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Kansas strip club bill bumped to Senate

Governor Sam Brownback hates porn almost as much as Orrin Hatch, so you know this bill’s going to pass without amendment.

Kansas- from www.cjonline.com – A majority of House members cast aside calls for moderation Thursday by adopting for the second time a bill imposing broad regulations of the Kansas adult entertainment industry resisted by Senate leadership.

House Republicans with a libertarian streak sought to amend the bill to appease Senate critics and improve chances of sending a slice of reform to Gov. Sam Brownback.

However, passionate speeches by supporters of the full regulatory package pointing to side effects of adult bookstores and topless clubs — such as human trafficking — prompted rejection of the bid for middle ground.

The new House bill is likely to remain stalled unless advocates can maneuver around the objections of Senate President Steve Morris, the Hugoton Republican who sidetracked the House’s first attempt to make new law in this area.

“It’s going nowhere,” said Rep. Amanda Grossrode, a Lenexa Republican who pleaded for compromise. “In essence, we’ll get nothing done.”

Reps. Owen Donohoe, R-Shawnee, and Joe Patton, R-Topeka, insisted the House not bend to pressure from the Senate.

“It’s time to run our own House and not give the Senate a pass,” Donohoe said. “We need to start holding people accountable.”

Patton said opponents of the bill seemed to portray these racy venues as the backbone of the Kansas economy.

“Let me assure you, it is not,” Patton said.

Under the bill, new sexually oriented businesses wouldn’t be able to locate within 1,000 feet of a school, library, day care center or church.

Existing clubs would no longer be able to offer nude performances. Entertainers wouldn’t be permitted to touch customers because all dancers would remain 6 feet from clients and perform on an elevated stage. Each of these specialty businesses would close from midnight to 6 a.m., while normal bars could still stay open until 2 a.m.

Cities and counties would be allowed to adopt additional regulations if more stringent than the state law.

Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, said secondary influences of sexually oriented businesses made it necessary for the Legislature to throw a statewide blanket over the industry.

“The industry is all linked together,” he said.

Rep. Willie Prescott, R-Osage City, offered an amendment that would have deleted nearly all provisions of the bill touted by Knox.

It would have retained the 1,000-foot distance requirement for new adult businesses, but this more modest approach didn’t have sufficient support to advance in the Republican-led House.

A proposed amendment that would have allowed strip clubs in Junction City to remain open until 2 a.m. also went down to defeat.

In 2010, the Senate failed to pass a similar bill when the vote ended in a 20-20 tie.

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