The license would have to be worn 'on the stripper's body at all times'
(WOAI) My name is Mercedes, and I have a license to strip!
As the Texas Legislature session is set to begin, State Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) has introduced a bill which would require that all strippers in Texas obtain a stripping license and display the license somewhere on their, uh, professional attire.
Zedler tells 1200 WOAI's Michael Board, who specializes in covering, or uncovering, these types of stories, says Zedler's bill is designed to clean up the stripping industry.
"You want to basically clean up the profession, and make sure you're not fostering things that a problematic anyhow," Zedler told Michael.
Zedler's bill, which is HB 337 if you're keeping track at home, would require that in order to obtain a license, the aspiring stripper must first complete a 'training court approved by the Texas Department of Human Services.'
That's right, Cinnamon and Crystal would have to show up at a state office and listen to a bureaucrat teach them about venereal disease and sex trafficking before they could start taking it off on stage.
"This course would basically talk about the spread of diseases, this kind of thing," Zedler said.
Then, according to the wording of the bill, the stripper "must conspicuously display the person's license on his or her person when conducting business at the sexually oriented business at which the person is employed."
The bill, mercifully, not specify exactly where the stripper would have to wear the badge, or, more pertinently, how it would be affixed.
Zedler says his bill includes exemption for art schools, nudist camps, and other places where people take their clothes off in public.
Zedler is no stranger to this. A decade ago, he led a fight to stop a Hooters Restaurant from going in near his home.
The bill would make it a 'violation under this section' for the stripper not to wear the badge, which Zedler stressed would 'not contain any personally indefinable information about the individual,' but leaves the grisly details, like whether the license would have to be large enough to completely cover the stripper's private parts, up to the DHS.
"I know this is a problem," Zedler said. "First, people are being forced to do it. Secondly, women get enamored of how much money they can make and eventually they are involved in prostitution and drug use. If you look into the industry and talk to anybody who has been there, they will tell you that people start working there as minors, then they progress to being strippers, once they get into that, it's drug possession, prostitution, and that kind of thing."
Zedler didn't rule out the possibility of more laws being introduced in the upcoming session to regulate sexually oriented businesses.