As the session progresses, more and more measures are assigned to committees where bill sponsors, proponents and opponents have a chance to speak before senators on a certain issue. The Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee recently held a hearing to listen to testimony on three bills; one bill would strengthen penalties against sex offenders and two measures would further regulate sexually oriented businesses in our state.
Senate Bill 653 would deny any person convicted of a felony sexual offense against a victim less than 17 years of age from being allowed to participate in the 120-day "shock incarceration program" (SIP) offered by the Department of Corrections. This is a 12-week, multi-phased program that focuses on assessment, employability and life skills, educational and vocational guidance, substance abuse education, and the development of viable release plans. Those individuals that complete SIP are granted probation upon completion.
Currently, individuals who are convicted of certain unclassified and Class A felony sexual offenses against children are prohibited from participating in the program. By adding this provision in SB 653 to our state's statutes, we will strengthen the penalties against those who violate children in our state.
The committee also heard testimony on Senate Bill 586 and 617, two measures that would further regulate sexually oriented businesses found within our state. The identical bills would:
Prohibit anyone from establishing a sexually oriented business within 1,000 feet of a pre-existing school, house of worship, state-licensed day care, public library, residence, or other sexually oriented business after Aug. 28, 2010.
Not allow a person to establish a sexually oriented business if he or she has been convicted of, or released from confinement, for certain crimes within the last eight years.
Require sexually oriented businesses that exhibit certain materials to follow specific guidelines.
Prohibit these types of businesses from opening between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.; allowing alcohol to be sold, used or consumed on the premises; and letting anyone under the age of 18 on the premises.
Provisions found in these two measures will enable our state to get a grasp on these types of businesses that have already gotten out of control in Missouri. We do not want our state to be known as a place that supports these undignified businesses. Once these bills are voted out of committee, then my colleagues and I will have a chance to consider the measures for debate.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Legislation targets adult businesses
In his latest column, Sen. Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, writes about legislation targeting adult businesses: