JEFFERSON CITY — Sen. Matt Bartle's eight-year quest to crack down on strip clubs and adult bookstores finally succeeded Thursday night.
The Missouri Senate voted 27-4 to ban full nudity and prohibit adult businesses from selling alcohol. The clubs also would have to close between midnight and 6 a.m.
"Most human beings understand that if you mix alcohol and women dancing in the nude, that's a tough combo," said Bartle, a Lee's Summit Republican. "Bad things happen."
The vote, combined with the House's 118-28 vote earlier Thursday, sends the bill to Gov. Jay Nixon. A spokesman for the Democratic governor said he was inclined to sign it.
Opponents said that the law will hurt all strip clubs and that hundreds, maybe thousands, of workers will lose their jobs. They said some clubs, including one or more of the 13 in Kansas City, could close — even as the state is seeking to create jobs in a recession-racked economy.
"What we do here has consequences," said Sen. Jolie Justus, a Kansas City Democrat who opposed the bill.
But proponents of the measure didn't buy that argument.
The adult entertainment industry "has become an embarrassment," said Rep. Ed Emery, a Lamar Republican. "I've talked to more Missourians who have used that word. I hear people say, 'I'm driving down the highway and I see these things (billboards) and what do I tell my kids?' "
Bartle's battle to close the clubs began when he arrived in the Senate in 2003.
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