Archive for Friday, February 18, 2011

Kansas House panel takes up bill on restrictions for strip clubs and sex shops

February 18, 2011, 2:51 p.m. Updated February 18, 2011, 10:02 p.m.

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— Customers at strip clubs in Kansas could still get booze but not lap dances under a bill endorsed Friday by a legislative committee to restrict sexually oriented businesses.

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee left most of the proposed “Community Defense Act” in place, including a “no touch” rule for employees and customers. It prohibits people from appearing intentionally “in a state of nudity” inside clubs, arcades, theaters, non-academic modeling studios, stores selling sex toys and other sexually oriented material and what the bill describes as “sexual encounter centers.”

The bill would require semi-nude dancers to remain at least 6 feet away from their customers, and it would require sexually oriented businesses to remain closed from midnight to 6 a.m. A new business couldn’t be located within 1,000 feet of the property line of an existing one or a school, library, day care center or house of worship.

But the committee balked at banning the sale of alcohol in such businesses, the one concession it made to owners and operators who said the rules would drive them out of business. The bill originally contained an alcohol ban, but members voted 13-6 to remove it.

“My concern is it wouldn’t necessarily drive them out of business but it would drive them underground,” Rep. John Rubin, a Shawnee Republican, said of an alcohol ban.

Supporters of the bill contend they’re trying to combat social problems, such as crime and lower property values that come with sexually oriented businesses. They also said they’re trying to help small, rural communities that often don’t have the financial resources to fight adult businesses if those businesses want to file lawsuits over local ordinances.

Phillip Cosby, executive director of the Kansas City-area office of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, said the legislation endorsed by the committee is a good step toward protecting communities, though he’d hoped the alcohol ban would survive.

“It wasn’t a home run, but it was a triple. I can live with it,” said Cosby, a retired Army master sergeant from Overland Park who’s become a leading Kansas advocate of new restrictions on sexually oriented businesses. “Small towns are going to be looked after, and they will have the backing of the state.”

Critics of the legislation argue that said regulation of sexually oriented businesses is best left to cities and counties, noting some urban communities have good records in controlling them and their effects. Some legislators question taking time to deal with the issue when the state must close a projected $492 million budget shortfall.

“The Legislature is probably intruding in areas where we don’t need to be,” said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat. “We’ve got a lot more important things that we need to be dealing with here.”

Supporters expect the House to approve the measure. It passed a similar bill last year, only to watch the Senate reject it on a 20-20 vote. This year’s measure could face a similar fate.

“I don’t know that I’ve seen a whole lot of change,” said Senate Majority Leader Jay Emler, a Lindsborg Republican.

In the House committee, banning alcohol at sexually oriented businesses inspired the most debate. Some committee members concluded that strip clubs and adult cabarets are the only ones like to sell alcohol anyway and said they aren’t trying to force them to close by denying them a big source of revenue.

Freshman Rep. Amanda Grosserode, a Lenexa Republican, compared the alcohol ban to the ban on smoking in most public places, including restaurants and bars, approved by legislators last year. She said she would have opposed the smoking ban.

“The same will hold true for this,” she said. “No more will I vote to ban the consumption of alcohol in a certain type of establishment than I would have voted to ban smoking in any other form of establishment.”

But Rep. Joe Patton, a Topeka Republican and an attorney, said sexually oriented businesses already are “softer targets” for crime.

“It’s really clear from the studies that alcohol is a significant part of that dynamic,” he said.

Comments

sad_lawrencian 4 years, 4 months ago

Haven't we had about enough of this "legislating morality" nonsense? First they shut down the porn shops and strip clubs in Wichita. Now they're coming after the rest of Kansas. When will it end??

thomgreen 4 years, 4 months ago

Could we worry more about the basic stuff like balancing the budget, education, and infrastructure.

BruceJ 4 years, 4 months ago

I think I may have just saw a pedestrian jay walking. Better go after him too! These crazy law breakers are all over the place!

/sarcasm

kthxbi 4 years, 4 months ago

Anthony Brown represents the 38th district, and he is on the committee. Let him know what you think. Phone: 785-296-7679

Email: anthony.brown@house.ks.gov

Steve Bunch 4 years, 4 months ago

I understand there's an amendment to allow strip clubs and porn shops but forbid abortions within 500 miles of them. Concealed carry will be allowed in strip clubs, even though that would impose a hardship on the performers.

kthxbi 4 years, 4 months ago

If you outlaw nakedness, only the naked will have guns. Or something.

Munsoned 4 years, 4 months ago

But imagine the tips if they could holster it creatively.

Munsoned 4 years, 4 months ago

So much for conservatives wanting to do away with big government.

slowplay 4 years, 4 months ago

Conservatives have always wanted to legislate morality.

BlackVelvet 4 years, 4 months ago

not all conservatives.....I am a conservative and I happen to like naked

bolshavik_vw 4 years, 4 months ago

America! Freedom? Both are going down the tubes faster than a speeding Bullet. So ready to move out of here to Canada. This Country sucks! And I hate to say it, Democrats are not the ones to Blame. After we got this Joke of a Governor, in the state, everything started to go to H*** in a Handbasket. If he wants to cut something so bad, why doesn't he start with the bags under his eyes.

Jacks_Smirking_Revenge 4 years, 4 months ago

It's a slippery slope from banning alcohol in strip clubs and forcing them to close from midnight to 6AM towards banning all clubs from operating from midnight to 6AM. Then it's banning alcohol from the clubs. From there they can start banning people out on the street from midnight to 6AM, and imposing curfews. It's a hop, skip and a jump to arresting people for indecency if caught having exposed ankles or dancing together.

Ok so I need to spend more time outside of my tinfoil hat but really Kansas, a morality bill designed to appease whom exactly? What's next? Women's sufferage? Fire? How much further backwards do we need to go?

Keith 4 years, 4 months ago

So glad our state economy is better so we can spend time on important stuff like this.

ivalueamerica 4 years, 4 months ago

another anti business bill from the pro business no government intrusion party?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 4 months ago

And again the Republican Morons find a "moral" issue to incite the billy bob and sally sue voters. You would think there was a Presidential Election coming up and they were salivating over their plans to tear down the curent lawfully elected administation. Such great representation we have here in "bleeding Kansas".

Randall Uhrich 4 years, 4 months ago

Rethugs! Still trying to legislate morals. Haven't they learned anything?

jcpainting 4 years, 4 months ago

I swear, every day kansas passes bills that are just plane stupid!!!!!!!!! why would they do this?? seriously?? wtf

Bill Lee 4 years, 4 months ago

Kansas legislators act as if I don't know the difference between right and wrong. I do.,

jhawkinsf 4 years, 4 months ago

What do you call a proposal (or bill) that has one thing in it that you like and several that you don't? Keep that stuff away from schools and parks, places children are likely to frequent. As to the other stuff, well, I'm not that concerned. Can't we all just compromise.

dontcallmedan 4 years, 4 months ago

Repubs do not know what that word means.

laaiken 4 years, 4 months ago

I was a republican for 20 years, then I finally woke up and realized that they were nuts. They preach less government, but they really mean less regulation of businesses and more regulation of people who believe differently from them.

I still wonder how long before we once again become the laughing stock of the nation when this current Kansas government stops the teaching of evolution in our public schools once again.

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