From the Office of State Senator John Carona

For Immediate Release
October 13, 2003
CONTACT: Paul Reyes, 512-463-0116 or 1-800-662-0334

Carona/Keffer Amendment Added to HB7
Preventing Sexually Oriented Businesses from Obtaining
Private Club Permits in Dry Areas

State Senator JOHN CARONA (R-Dallas) was successful in amending House Bill 7, an omnibus government reorganization bill, to include language that will prevent sexually oriented businesses (SOBs) from obtaining Private Club Registration Permits in dry areas. The issue has surfaced recently in the Lake Highlands area as the City of Dallas has been successful in closing a number of SOBs in their current locations due to violations of city ordinances and their attempt to relocate.

"This amendment addresses the best interests of historically 'dry' communities by shielding them from the adverse effects of introducing alcohol sales in combination with a sexually oriented business," said Senator Carona, who drafted the amendment with State Representative Bill Keffer (R-Dallas). The combination of alcohol sales and SOBs has been demonstrated to increase crime and decrease property values, economic development, and the general quality of life in the neighborhoods where they locate. "Since many people choose to live or locate their businesses in dry areas specifically for that quality of life," Carona said, "it is generally offensive to see that it is allowable for alcohol sales to be introduced into such a community through the vehicle of a sexually oriented business."

Senator Carona and Representative Keffer have been contacted by numerous constituents regarding the proposed relocation of a sexually oriented business to the "dry" area of Lake Highlands in East Dallas and their impending request for a Private Club Registration Permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). Residents and business owners in the area have mounted a cohesive effort to oppose the request before the TABC by demonstrating at the site and collecting an estimated 4,000 plus sworn affidavits in opposition to the request.

HB7 was signed into law by Governor Perry and takes effect on January 11, 2004.