NAC Action Alert
FLORIDA
State legislation

Alert issued: January 14, 2014

RESOURCES

LEGISLATIVE BILLS

LAW AND POLICY

CONTACT THESE SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS

NOTE: Following the lead of many other lawmakers, Florida House members are insisting that all electronic correspondence with them be made through online text entry forms. Those limited forms allow lawmakers to avoid much of unwanted solicitations we all receive by e-mail, but they also permit lawmakers to sidestep comments from those who do not live in their respective districts. Thatís particularly perturbing to a Floridian whose representative was not selected for one of the 13 seats on the subcommittee.

Regardless of where you live, the best solution at this point is to use the text entry form and keep your comments brief, respectful and on topic.


Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Ft. Walton Beach)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5004   DIST TEL (850) 833-9328
Subcommittee Chair, also son of current Senate President.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4478&SessionId=75

Rep. Ray Pilon (R-Sarasota)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5072   DIST TEL (941) 955-8077
Ranking Republican on subcommittee, retired law enforcement officer.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4512&SessionId=75

Rep. Irving Slosberg (D-Boca Raton)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5091   DIST TEL (561) 496-5940
Ranking Democrat on subcommittee.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4232&SessionId=75

Rep. Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5045   DIST TEL (407) 656-6716
Job placement officer.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4548&SessionId=75

Rep. Mike Clelland (D-Lake Mary)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5029   DIST TEL (407) 262-7423
Attorney.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4594&SessionId=75

Rep. Dane Eagle (R-Cape Coral)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5077   DIST TEL (239) 772-1291
Real estate broker.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4573&SessionId=75

Rep. James W. "J.W." Grant (R-Tampa)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5064   DIST TEL (813) 265-6280
Attorney. Son of former State Sen. John Grant.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4504&SessionId=75

Rep. Gayle B. Harrell (R-Port St. Lucie)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5083   DIST TEL (772) 871-7660
Health information consultant. Co-sponsor of HB 161. Former sponsor of HB 181 (withdrawn).
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4211&SessionId=75

Rep. Dave Hood (R-Daytona Beach)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5025   DIST TEL (386) 239-6286
Attorney.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4543&SessionId=75

Rep. Travis Hutson (R-Elkton)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5024   DIST TEL (386) 446-7644
Real estate agent.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4542&SessionId=75

Rep. Dave Kerner (D-Lake Worth)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5087   DIST TEL (561) 641-3406
Attorney.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4577&SessionId=75

Rep. Kionne McGhee (D-Miami)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5117   DIST TEL (305) 256-6300
Attorney.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4555&SessionId=75

Rep. Charles Van Zant (R-Palatka)
CAPITOL TEL (850) 717-5019 DIST TEL (386) 312-2272
Architect.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/ emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4444&SessionId=75
 

WHAT TRIGGERED HOUSE BILL 161?

House Bill 161 not only proposes increased penalties for 800.03 upon a second or subsequent conviction, it also seeks the power of warrantless arrest for the offense that is so frequently improperly charged. In a media release touting HB 161 on October 10, 2013, sponsor Rep. Bill Hager (R-Boca Raton) said: "I believe that assisting law enforcement with the capability to arrest a person committing an indecent exposure offense is critical to curbing the sexual offenders' and predators' ability to repeat an offense. I do not ever want to read again of a man exposing himself in a bookstore with the police being unable to arrest the offender because the police did not observe the act. Protecting our children and families is one of the greatest responsibilities our Legislature is tasked with and Iím looking forward to getting this legislation passed so we can do just that."

The incident to which Rep. Hager refers took place at a Boca Raton Barnes & Noble bookstore on October 8, 2012, but it didnít quite happen the way the lawmaker describes it. A man allegedly fondled himself in the bookstore near where a 12-year old girl and her mother were sitting and reading. Itís true that the police were unable to arrest the man immediately, but it wasnít because the police hadnít witnessed the episode, as Rep. Hager has claimed. According to reports, police subsequently detained the man just outside the bookstore. No immediate arrest was made, however, because the girl herself, the supposed victim, had been unaware of the manís alleged lewd behavior.

OTHER VERSIONS

Senate Bill 254 is identical companion legislation.

Senate Bill 276 is similar, but it escalates penalties on a THIRD or subsequent offense, as compared to escalation on SECOND offense, as in HB 161 and SB 254. Significantly, SB 276
* does not propose to allow warrantless arrests for 800.03, F.S.

House Bill 181 was identical to SB 276. Its author, Rep. Gayle Harrell (R-Port St. Lucie) has withdrawn her bill and has become a co-sponsor for HB 161.

________________________________________

*Correction made 01/27/14. Bill number was incorrect in a previous version of this commentary.
 

PUBLIC SURVEY

MAP

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
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Copyright 2014 by the Naturist Action Committee, which is responsible for its content. Permission is granted for the posting, forwarding or redistribution of this message, provided that it is reproduced in its entirety and without alteration.

DATE: January 14, 2014
SUBJECT: Florida legislation
TO: Naturists and other concerned citizens

Dear Naturist,

This is an Action Alert from the Naturist Action Committee. NAC is asking for your immediate involvement to oppose House Bill 161, a Florida state legislative bill that would have a negative impact on clothing-optional users of public land in Florida. NAC has developed this Action Alert in close cooperation with
South Florida Free Beaches, the stewards of Haulover Beach in Miami-Dade County.

