TOPEKA, Kan.—With the end of the 2011 legislative session nearing, socially conservative members of the Kansas legislature had one last chance to keep a bill alive that would have imposed severe restrictions on adult entertainment business in the state. The vote, which took place today on the Senate, failed to garner the 24 votes necessary to approve a motion by Sen. Steve Abrams (R-Arkansas City) that would have pulled the bill out of committee and onto the Senate floor.
“Without a word of debate,” reported the Tokepa Capital-Journal, “the chamber voted 17-22 to reject Abrams' motion.”
As previously reported, a procedural maneuver this week by Senate President Steve Morris (R-Hugoton)—in which he declared the House's regulatory bill "materially altered," a term for legislation substantially altered by the House after leaving the Senate—moved the bill to the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, where it was expected to die an embarrassing death as the session slipped away. The only chance to undo the maneuver by Morris was for the Abrams motion to garner the 24 votes necessary to move the bill back onto the Senate floor for a full vote.
According to the Capital-Journal, Abrams, who could have probably seen a compromise bill passed by both chambers, “said the state had an obligation to bring order to sexually oriented businesses that damage communities with inspiring criminal behavior and creating other negative secondary effects.”
Apparently, that sense of urgency was not shared by a majority of senators.