ESA collects $280K from California

California forks over thousands in attorney-fee reimbursement after state's failed fight to pass game-restriction legislation.

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In the last few years, American taxpayers have forked over hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Entertainment Software Association due to lawmakers' failed attempts to legislate the gaming industry. Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota have all been ordered to reimburse the group's legal fees in recent years, with the Land of Lincoln being hit for $500,000.

Today the ESA is adding to its tally. The trade group has collected $282,794 from the state of California in reimbursed legal fees over a defeated game law. The ESA had originally demanded reimbursement of $320,000 from the state.

Drafted by state senator Leland Yee and signed by governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, the law would have criminalized the sale of violent games to minors. It also would have required a two-inch-by-two-inch sticker with a solid white "18" outlined in black to appear on the front cover of such games.

"California deserves more from its legislators than pursuing flawed legislation," ESA CEO Michael Gallagher said in a statement. "State employees are facing pay cuts. California's services are being scaled back. And anxiety is rising in Sacramento to find funds. Rather than tackling real problems affecting Californians, they chose to waste time, money, and state resources. It is shameful that legislators pursued personal agendas in spite of the facts."

The law was initially blocked from taking effect, and then declared unconstitutional. California is appealing that decision.

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