ACTION SUMMARY
  1. Immediately e-mail or call members of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

  2. If youíre near Tallahassee, attend the meeting of the Committee at which HB 161 will be considered. The meeting is scheduled for 12 NOON on Thursday, January 16, 2014, in room 404 of the House Office Building, 402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399. [
MAP]

BRIEF BACKGROUND
Entitled "Indecent Exposure," section 800.03 of the Florida Statutes addresses nudity, but it does so only in the context of lewd behavior. State court cases, notably Hoffman v. Carson (1971) and Goodmakers v. State (1984) have declared that absent lewdness, mere nudity is not a violation of 800.03, F.S.

Police officers and sheriffís deputies are familiar generally with the titles and substance of the laws they enforce, but they donít frequently carry with them a copy of a court ruling that may interpret or restrict a particular law. As a result, some law enforcement may be "per the book," while not being consistent with judicial holdings. Thatís especially true of 800.03. Unacceptable numbers of those who are merely nude are improperly charged each year under 800.03. Unfortunately, defending oneself from such improper charges can be expensive.

House Bill 161 seeks to authorize police to make warrantless arrests in cases involving 800.03, F.S. But allowing arrests to be made without warrants will not improve the accuracy of the arrests or address the misfires in which simple nudity is charged under a law that Florida courts have made clear is to be used for lewdness only. In fact, improper charges will likely increase.

WHY DO WE CARE?
Naturists recognize that 800.03 should not be applied to mere nudity. Some may find it awkward to be opposing "enhancements" to a law that should not be affecting us. The simple truth is that misapplication of the law affects us frequently. If 800.03 is made even easier to misapply, naturists MUST care.

ACTION 1: WRITE TO MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE
NAC encourages you to e-mail or call the members of the subcommittee. Lawmakers gave minimal notice of the hearing for HB 161 in subcommittee. There is probably not enough time to rely on Postal Service mail to reach the subcommittee members.

NAC has compiled a complete list of subcommittee members, along with their phone numbers and instructions for contacting them online.
 
Find all that information at:
www.naturistaction.org/FL

ACTION 2: ATTEND THE SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING
NAC encourages you to attend the meeting of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee at which HB 161 will be considered.

  WHEN: Thursday, January 16, 2014, 12 NOON - 3:00 PM EST
  WHERE:
Room 404 of the House Office Building
         402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399 [
MAP]

Eleven bills are being considered at this meeting. The order in which the measures are heard is at the discretion of the subcommittee chair and likely will not match the published numerical sequence. Members of the public are typically given an opportunity to make a very brief comment on the legislation being considered.
  IF YOU INTEND TO SPEAK: You must fill out a form first. Paper forms will be available at the legislative committee meeting, or you may complete and print one online at:
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Committees/AppearanceRequestForm. aspx?MeetingId=9683

WHO SHOULD CONTACT LAWMAKERS?
NAC is requesting ALL NATURISTS and other concerned individuals to contact the members of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee on this important matter, regardless of your place of residence. Florida lawmakers understand the value of tourist dollars from out-of-state visitors who come to enjoy the stateís beaches, lakes and streams. Providing diverse recreational opportunities for visitors, as well as for Florida residents, is important. While all are encouraged to make their voices heard, the participation of Floridians is, of course, particularly important.

Make a phone call or send an electonic message through each lawmakerís online text entry box.

NAC encourages you to send copies of your electronic communication to:
FL@naturistaction.org

WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY?

When you speak or write:

   a) Be polite.

   b) Be known. Give your name and address. If you are a Florida resident or a frequent visitor to Florida, be sure to point that out. Anonymous communications have very little impact.

   c) Be focused. Keep your correspondence brief and on target.

   d) Be clear. Say that you OPPOSE HOUSE BILL 161.

   e) Request that the lawmaker VOTE AGAINST HB 161 in the subcommittee.

MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Additional information and links are available, along with this NAC Action Alert on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee.

Use this convenient shortcut:
www.naturistaction.org/FL Among the material on the NAC site, youíll find:
 
  the complete text of House Bill 161
  Text of related legislation
  contact info for lawmakers on the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee
  link to details of the 2006 NEF Roper Poll
  link to the text of section 800.03 of the Florida Statutes
  links to court opinions: Hoffman v. Carson and Goodmakers

PLEASE HELP NAC TO CONTINUE HELPING NATURISTS!
The Naturist Action Committee is the volunteer nonprofit political adjunct to The Naturist Society. NAC exists to advance and protect the rights and interests of naturists throughout North America. Fighting for the clothing-optional recreational use of public land is expensive. To do its job, NAC relies entirely on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you.

After you've contacted lawmakers, please take a moment to send a donation to:

   NAC
   PO Box 132
   Oshkosh, WI 54903

Or call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. Or use your credit card to make a convenient online donation:
www.naturistaction.org/donate/

Thank you for choosing to make a difference!

Naturally,

Bob Morton
Executive Director
Naturist Action Committee

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Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton       -
execdir@naturistaction.org
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick  -
naturist@sunclad.com
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