Bill Proposed to Make Missouri ‘Family Friendly’

Anne Winter
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri lawmaker is sponsoring a new bill that would regulate adult businesses’ hours of operation, impose zoning restrictions and raise the age limit of patrons and employees from 18 to 21.

Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee’s Summit, R, believes the image of Missouri is spoiled by adult store billboards and signs lining the state’s roads.

“These signs and businesses just give a rather seedy look to the state,” Bartle’s spokesman Todd Scott said.

The bill would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to enter an adult bookstore, cabaret or video store unless he or she is making a delivery or repair.

It would also require adult stores to operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and remain closed Sundays and state holidays. Scott says Bartle’s office would prefer to treat adult-oriented stores like mainstream businesses.

“We would like to invite tourists here,” Scott said. “We have made a lot of efforts to promote Missouri as a family-friendly state.”

Bartle has sponsored several bills seeking to regulate adult businesses in the past. He has proposed banning sexually suggestive billboards along state highways, barring full nudity and “erotic” dancing in strip clubs and imposing a $5 customer fee and 20 percent revenue tax for business owners.