October 25, 1999 12:00pm
Crackdown on Adult Entertainment
Source: Free Speech X-press
by: Kat Sunlove
LANSING, MI -- A proposed legislative crackdown on the state's adult entertainment industry is weeks away from introduction. But already it's being peppered with questions about its legality. State House Republicans are developing a package of bills designed to impose additional regulations on the adult entertainment industry.
The package would:
1) Establish a statewide licensing system that would apply to any business that receives at least 10 percent of its revenue from "sexually oriented materials or services." [emphasis added]
2) Allow state health regulators to conduct on-site inspections of any facility where there may be "high-risk sexual contact."
3) Limit hours of operations of adult bookstores, strip clubs and nude dancing clubs to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. These businesses would not be allowed to open on Sundays or holidays.
4) Increase the minimum age of patrons from 18 to 21.
5) Prohibit closed interior rooms.
"Based on studies across the country..., there is an impact on the local crime rate, a negative impact on property values, increased traffic during odd hours of the day and night and a drain on local law enforcement," said House Speaker Chuck Perricone, who announced the effort after House attorneys spent seven months researching the issue.
"We believe there is a compelling public interest in making sure there is as healthy an environment as you can expect (in adult entertainment outlets) since the Constitution prevents us from barring the doors outright." [A revealing comment. Obviously, his real interest ain't exactly our "health.".]
Among those poised to challenge the legislation is the Michigan Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Vicki Cerrito, owner of Jon-Jon's Cabaret, a topless bar, also opposes the plan.
"What's the matter? Doesn't the state want my tax money?" asked Cerrito, who said she has run a clean operation for 27 years. "How can you allow other bars to stay open until 2 a.m. and casinos to stay open all night and close us down at 10 p.m.? It's unfair."
From an article by Charlie Cain for the Detroit News