VIDEO: Strip clubs under fire in new house bill

Rebecca Zepick / State of the State KS

A bill that would ban sexually oriented businesses like, strip clubs, from serving alcohol and operating after midnight received a hearing at the capitol Monday.

The new bill would also prevent any new sexually oriented business from building within 1000 feet of an elementary or middle school, church or public park or library. It would keep any semi-nude employee at least six feet away from patrons and would make any violation of the proposed law a misdemeanor.

Supporters it will protect people from the impact the businesses may have on the community.

“These bills will help towns regulate sexually oriented businesses, as far as stand off distances, from churches, school and playgrounds,” said Phillip Cosby from the National Coalition for Protecting Children and Families.  “Also the regulation of the business it’s self inside. The adult entertainment industry, no more lap dances, no more couch dances, the private rooms, the VIP rooms eliminated…some of those things that cause negative effects to a community.”

Supporters also say the proposed law would prevent cities from having to defend themselves against expensive lawsuits to keep the stores out. But others feel the impact of the businesses is being overstated.

Opponents say the new bill will add heavy regulation to a industry that already has government oversight. They say if the bill successfully passes, it would take local control away from cities and counties across Kansas.

“These businesses are regulated locally,” said Philip Bradley of the Kansas Licensed Beverage Association. “These businesses are taxpayers and legal. They have more enforcement in them than most businesses because they have liquor licenses, department of revenue agents, and also all the rest of the inspection folks that you have in businesses.”

Similar legislation has been heard by the legislature on year’s past but supporters hope this is the year it finally makes it through. Opponents of the bill will testify at the State house Tuesday.