CDA, the House, and a May 2 deadline

Time is of the essence!

It is important to us.  Very important.

It is important – because it affects the physical and spiritual wellbeing of our families and our communities.

Law enforcement officials have reported it, and the courts have accepted it as a statement of fact:  Wherever sexually oriented businesses exist – strip clubs, adult bookstores and the like – an increase in crimes is inevitable.  Crimes of a violent sexual nature, prostitution, and illegal drug sales lead the list.

And the damage to our families goes even beyond that increase in crimes and the corresponding decrease in property values.

It goes to the very heart of our families.

Less well documented, perhaps, but undeniable, are the adverse effects that these businesses have on the marriages, families and individual lives of those who frequent them.

The Community Defense Act (CDA) would place two straightforward regulations on all sexually oriented businesses in Ohio on a uniform, consistent basis.  One would limit the hours of operation, requiring that they close between Midnight and 6:00 am, the times that government studies show most of the crimes linked to these businesses occur.

The other would require that a distance be kept between nude employees and their patrons, putting an end to so-called “lap dances,” a form of prostitution that is commonplace in most nude strip clubs.

These two regulations, applied consistently throughout the state, would go so far in limiting the damage inflicted on our families and communities through sex businesses.

To demonstrate to our legislators in Columbus how important we felt these two regulations were to our families, we made use of a rarely-used Constitutional provision that allows us – concerned voters – to sponsor a bill.  By collecting over 220,000 signatures on a petition approved by the Attorney General, we were able to present CDA to the Ohio Senate and the House of Representative on January 2, the first session day of the 127th General Assembly.

May 2007

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
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Thursday
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2
CDA
Deadline
In the Legislature
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2nd round of signatures must begin!

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This initiative petition process allows the General Assembly four months in which to act on the proposed legislation.  CDA must be passed by both the Senate and the House by May 2.

At this time, thanks to committed leadership, CDA seems to be progressing through the Senate at a pace consistent with that May 2 deadline.

We are very concerned, however, about passage of CDA by the House of Representatives.

Although received on the very same day, CDA has yet to be assigned to a committee in the House for consideration – the first step in the process toward passage.

Getting CDA through the House by that May 2 deadline can still be accomplished – but only if leadership in that chamber makes passage of CDA a priority and takes extraordinary action.

There are, we understand, many important bills to be considered during these first few weeks of the new legislature.  No others, however, affect the wellbeing of families as dramatically as this one.  And no others have a May 2 deadline.

If CDA has not been passed into law by May 2, we will be forced to collect a second round of signatures in a very short time frame in order to place the bill on a ballot for vote.  That is a costly and difficult procedure that we should not be required to repeat.

Please click on the link below to easily contact both the Speaker of the House, Jon Husted, and the representative from your district, to emphasize to them how important this family legislation is to you, and to encourage them to do everything within their power to pass CDA into law by the May 2 deadline.

The entire procedure requires less than 60 seconds.  And hearing from you, a concerned constituent, makes such a difference.