advertisement

Bartle's anti-porn bill on Missouri Senate floor two days after court appearance

Friday, February 5, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 8:53 a.m. CST, Friday, February 5, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — Two days after he testified before a federal grand jury in Kansas City, state Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee's Summit, and his chamber debated a bill almost identical to the one at the center of the investigation.

Bartle's bill would prohibit full nudity and limit semi-nudity in sex-oriented businesses throughout the state. Among other restrictions, these businesses must close by midnight and cannot serve alcohol.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri testified in opposition to the bill during a hearing last month, saying the bill would violate free speech protections.

"These laws appear to be designed to drive these businesses out of business," ACLU representative John Coffman said in an interview Thursday afternoon. "At some point, the over-regulation of a business simply because you don't like that business or you don't like the content that's being viewed in those businesses would violate the first amendment." 

No one testified against the bill Thursday, but Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, proposed an amendment to the bill that would exempt Kansas City. Justus said thousands of jobs would be at stake in her district, and the state should allow districts to regulate themselves.

"It is possible to self-regulate this issue," Justus said.

Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, however, said such an exemption could make Kansas City the "porn center of the Midwest." He said Justus' amendment comes from small businesses instead of local leadership in Kansas City.

Justus' amendment was defeated and the chamber voted to end floor debate on the bill.

As previously reported, Bartle's 2005 version of the anti-porn bill died in House committee after being passed through the Senate. Then-House Speaker Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, assigned the bill to what Bartle said he considered an "unfriendly committee." The move followed a $35,000 donation from an adult entertainment mogul to a campaign committee connected to Jetton.

Bartle said the timing of the hearing was "not coordinated" with his Tuesday grand jury testimony and that he filed this year's bill in December, weeks before he was summoned to testify in Kansas City.

In 2004, Bartle also sponsored a bill (signed by then-Gov. Matt Blunt) that would prohibit billboards from advertising sexually-oriented businesses within one mile of a state highway.

The Senate could vote on the bill as early as next week.



Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements