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Senate passes bill protecting ‘child influencers’

State Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, is pictured on the Senate floor Wednesday.
Jerry Nowicki
Capitol News Illinois
State Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, is pictured on the Senate floor Wednesday.

Minors featured in commercial vlogs would have to be compensated

The Illinois Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that gives financial protection to children whose parents make money posting videos of them on social media.

Those children are known as “influencers” because the videos, known as vlogs, are intended to generate interest in things like products and services or social and fashion trends. Vlogs that get enough views on platforms like YouTube, Facebook and TikTok can generate substantial revenue through things like advertising, partnerships with the platform or subscription fees.

Senate Bill 1782 was introduced by Democratic Sens. David Koehler, of Peoria, and Linda Holmes, of Aurora, but it underwent significant amendments before passing the Senate. Koehler said if the bill is signed into law, Illinois would be the first state in the nation to enact such legislation.

The final version would provide that if a minor is featured in at least 30 percent of a vlogger’s revenue-generating video during a 30-day period, then the minor is entitled to a share of the revenue. That money would have to be set aside in a trust fund that the minor could access after they turn 18.

It would also require the vlogger to report periodically to the Illinois Department of Labor the names and ages of any minors engaged in the work of vlogging, the number of vlogs that generated compensation, and the number of minutes each minor was featured in the vlogs. It would also give minors the right to sue if a vlogger knowingly or recklessly fails to set aside the minor’s earnings in a trust account.

The bill passed out of the Senate 56-0 and will head next to the House for consideration.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide, as well as hundreds of radio and TV stations. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Peter Hancock joined the Capitol News Illinois team as a reporter in January 2019. Email: phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com