Illinois could soon become the first U.S. state to introduce financial protections for child social media influencers.
Such protections could entitle child influencers to a percentage of earnings, depending on how often they feature in online video content that generates revenue.
The bill is scheduled for consideration by the House of Representatives this week.
Here’s what we know so far.
The bill plans to amend Illinois’ Child Labor Law to include minors under 16 who appear in vlogs or other online video content.
It proposes that any minor who features in at least 30% of a vlogger’s revenue-generating videos over a 30-day period should be entitled to a share of that revenue. Their payments would be calculated based on the number of views the video received.
Their share would then be set aside in a trust fund that they can access after they turn 18, in line with Illinois’ existing legislation protecting child actors.
Parents or adults who feature minors in their vlogs must deliver an annual report to the Illinois Department of Labor.
This report will include the name and ages of any minors featured in their vlogs, the number of vlogs that generated compensation, the number of minutes each minor featured in the vlog and evidence that they deposited the minor’s share of revenue into a trust account.
Minors can sue if the adult fails to set aside the earnings.
Is it likely to pass?
Democrat Senators David Koehler and Linda Holmes introduced the bill, following concerns raised by a teenager in Koehler’s district. It underwent amendments before the Illinois Senate unanimously passed it in March.
The Bill will now need to win approval in both chambers, first in the House (this week) and later in the Senate, before it is delivered to Governor J.B. Pritzker for his signature.
Pritzker has said he intends to sign the bill into law. It would then become effective from 1 January 2024.