An Assembly committee has approved a bill designed to ban unsolicited text message advertising in New Jersey.

The Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee Thursday amended the measure to broaden its scope, from banning messages that will cause a charge or usage deduction to messages that may cause a charge or deduction.

The bill's sponsor believes that change effectively bans all unsolicited text message ads received in the state.

The bill also requires mobile phone companies to allow customers the option of blocking all incoming and outgoing text messages.

Penalties are $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for subsequent offenses. The measure was unanimously approved by the Assembly in 2010, but stalled in the Senate.

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