Tm Farnum, an anesthesiologist and father of 5, founded the non-profit, Parents Against Underage Smartphones (PAUS) in February and has proposed a bill (ballot initiative no. 29) preventing cell phone companies from selling smart phones to children under 13 in Colorado, the Washington Post reports.

Background: Farnum founded PAUS after two of his children become "moody, quiet and reclusive" from overusing their smart phones and he researched the effects of screen time on young children, he told the Post. He says smart phones can be just as dangerous as cigarettes, alcohol and pornography — which all have legal age limits. But some Colorado politicians have argued that it's a challenge for parents, not the government.

How it works: Cell phone companies would be required to submit reports to the state Department of Revenue. First-offenders would be given a warning and second offenders fined for $500. Fines would be doubled for every violation after that.

What's next: PAUS will need to collect roughly 100,000 signatures — physical, not digital — in a year and a half to get on the ballot next fall. The official petition will be ready to start collecting those signatures by the end of June.

Go deeper

Child care crisis is denting the labor market

Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

New data from the Pew Research Center shows that parents are being hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and as far as job losses go, mothers and fathers are faring equally poorly.

Why it matters: Economists have been warning for months that the pandemic could do long-term damage to the economy as people remain unemployed for longer stretches of time.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Trump-Biden venom on display during final debate

Photos: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images; Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden twice referred to President Trump as "this guy," and Trump called the former vice president's family "like a vacuum cleaner" for foreign money.

Why it matters: The personal venom — during Thursday's final presidential debate, in Nashville — was a reminder that even during a more normal debate, nothing this year is normal.

Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's hopes of nuclear deal with Putin come down to the wire

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A surprise offer from Vladimir Putin has the U.S. and Russia once again circling a potential pre-election nuclear deal.

The big picture: The last treaty constraining the U.S. and Russia, New START, is due to expire on Feb. 5, 2021, two weeks after the next U.S. presidential inauguration. For the first time since the height of the Cold War, the nuclear guardrails could come off.