From The Office of State Representative Sara Feigenholtz
CHICAGO – The Illinois House approved a measure Thursday to raise as much as $2 million for rape and other sexual assault treatment and prevention services as well as law enforcement training on rape and assault response.
The legislation, sponsored in the House by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and an initiative of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, creates a surcharge for strip clubs that offer or allow alcohol.
“State funding for sexual assault services has been slashed 28% over the last five years,” said Feigenholtz. “This measure helps close this funding gap to ensure that rape crisis centers can keep their doors open and continue to serve survivors of sexual violence and assault.”
Club owners could choose from two fee options: they could pay a flat fee based on annual gross receipts or instead choose to pay a $3 per patron fee.
“There is a correlation between sexually oriented businesses that combine nude dancing and alcohol that help promote the objectification of women that leads to sexual and domestic violence,” Feigenholtz said. “This is a common sense way to help provide vital services to survivors.”
The fees would only apply to adult entertainment venues that feature both live nude dancing and alcohol. There are no such venues in the city of Chicago.
House Bill 1645 has been approved by both chambers of the General Assembly and awaits consideration by the governor. For more information, please contact Feigenholtz’s constituent services office at (773) 296-4141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.