Strip club surcharge passes House, awaits governor’s approval
Online Staff Report
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — By a vote of 92-23-3, the Illinois House of Representatives approved House Bill 1645, Amendment 3, which would establish a strip club surcharge and fee structure.
Funds raised through the surcharge and fee structure would go to fund rape crisis centers, which have seen state funding decline by about 28 percent over the past five years.
The bill now awaits Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s (D) signature.
Under the bill, strip club owners would choose to pay the state a $3-per-patron surcharge on an annual basis, or opt to pay a flat fee based on the taxable receipts they report to the Illinois Department of Revenue each year.
Clubs that report taxable receipts of $2 million or more would pay $25,000 a year; clubs that report total receipts of $500,000 to $2 million would pay $15,000; and clubs that report total receipts of less than $500,000 would pay $5,000, according to the legislation.
The $3 surcharge and fee structure in House Bill 1645, Amendment 3, replaced the $5-per-patron entrance fee proposed in an earlier bill. The new language was agreed to by rape crisis advocates, club owners and sponsor State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights.
The newly generated revenue would go into the new Sexual Assault Services and Prevention Fund and be distributed by the Department of Human Services for community-based assistance to victims of sexual assault and sexual assault prevention. At least 32 rape crisis centers — 10 in the Chicago-metro region and 22 in the non-metro area — would benefit from the funding. State funding for the centers has decreased about 28 percent in the past five years.
In a statement May 31, Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (D) said: “I want to thank all of the advocates who answer rape crisis hotlines and counsel women, men and children who survive sexual abuse and assault. Sen. Hutchinson worked hard on your behalf to negotiate a compromise with the adult entertainment industry and garner bipartisan support for legislation that will help restore critical funding during tough budget times. My thanks also go out to Rep. Feigenholtz who ushered this bill through the House, again with bipartisan support. This is an example of how the process should work. All parties worked together for the good of our state.”
Last year, the Texas Supreme Court upheld legislation that funded crisis centers through a $5 entrance fee at strip clubs that permit alcohol based on the correlation between alcohol, live nude dancing and negative secondary effects, such as sexual assault. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge of that decision, effectively opening the door for other cities and states to purse similar measures. California is among the states seeking legislation; it is considering a $10-per-patron fee.
Posted May 31, 2012
Print This Article