Session is over! Of all my eight sessions in the Missouri House, this had to have been the most unusual one. It was a much calmer, subdued session in large part due to the budget shortfall. Beyond the budget we were able to pass a few key pieces of legislation that will help to improve the state. I plan to discuss these issues in the coming weeks, but I want to start with one of the most important problems we were able to address this session.
Locally, we’ve been faced with the many negative side-effects of the adult industry and the stores that cater to that unsavory market. Anyone who’s traveled I-44 to Springfield knows exactly what kind of businesses I’m referring to. It is unfortunate that in our conservative corner of the state we are forced to deal with the many bad issues resulting from pornography.
We were able to pass legislation this session to address the worst effects of these places. Senate Bills 586 and 617, handled by our own Southwest Representative, Ed Emery, are intended to stop the bad behavior and unsavory activities occurring in these businesses.
Some of the tenants of these bills are as follows:
Restricts locating a sexually-oriented business to beyond 1000 feet from a preexisting school, house of worship, daycare, public library, public park or private residence.
Nudity with contact to patrons is not allowed. Employees must remain on a stage that is at least six feet from customers and 18 inches off the floor.
Sexually-oriented businesses cannot be open between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.
Requires employees to have an unobstructed view of patrons. Closed doors many times accommodate illegal behavior.
The negative effects of these businesses are numerous, but it is not uncommon to see increased sexual and violent crimes in areas where they are located. The property values of those living within close proximity usually plummet.
This bill is now headed to the governor to be signed into law. It is important for our community and the state. He knows we expect him to sign this bill. I encourage you to contact his office to let him know you support these bills being signed into law. His office may be reached by visiting http://governor.mo.gov or by calling 573-751-3222.