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House approves strip club fee to fund rape crisis work

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SPRINGFIELD — A measure that would charge some Illinois strip clubs a fee to help fund sexual assault crisis centers passed the House today and is headed to the governor for approval.

By Jayette Bolinski

SPRINGFIELD — A measure that would charge some Illinois strip clubs a fee to help fund sexual assault crisis centers passed the House today and is headed to the governor for approval.

Lawmakers approved the legislation, 92-23.

The owners of strip clubs where there is alcohol would have to pay either a $3-per-visitor fee or a flat fee based on the business' tax revenue.

Officials estimate the fee will generate $1 million, which would help fund sexual assault assistance programs and rape crisis centers, which have lost about 28 percent of their state funding during the past five years.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, a proponent of the fee, thanked lawmakers in both chambers for generating bipartisan support and for working out a compromise on the fee with the adult entertainment industry.

"This is an example of how the process should work," she said. "All parties worked together for the good of our state."

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