Florida Gov. DeSantis signs bill to raise minimum age for strippers

The bill deals with human trafficking issues

click to enlarge Florida Gov. DeSantis signs bill to raise minimum age for strippers
Photo via Gov. Ron DeSantis/Twitter
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill that includes preventing strippers under age 21 from working in adult-entertainment establishments.

DeSantis said the bill will protect “very vulnerable individuals that are being exploited in our state.”

The bill deals with human trafficking issues.

“It will ensure that if businesses are not complying with these very modest, reasonable requirements, whether knowingly or unknowingly, they will be held accountable,” DeSantis said during a bill signing event at Granada Church in Coral Gables.

The bill (HB 7063), which will take effect July 1, will make it a first-degree misdemeanor to hire a person under 21 to work at an adult entertainment business. The penalty would be increased to a second-degree felony if the person under 21 performs nude.

The bill passed during the legislative session that ended in March on votes of 35-3 in the Senate and 104-3 in the House. Some lawmakers questioned whether the bill would drive dancers to engage in activities outside of adult-entertainment establishments.

"I'm genuinely concerned about someone who might be a full-time enrolled student in South Florida, who no longer will make (hundreds of dollars) on a Friday night, will go and sell their body in a much more dangerous situation," Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Sunny Isles Beach, said in March.

DeSantis also used Monday’s bill-signing event to say he will approve $4.99 million in the 2024-2025 budget for additional emergency beds to serve survivors of human trafficking and $900,000 for grants from the Department of Children and Families for law-enforcement training in human trafficking.
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