Governor signs strip club surcharge, law goes into effect January 2013

August 20, 2012

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (D) issued the following statement Aug. 18 regarding Gov. Pat Quinn’s (D) signing of House Bill 1645, which will help fund rape crisis centers through fees based on strip club profits or admissions.

Simon said: “I thank Gov. Quinn for standing up for rape victims and crisis centers across the state. This new revenue stream will help offset cuts that threatened critical services. When a sexual assault victim goes to a police station or a survivor calls a hotline, we need trained staff ready to respond. This bill helps to keep lights on and doors open, jobs filled and responders trained.”

Under the law, strip club owners can choose to pay the state on an annual basis a $3 per patron fee 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 taxable receipts of $500,000 to $2 million would pay $15,000; and clubs that report taxable receipts of less than $500,000 would pay $5,000, according to the new law.

The law goes into effect January 2013 and applies only to strip clubs that serve or permit alcohol consumption. It is projected to raise up to $1 million per year, or roughly one-sixth of what the state spends on sexual assault prevention and response annually. In fiscal year 2011, rape crisis centers in Illinois served more than 18,000 clients and reached nearly 475,000 people with prevention education.

The $3 per patron surcharge and fee structure was a compromise reached by rape crisis advocates, club owners and sponsors state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights, and state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago. The bill originally called for a $5 per patron entry fee.

I would like to thank the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault as well as Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon for their constant and unwavering support for this new law,” Hutchinson said. “Victims of sexual assault must be able to access emergency services to fully recover from their traumatic experiences. I am hopeful the extra funding for sexual assault centers across Illinois will ensure no victim is turned away for care when they need it the most.”

The new revenue will 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 are serving Illinois residents — 10 in the Chicago-metro region and 22 in the non-metro area. State funding for the centers has decreased about 28 percent in the past five years, forcing many centers to cut counselors and/or create waiting lists for counseling services while demand for services increased. One center closed its doors.

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 among 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 pursue similar measures.

Posted Aug. 20, 2012


  1. luvArt

    October 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

    “Studies cited by state supreme courts in recent years also make a correlation between alcohol, strip clubs and social ills, such as sexual assault” So the strip clubs are still here contributing to sexual assault, higher rates of violent crimes within the communities where they exist, contribute to higher rates of sex crimes against underage girls, higher ratios of pedophiles within the community and the State thinks the answer is to impose a tax and then spend that tax money on centers which help victims of sexual assault?! We take a harsher view on smoking cigarettes! Isn’t that like putting a bandaid on an amputated limb, not effective.
    “Crime potential is why Illinois prohibits convicted sex offenders from entering strip clubs, and zoning regulations create huge buffers between where the clubs locale and places where women, children and senior citizens live, work, play and worship.” Really? Then how is it that State Street Station is across the street from Chuckee Cheese! How is it that Big Foot is so near Rolling Green Elementary? They are both in family neighborhoods. When will Rockford realize that the abundance of these clubs and so called “modeling” and “masuese” locals contribute to the fact that Rockford is in the top 10 in the nation for Sex Crimes, Ratio of Pedophiles and violent crimes?! It is a proven statistic that there is a direct coorelation. We have politicians who do not want a gambling boat but it is ok for us to Demogogue or Daughters. There are underage girls wrking in these places, they are recruited, slipped alcohol and drugs and then discarded and called whores.

  2. luvArt

    October 17, 2012 at 10:29 am

    If the Rock River Times woulpd like to provide a service to the community which would reduce sex crimerates, violent crime rates and the acceptance of pedophiles within the community (a pedophile is a adult who desires sex with someone underage; there are underage girls working in the sex industry locales and there is prostitution going on within them with underage girls) why not swtart a petition to close these places down! The perverts will go elsewhere looking for their appetite for underage girls to be fullfilled. GOOD! Let’s discourage pedophiles from moving here and coming here for “entertainment”!

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