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Supreme Court to hear strip club tax appeal

Once more to the courthouse for supporters of the $5 strip club tax that was levied by the Lege to fund sexual abuse and violence treatment and prevention programs, as the state Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of the lawsuit that overturned that law.

“I’m extremely happy that they agreed to hear the case,” said State Rep. Ellen Cohen, who sponsored the legislation and filed an amicus brief urging the court to review the matter. “If you’re going to do this, you need to raise a substantial enough amount of money to make a dramatic effect on issues surrounding sexual violence. The way we fashioned it was absolutely the correct way and the most reasoned way.”

The law was struck down in March 2008, by a Travis County District Court judge, a ruling that was upheld in June by the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals. The state has collected more than $12 million in fees that have been held in escrow pending the final outcome of the case.

I’ve followed this case since the original suit was filed – the original ruling, the first appeal and subsequent upholding of the law, and the appeal to the Supremes, which for those of you tracking their calendar happened back in June. One way or another, we’ll (eventually) get a final answer on this.

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