State Rep. Ed Emery, senators pushing porn shop regulations in Jasper County, Missouri

Here’s a tip that you got a do-nothing politician – when porn bills and regulation become their top priorities. This idiot and his cronies are obviously spending way too much time on it.

CARTHAGE, Mo. from www.carthagepress.com -Rep. Ed Emery has proposed legislation that could drastically alter the way proprieters of adult entertainment do business in Missouri. Below is a brief evolution of the fight to control adult entertainment in Jasper County.

>>> December 07
• Rumors start to swirl that a building under construction at the County Route 100 interchange with I-44 is being built to house a strip club.

>>> January 08
• Residents, led by John Putnam and others, organize a group called Citizens for a Decent Environment to fight the rumored strip club.

>>> Jan. 22, 08
• Owner of the building, Ernest Doyon, confirms through Joplin Attorney Bill Fleishaker that he plans to install a “juice bar” in the building.

>>> Jan. 24, 08
• Jasper County Commission passes health ordinance putting new regulations on strip clubs in rural Jasper County.

>>> Jan. 25, 08
• Doyon applies for two business licenses for an adult video store and a juice bar. Application is denied because of problems with a tax ID number.

>>> Feb. 08
• State Rep. Ed Emery introduces House Bill 2052 the first state­ bill which would more strictly regulate adult-oriented businesses.

>>> Feb. 28, 08
• County Commissioners approve a new business license application for people wanting to open a business in the rural areas of the county.

>>> March 6, 08
• Doyon announces he will not build a strip club and instead plans to build an adult video store and possibly a bar serving alcohol.

>>> March 17, 08
• Doyon demands the county issue him a business license or list of the requirements he has to meet. The license was eventually granted.

>>> March 20, 08
• County Commissioners decide to shelve an ordinance written by Blake Wolf when a similarJackson Co. ordinance was challenged in federal court.

>>> May 08
• Emery’s first try at passing a bill to stiffen regulations on adult-oriented businesses dies at the end of the legislative session.

>>> Nov. 08
• Jasper County residents pass a ballot measure slapping a 10 percent tax on strip clubs in the county.

>>> Dec. 08
• Emery announces plans to reintroduce his bill regulating adult-oriented businesses.

>>> March 09
• Local residents cheer as a federal court throws out a lawsuit challenging a Jackson County ordinance more strictly regulating adult-oriented businesses.

>>> May 09
• Emery’s second bill slapping stricter regulations on adult-oriented businesses dies at the end of the legislative session.

Adult entertainment targeted for the third time

For the third year in a row legislators will try to pass bills forcing adult video and bookstores to change the layout of their stores and the way they do business.

Missouri State Rep. Ed Emery, who represents Sarcoxie and all of Jasper County east of County Route 130, said he plans to introduce a bill requiring shops that have video viewing booths to remove the doors from their booths and make sure the entire store, except for rest rooms, is clearly visible from the cash register or management station.

Emery said his bill will be almost exactly the same as House Bill 321, which he introduced in the 2009 legislative session. That bill never made it to the House floor but Emery said he may change tactic this year, which is his final year in the House.

“Last year we had decided to wait in the Senate bill believing that that would give a sense of just exactly how far we could go in the Senate,” Emery said. “We never could get the bill brought up with enough floor time to pass it or with a commitment from leadership to PQ (move the previous question) it. This year we will probably just pass our bill and try to put some pressure on the Senate.”

Senate Bills

Missouri State Senators Jack Goodman, from neighboring Lawrence County, and Matt Bartle, have already pre-filed bills for the coming legislative session in the Missouri Senate similar to the bill Emery said he will introduce.

Goodman’s bill is Senate Bill 617 and Bartle’s bill is Senate Bill 586.

Among the provisions in the two Senate bills are:

• No one is allowed to establish a sexually oriented business within 1,000 feet of a pre-existing school, church, state-licensed daycare, public library, public park, residence or other sexually oriented business.

• A person who has been convicted of certain crimes in the past eight years cannot have a significant interest in the sexually-oriented business.

• People cannot appear nude and employees cannot appear semi-nude in the business unless they are on a stage and they cannot knowingly touch a patron or the clothing of a patron.

• Business that show films displaying sexual activity or specific portions of a person’s anatomy must have an operator’s station that has an unobstructed view of all areas where patrons are permitted, except for rest rooms, the views must be direct line of sight and remain unobstructed and one employee must be at the operator’s station at all times.

• Sexually oriented business have 180 days from Aug. 28, 2010, if this bill passes, to come into compliance with the bill.

• These businesses shall not be open between midnight and 6 a.m.

Last year, Emery’s House Bill 321 was heard by the House Committee on Local Government and recommended by the committee.

Opponents of the bill testified that it unconstitutionally infringed on a form of expression because of content and will have adverse affects on local economies. They also claim the studies into the “secondary affects” of adult businesses, such as an increase in crime, divorce and other things, have not been “scientifically rigorous,” and regulation of sexually oriented businesses should he conducted at the local level.

Local Republican Party Chair John Putnam was among the people who testified in favor of the bill, saying secondary and even tertiary effects of sexually oriented businesses are clear and that the definitions and provisions do not violate the U.S. Constitution.

A local push

Putnam and other area residents formed a group called Citizens for a Decent Environment in 2008 when they heard that a group from Wichita, Kan. was building a strip club near the County Road 100 interchange with I-44.

Emery’s district includes the interchange.

That business eventually was built and opened, not as a strip club but as an adult video and bookstore called Vegas Video.

Prompted by the group, the Jasper County Commissioners stiffened the requirements for getting a business license in the county and made other changes to health ordinances aimed at regulating sexually oriented businesses.

The county was considering adopting a county ordinance with regulations similar to the proposed state law, but backed away when a county ordinance in Jackson County was challenged in federal court.

Eventually that challenge was dismissed, but the county has not revisited that proposed ordinance, which was written by the late County Attorney Blake Wolf.

County officials have said they would prefer that the state address the issue so the county doesn’t have to bear the financial burden of defending a county ordinance from court challenges.
Emery said he thinks a bill has a good chance of passing this year.

“I think a lot of times it just takes some time to inform enough of the legislators so that they’re willing to take a stand,” Emery said. “Most of us are not willing to take a stand on things we don’t understand and every year we can push that understanding a bit further. The bill is the same, I think we have good language. Sometimes it’s a matter of getting House leadership and Senate leadership to give it some time and that’s where we failed last year is that we just couldn’t get the commitment in the Senate to give it the kind of floor time it would take to pass it. That’s going to take some grass roots support so the main thing the public should know is if they don’t know about the bill, look it up, check into it, see what is in it, call my office and we can try to explain it to them and then make sure that they let their legislators know of their support.”

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