Stripper bill hits snag

Alas, the state stripper bill may have bumped and ground to a halt.

Last week, state Rep. Scott Talley, R-Spartanburg, introduced a bill that would require exotic dancers to perform only on stages and stay at least 6 feet away from customers while performing. This, in effect, would put a stop to lap dances, in which patrons are seated and the dancer is in immediate contact.

Talley and other supporters of the bill claimed it is aimed at preventing prostitution and the use of illegal drugs at strip clubs. But adult club advocates say the bill is just election-year politics.

We might be more enthusiastic about this bill if the strippers, themselves, had asked for it. But they oppose it, which is understandable because lap dancing can be lucrative.

This bill does have the appearance of a political ploy, a solution in search of a problem. Undercover cops can take care of prostitution and illegal drug use at strip clubs without banning lap dances.

At any rate, the bill is in trouble. While it was approved by a subcommittee last week, House Judiciary Committee members on Tuesday sent the bill to a different subcommittee for review, where its future is uncertain.

The pertinent question, we think, is: Don't our lawmakers have something more important to do?