Jan 26, 2012

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California Taxpayers Reimburse ESA $1.3M

California Taxpayers Reimburse ESA $1.3M

The state of California has agreed to pay $950,000 of taxpayers money to the Entertainment Software Association to reimburse legal fees spent on fighting last year’s failed video game law.  The U.S. association already received payments from the state for legal fees incurred from two lower court rulings, but this agreement brings the reimbursement total from California to $1,327,000.

The ESA took this announcement as an opportunity to voice their disapproval of the law’s sponsor State Senator Leland Yee and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Both Yee and Schwarzenegger appealed the decisions of lower courts that struck it down, for wasting taxpayer funds in what the ESA calls “ill-fated attempts to impose clearly unconstitutional regulations on video games.”

The ESA also reminded the state of California, that in 2009, while Yee and Schwarzenegger were seeking to impose regulations that could potentially harm the video game industry, that same industry contributed $2.1 billion to California’s economy, and employed nearly 53,000 workers there.

“Senator Yee and Governor Schwarzenegger wasted more than $1 million in taxpayer funds at a time when Californians could ill afford it,” said ESA president and CEO Michael D. Gallagher. “However we feel strongly that some of these funds should be used to improve services for California’s youth.”

The ESA has stated that it will donate a portion of the reimbursement to develop after-school educational programs in Oakland and Sacramento as part of a new charitable education initiative that launches in spring.  Their goal is to “harness young peoples’ natural passion for playing and making video games and connect them to the development of critical 21st Century job skills.”

[Source: Gamasutra]