It has been an amazing week for our sister coalition, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA).   They hosted the 2012 National Sexual Assault Conference in Chicago, which some CALCASA staff and I attended, and also had Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the “Strip Club tax” into law last week that will provide new funding for their state’s 33 rape crisis centers.  It is anticipated that this new tax (which goes into effect on January 1, 2013) will raise about $1 million to offset the funding cuts to the rape crisis centers.    Polly Poskin, ICASA’s Executive Director, discussed this new tax at the national conference this week along with thanking their key champion, Illinois’ Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, who advocated for this new tax across their state.
Illinois is the second state to pass this tax following our sister coalition, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA), who passed similar legislation in 2007 and was upheld by the Texas Supreme Court in August 2011 along with the US Supreme Court declining to hear its appeal in January 2012.   CALCASA also introduced a similar funding initiative this year, AB2441 , which died in California’s Assembly Appropriations Committee this past spring.  CALCASA plans to reintroduce this bill in the next legislative session in 2013 to provide a vital funding stream for California’s rape crisis centers who serve over 29,000 sexual assault survivors each year.