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Kansas Sex club regulation bill stalls

from – The Senate narrowly rejected Wednesday a House bill that would have imposed state regulation of the adult entertainment industry in Kansas.

A vote of 20-20, with Topeka Sen. Vicki Schmidt [pictured] casting the deciding vote, prevented the measure from advancing to Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson.

The bill would have placed new restrictions on adult businesses including adult video, topless clubs and related stores that sell adult sex products.

Advocates of reform said the state should take action to control an industry that produces a wide range of secondary criminal activities. However, critics said the legislation amounted to an intrusion into decisions best left to cities and counties.

“These regulations are very constitutional and very commonsensical,” said Sen. Tim Huelskamp, a Fowler Republican seeking the Republican nomination for Congress in the First District.

He sought to obtain Senate approval of the bill without engaging in Senate committee hearings on the bill.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat who voted against the bill, said some of the strongest supporters of the reform were the same legislators who championed the idea of open markets and personal independence.

“This bill defies that belief,” Hensley said. “This bill is unwarranted.”

With the preliminary vote count at 21-19, Schmidt changed her “yes” vote to “no” to create a tie that blocked passage.

The owner of three dance clubs in Shawnee County previously said the bill would undermine the economic vitality of the two dozen dance clubs across Kansas. The bill would require the clubs to close at midnight and mandate dancers remain at least six feet from customers.

Senate action didn’t kill Senate Bill 514. The measure remains alive in a House-Senate conference committee.

Sen. Pete Brungardt, a Salina Republican and chairman of the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, voted against the bill.


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