Ill. lawmakers pass strip club tax


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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A tax on Illinois strip clubs may start bringing in new funding to help rape and sexual assault victims, under a measure passed by the Illinois legislature.
The measure passed the House on a 92-23 vote Thursday. It now goes to the governor's desk for approval.
Although some Republicans balked at creating a new tax, lawmakers seemed to agree they needed to fund sexual assault prevention and critical services for rape victims.  Budget cuts to nearly every state agency has whittled away state funding for rape crisis centers over the last several years.
The measure would place an annual surcharge on strip clubs that have live nude dancing and permit alcohol.  Businesses could pay $3 per person who enters or pay a graduated amount based on their sales.

Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today issued the following statement regarding the House's 92-23-3 concurrence to House Bill 1645, Amendment 3.  She says this fee will help fund rape crisis centers that have seen state funding decline about 28 percent over the past five years.
Simon 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."