Proposed Mo. Law to Ban Under-21 Models

Jeff Berg
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri state Legislature is currently considering a bill that would force a 20 percent tax on revenues of all adult video stores, strip clubs and other “sexually oriented businesses,” charge $5 fee for each person entering their doors, and would outlaw anyone under the age of 21 from being employed by nude modeling studios.

Senate Bill 32 also prohibits the display of sexually explicit films, videos, DVDs and live performance in viewing rooms at adult businesses, and would classify any hotel or motel where a room is rented more than two times in a 10-hour period as an “adult motel.”

Violations of the proposed laws would be treated as Class A misdemeanors.

“The goal of the bill is to make Missouri inhospitable for these businesses,” Republican Sen. Matt Bartle told the Associated Press.

Bartle, currently chairman of the Missouri Senate’s judiciary committee, also sponsored a bill that prohibited sexually oriented businesses from advertising on billboards and helped enact a law that banned adult clubs from featuring dancers younger than 19 years old.

The constitutionality of Bartle’s billboard law is currently being decided in U.S. District Court.

If passed, Bartle’s new legislation would effect at many as 1,000 businesses operating inside of Missouri that currently contribute about $12 million a year in Missouri tax revenue.

All new tax revenue created by the bill would be put toward Missouri’s state school money fund.

Similar ideas have been proposed in a series of other states, including Utah and Texas, but any laws that have been passed continue to face legal challenges.

“This is nothoping more than an argument over sin and what someone believes is sinful,” Angelina Spencer, director of the Association of Club Executives, told the Associated Press. “You don’t have to like the industry. But we live in this republic that’s supposed to be run as a democracy.”