Gov. Jerry Brown says there are $8 billion worth of cuts coming to state programs this summer, and that's not even enough to fill the $16 billion sinkhole California faces July 1.
One enterprising legislator has a wild idea, though: Tax strip club patrons $10 each time they enter an exotic dancing establishment. Damn. Talk about your cover charge.
Assemblyman Das Williams of Oxnard plans to tax you like a gangster taxes drug dealers:
AB 2441, which is moving through the state Assembly as we speak, would levy a $10 fee on each and everyone of you good gentlemen (and the freaky dates who love them) who enter a "sexually oriented business."
The bill defines such a business as ...
... a nightclub, bar, restaurant, or similar commercial enterprise that does both of the following: (1) Provides for an audience of two or more individuals live nude entertainment or live nude performances. (2) Authorizes on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages, regardless of whether the consumption of alcoholic beverages is under a license or permit issued under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.
Once a hot dancer gets all freaky on your lap the state of California is going to reach in your pocket?
Williams' office states that the cash is needed to ...
... help fund sexual assault awareness, prevention and treatment services, forensic exam rape-kits and programs that support victims of sexual exploitation through human trafficking.
Not exactly a budget savior. He adds:
There is a clear and urgent need for funding for effective delivery of services and care for women who have been sexually assaulted.
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Roger Jon Diamond, an attorney representing SoCal strip clubs, laughed off the bill when we called him last night, saying it wouldn't be approved and that, if it did, it wouldn't pass muster with the courts.
You can't, he argued, tax a business based on content. Wouldn't be constitutional.