Legislature Increases Minimum Age Requirement for Strippers to 21

Credits: HuffPost UK

The House has approved Senate revisions to a bill targeting human trafficking, including a provision to raise the minimum age for workers in adult entertainment establishments from 18 to 21.

The legislation, SB 796, initially proposed by Republican Sen. Clay Yarborough and Republican Rep. Carolina Amesty, seeks to address concerns about exploitation and trafficking in the adult entertainment industry.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill with just three dissenting votes, and the House followed suit with a 104-3 vote. The amendment to the House companion bill, HB 7063, incorporates the language from SB 796, effectively raising the age limit for performers and employees in adult establishments.

Stripper (Credits: YourTango)

Republican Rep. David Borrero supported the amendment, highlighting the risks of human trafficking and exploitation in strip clubs and similar establishments.

He emphasized the vulnerability of minors and undocumented immigrants to exploitation by owners of such establishments, framing the legislation as a means to protect young people from being targeted in these environments.

However, Democratic Rep. Michele Rayner opposed the amendment, criticizing it as an attempt to impose values and control over women.

She argued that the legislature should not be involved in regulating adult entertainment. She suggested that some legislators supporting the bill may have personal interests in strip clubs, though she did not provide evidence to support this claim.

Stripper (Credits: Nakase Law Firm)

The bill’s fate had been uncertain before being included as an amendment to the larger anti-human trafficking bill. It includes provisions to extend the repeal date of the direct-support organization for the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, revise the human trafficking hotline number, and make changes to rules for vendors licensed under the Beverage Law.

The legislation imposes misdemeanor charges on owners of adult establishments for employing individuals under 21. It enhances the penalty to a second-degree felony for those under 21 who work in these establishments.

However, questions have been raised about the bill’s effectiveness, with some questioning whether it will actually lead to any significant change or merely serve as symbolic punishment.

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