Republican state Senator Jim Summerville of Dickson is sponsoring a bill that would increase the penalties for business owners, managers and employees who display materials such as magazines that contain information harmful to minors. Summerville’s bill expands the people who could be held criminally responsible for such displays to include retail store managers and employees, distributors, suppliers and wholesalers and changes the offense from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor, the highest level criminal offense short of a felony. “This legislation does not prohibit the production and sale of this material, and thus raises no First Amendment issues. All these parties can protect themselves by carefully observing the rules in the current statute, including sealing the material and wrapping it in an opaque cover,” Summerville says in a release. The current law applies to the display of harmful materials including videocassettes, books, magazines, pamphlets, video games and computer software games that are generally considered pornographic. But Summerville said even more mainstream publications should fall under the requirements. “I’m afraid that even responsible parents are often unaware of the sexual content of what were once respectable publications,” Summerville said in a release that specifically mentions magazines such as “Cosmopolitan” for their racy headlines. Summerville says members of the non-profit group Concerned Women of Tennessee, which has leaders living in Roberston County, brought their concerns to him after The Hearst Corporation declined the group’s request to shield “Cosmo” covers from young eyes. The Senate Judicial Committee recommended passage of the bill Tuesday and sent it to the Calendar Committee. Sponsored in the House of Representatives by Mike Sparks of Smyrna, the bill is currently in the Criminal Justice subcommittee. Nearing the end of his first term, Summerville is seeking re-election in the 25th District, which after redistricting now includes Dickson, Cheatham, Hickman, Humphreys and Robertson counties. He is opposed in the Aug. 7 Republican primary by Rep. Joshua Evans of Greenbrier, former Senator Kerry Roberts of Springfield and Wayne White of Slayden.