Mo. Lawmaker Takes Aim at Adult

Tod Hunter
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri lawmaker intends to reintroduce a law creating a host of new rules for adult sex stores and strip clubs, including a ban on lap dances. The legislation was proposed in 2008 as House Bill 2026, but it did not pass.

Rep. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, has said he intends to file the bill again in the 2009 legislative session, which begins Jan. 7 and runs through mid-May. He said the language in the bill would remain mostly the same as it was in 2008.

The previous legislation would have required strip clubs to be located at least 1,000 feet from schools, churches, parks and day care facilities.

Among its provisions, the bill requires that "No employee who appears in a semi-nude condition in a sexually oriented business shall knowingly or intentionally touch a patron or the clothing of a patron in a sexually orientated business," and further states that semi-nude dancers "shall be and remain on a fixed stage at least six feet from all patrons and at least eighteen inches from the floor in a room of at least 600 square feet."

The original version of the bill also stated that "No sexually oriented business may remain open at any time between the hours of 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays. Such businesses shall be closed on all official state or federal holidays and Sundays."

Emery said the "most powerful" aspect of the bill would ban any obstructed views in a strip club, requiring all areas of the establishment be in open view.

The original HB 2026 was discussed at a hearing in March 2008, but was never scheduled for a vote.