The bill, which failed to pass after it was introduced mid-session in 2008 by Rep. Ed Emery, R — Lamar, proposes not only to ban lap dances, but also to enforce stricter distance regulations and remove doors and other obstructions from video-store viewing booths and strip clubs, among other things.
Under these regulations, dancers would have to “remain on a fixed stage at least six feet from all patrons and at least 18 inches from the floor in a room of at least 600 square feet,” and strip clubs would have to be located at least 1,000 feet from churches, parks, schools and daycare facilities, according to the bill.
“The main thing, and I think the most powerful part of the legislation is the way it opens up the businesses so you can’t hide from view,” Emery said. “You can go into these quote ‘viewing booths’ unquote and watch your pornography, and what other states have found is if you have a combination of taking the doors off these viewing areas and ensuring that employees can always see into these areas, that helps prevent problems, and that’s part of what the bill does.”
Emery, who says the bill failed to pass in 2008 because its mid-session entrance prevented it from getting “a fair hearing,” says he is confident the bill will pass this year.
The 2009 legislative session runs from Jan. 7 through mid-May.