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South Carolina Bill outlawing lap dances stalls in House

South Carolina- The House Judiciary Committee essentially suffocated a regulatory measure Tuesday, heartily agreeing on a voice vote to hand the bill off to a different committee for more study.

Some attending the meeting joked the bill is unlikely ever to be heard from again this year.

“I hope that’s not the case,” said Rep. Garry Smith, R-Greenville, [pictured] who introduced two amendments to the bill, which is designed to regulate adult businesses in the state.

The bill would have mandated a distance rule between strippers and patrons in clubs, and also set closing hours for such clubs at midnight. Smith’s amendments, deemed unclear and as “overkill” by some committee members, would have made each incidence of a patron coming closer than six feet to a working club employee or of touching the working employee, a separate violation.

That meant patrons and employees each could accumulate thousands of dollars in fines in one visit to an establishment on a given day or night, and be subject to years of imprisonment.

Smith’s other amendment would have made it a misdemeanor violation against the club or establishment if the business operator “knowingly and willfully” allowed such violations to occur.

“I think this is a reasonable approach in addressing these kinds of issues, that communities will stand behind,” Smith said, asserting that crime is an element that often follows such adult-oriented businesses as strip clubs.


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