allow the proceeds of loans made through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to local development companies for plant acquisition, construction, or expansion to be used to assist small, nonprofit child care businesses, provided that: (1) the loan will be used for a sound business purpose approved by the SBA; and (2) each business receiving the assistance meets eligibility requirements applicable to for-profit businesses.

Source: Bill sponsored by 17 Senators 03-S822 on Apr 8, 2003

Rated 16% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-Family-Value voting record.

Johnson scores 16% by the Christian Coalition on family issues

The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.

    Our Five-Fold Mission:
  1. Represent the pro-family point of view before local councils, school boards, state legislatures, and Congress
  2. Speak out in the public arena and in the media
  3. Train leaders for effective social and political action
  4. Inform pro-family voters about timely issues and legislation
  5. Protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith.
Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: CC website 03n-CC on Dec 31, 2003

Disallow renting violent-rated video games to children.

Johnson co-sponsored disallowing violent-rated video game rentals to children

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. CLINTON: I rise today to introduce a bill to help parents protect their children against violent and sexual media. I stand with the parents and children of the Nation, all of whom are being victimized by a culture of violence.

As parents, we monitor the kind of people who interact with our children. If somebody is exposing our children to material we find inappropriate, we remove our children from that person. Yet our children spend more time consuming media than doing anything else but sleeping and attending school. Media culture is like having a stranger in your house, and it exerts a major influence over your children.

This bill would take an important step towards helping parents protect their children against influences they often find to be inappropriate--violent and sexually explicit video games. Quite simply, the bill would put teeth into the video game industry's rating system, which specifies which video games are inappropriate for young people under 17. By fining retailers who do not abide by the ratings system, this bill sends a message that the ratings system is to be taken seriously.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; never came to a vote.

Source: Family Entertainment Protection Act (S.2126) 05-S2126 on Dec 16, 2005

Permanent crime database for volunteers with kids.

Johnson co-sponsored creating permanent crime database for volunteers with kids

A bill to amend the National Child Protection Act of 1993 to establish a permanent background check system. Congress finds the following:

  1. In 2006, a total of 16,500,000 adults volunteered their service to education or youth programs.
  2. An estimated 6.6% of individuals in the United States will serve time in prison for a crime during their lifetime. The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System of the FBI maintains fingerprints and criminal histories on more than 47,000,000 individuals, many of whom have been arrested or convicted multiple times.
  3. Of individuals released from prison, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years.
  4. Given the large number of individuals with criminal records and the vulnerability of the population they work with, human service organizations that work with children need an effective and reliable means of obtaining a complete criminal history in order to determine the suitability of a potential volunteer or employee.
  5. The large majority of Americans (88%) favor granting youth-serving organizations access to conviction records for screening volunteers and 59% favored allowing youth-serving organizations to consider arrest records when screening volunteers.
  6. Even when accessible, the cost of a criminal background check can be prohibitively expensive, between $21 and $99 for each volunteer or employee.
  7. The Child Safety Pilot Program demonstrates that timely and affordable background checks are possible, as background checks under that program are completed within 3 to 5 business days at a cost of $18.
    Source: Child Protection Improvements Act (S.2756/H.R.5606) 08-S2756 on Jul 28, 2008

    Call for a White House Conference on Children and Youth.

    Johnson co-sponsored calling for a White House Conference on Children and Youth

    The White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 Act - Directs the President to call a White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 to: (1) encourage improvements in each state and local child welfare system; and (2) develop recommendations for actions to implement express policy regarding federal, state, and local programs. The Congress finds the following:

    1. In 2005 there were over 3,000,000 reports of child abuse and neglect, and only 60% of the children from the substantiated reports received follow-up services and 20% were placed in foster care as a result of an investigation.
    2. Almost 500,000 children and youth were in foster care at the end of 2004 and nearly 800,000 spent at least some time in foster care throughout the year.
    3. There is an over-representation of certain populations, including Native Americans and African-Americans, in the child welfare system.
    4. The State courts make key decisions in the lives of children involved in the child welfare system, including decisions of whether children have been victims of child abuse, whether parental rights should be terminated, and whether children should be reunified with their families, adopted, or placed in other settings.
    Source: Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 Act (S2771/HR5461) 08-S2771 on Mar 13, 2008

    More funding & services for victims of domestic violence.

    Johnson co-sponsored Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

    Introduction by co-sponsor Sen. Kay Hagan (D,NC):
    We have a serious responsibility to ensure that women and families are protected. The rates of violence and abuse in our country are astounding and totally unacceptable: domestic violence affects more than 12 million people each year. In my home state, 73 women and children are killed on average every year because of domestic violence.

    Since 1994, the STOP Program has provided grants for services, training, officers, and prosecutors, and has transformed our criminal justice system and victim support services. And this bill includes the bipartisan SAFER Act, which helps fund audits of untested DNA evidence and reduces this backlog of rape kits. I ask you: What other victims in America have to identify the attacker before authorities will take action? None.Introduction by Sen. Chuck Grassley(R,IA):
    I urge my Republican colleagues, as I will do, to support the motion to proceed. There has long been bipartisan support for the Violence Against Women Act. Too many women are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence. There is overwhelming bipartisan support for 98% of what is contained in S. 47. [Since our negative vote last session], controversial provisions have been removed. The key stumbling block to enacting a bill at this time is the provision concerning Indian tribal courts. Negotiations are continuing, and compromises would allow the bill to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. Introduction by Sen. Pat Leahy (D,VT):
    Our bill will allow services to get to those in the LGBT community who have had trouble accessing services in the past. The rates of domestic and sexual violence in these communities are equal to or greater than those of the general population. We also have key improvements for immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence.

    Source: S.47/H.R.11 13-S0047 on Jan 22, 2013

    TV shows should have explicit viewer advisories.

    Johnson co-sponsored bill that TV shows should have explicit viewer advisories

    Declares that each of the four major television broadcast networks and their affiliates, independent television stations, the Public Broadcasting System, and cable programmers and operators should:

    1. not telecast programming containing dramatized violence;
    2. superimpose explicit viewer advisories throughout programming containing dramatized or documentary violence;
    3. provide explicit audio and on-screen viewer advisories immediately prior to transmittal of such programming;
    4. not transmit programming promotions or advertisements that contain violence;
    5. develop a standard scheme for classifying programming on the basis of the amount and type of dramatized violence it contains; and
    6. educate and inform viewers about the harmful effects of exposure to television violence.
    Source: H.RES.202/S.RES.122 93-SR122 on Jun 18, 1993

    Other candidates on Families & Children: Tim Johnson on other issues:
    SD Gubernatorial:
    Dennis Daugaard
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    John Thune
    Larry Pressler
    Mike Rounds
    Rick Weiland

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    Page last updated: Aug 13, 2014