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Posted: May 06, 2008

New Meaning to 'Cover Charge': Give $1 from Strip Club Patrons to Seniors

If a lawmaker in Florida has his way, $1 from every admission to adult-entertainment clubs in the state will go to ease the costs for seniors living in nursing homes.
State Representative Rick Kriseman is pushing what he calls a “personal needs” bill in the Florida Legislature that would levy a $1 surcharge on each strip club admission. The funds would be used to help defray the personal-allowance stipend seniors on Medicaid receive while in nursing homes, state-run mental hospitals and centers for the developmentally disabled.
“A woman by the name of Cecilia brought this problem to my attention,” Kriseman told the Naples News. “Seniors have very little money for when they go on field trips … if they want to get their hair done. And when they go out to eat, they’re going to places like McDonald’s because they can’t afford anything else. That’s not a knock on McDonald’s, but it’s probably not the healthiest food for our seniors to eat.”
Kriseman, a Democrat from St. Petersburg, said seniors on Medicaid currently receive $35 a month for all of their personal needs -- toiletries, fast food, movie tickets, etc. -- a figure that hasn’t changed for about 20 years. Kriseman’s bill would double the monthly allowance to $70.
“There are additional surcharges on things such as alcohol and cigarettes, and I thought that a $1 surcharge on admission to adult-entertainment clubs was high enough to fund the increase for seniors, yet not so high that club owners were going to argue that it would kill their business,” Kriseman added.
Kriseman’s bill, House Bill 751, defines adult-entertainment services as “private shower shows; peep shows; nude, semi-nude, or topless waitressing; lap, friction, couch, or table dancing; erotic massages or performance; nude photo sessions; and personal escort services.”
If passed, the measure could end up on the governor’s desk for signature as early as this month, observers say.

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