Represenative Joseph Almeida (D-Providence) has proposed a 25% tax on food, drinks, and admission fees for Rhode Island adult entertainment establishments. 

Besides raising funds to help plug the state’s growing fiscal gap, the bill would also set aside some of the tax revenue to prosecute child pornographers and to treat sex offenders.  While those are great causes that need more funding, I completely disagree with imposing such an exclusive tax on adult entertainment.  I also think that the bill makes an offensive and inaccurate correlation–that adult entertainment is somehow responsible for pedophilia and child pornography.  Understandably the ACLU argues that if the bill is passed, it will be deemed unconstitutional. 

To make matters worse, the Providence Journal reported on two moments of exteme immaturity on the part of the legislators.  First, there were giggles when “…House Finance Chairman Steven Costantino glanced at, blushed, and then said of the anatomically-explicit legislation: ‘There are parts [of this bill] I am afraid to read on television.’”  Are you ready for the explicit, scary words?  They include: genitals, the pubic region, a buttock, female breast, and (gasp!) areola.  These are the people we trust to run out state?  People who are embarassed to use anatomically correct words? 

Also, “…in one of the lighter moments during the hearing, Costantino asked Almeida if he had a sense of how much, if anything, the clubs were charging now as admission fees and Almeida shot back: ‘Why are you asking me? What are you trying to say?’”  Haha, it’s so funny when lawmakers insinuate that other lawmakers frequent strip clubs!  Ugh. 

After the hearing, it was decided to hold onto the bill for further study.  Please contact your local represenatives and tell them to reject this bill and/or grow up.