NAC Action Alert
MISSOURI House Bill 1577

May 8, 2002

Click here for more information on Missouri House Bill 1577.

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                           ACTION ALERT
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                 http://www.naturistsociety.com/NAC/
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DATE   : May 8, 2002
SUBJECT: Missouri House Bill 1577
TO     : All naturists in Missouri

Dear Missouri Naturist,

The Naturist Action Committee has been closely monitoring the 2002 Missouri legislature on behalf of naturists. We have recently identified an extremely threatening situation, and NAC is asking for your help in meeting the challenge.

THE PROBLEM

Freshman Rep. Rick Johnson (D-Jefferson City) has introduced a rider to a totally unrelated bill that would greatly increase the scope of the state's law regulating nudity, including skinny-dipping and nude sunbathing with friends at your favorite isolated stream or other remote location.

Section 566.093 of the Missouri statutes presently says, "A person commits the crime of sexual misconduct in the second degree if he [e]xposes his genitals under circumstances in which he knows that his conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm."

If you and your friends have taken care to assure that your skinny-dipping or nude hiking is in a spot where it is not likely to cause affront or alarm, you're not in technical violation of the present law. And because it can reasonably be assumed that those who come to a nudist resort will not be affronted or alarmed by the nudity of others, those resorts are protected, too.

However, appended to the existing law, Rep. Johnson has added: "... or while being in a public place, other than a restroom or shower room, in the presence of another person or persons."

Naturism on public lands in Missouri is clearly and directly at risk. And depending upon the interpretation of "public place" (and there have certainly been differing legal opinions on the term), nudist parks are suddenly threatened, too.

A LITTLE HISTORY

House Bill 1577 was a run-of the-mill piece of legislation when it was introduced. It proposed penalties for anyone who improperly tampered with prescription drugs. Although that may be of interest to you, nothing about the bill affected the naturist aspect of your life. Like so many other measures that pass through the legislature virtually unnoticed, HB 1577 was given a hearing. Predictably, no one testified against it.

Then, in a move that's not uncommon in the Missouri legislature, HB 1577 was combined with five other unobtrusive but unrelated bills, and a single committee substitute was put together for the entire lot. The result was a rather lengthy but benign hodgepodge that contains a variety of proposed new laws that most Missouri lawmakers would have no trouble supporting.

It was on the back of this well oiled and likely-to-pass vehicle that Rep. Johnson suddenly attached his potent anti-nudity language. Johnson made his move quietly without advance warning, and while the action is legal, it thumbs its nose at naturists and other citizens whose input it bypasses. Johnson's last minute amendment was approved without debate by his colleagues on the floor of the House of Representatives, and that action has completely removed the opportunity for any public comment in a House committee. The bill has been advanced to the Missouri Senate.

WHAT IS NAC DOING?

The Naturist Action Committee learned of this dangerous situation and immediately hired an experienced professional legislative lobbyist. Working with our lobbyist, NAC quickly developed a plan that takes advantage of the organization's grass roots strength among naturists in the state. NAC and its lobbyist are already working with legislators in the hallways and corridors of the State Capitol. We intend to see that the anti-nudity language is removed from the conglomerate bill!

WHAT CAN I DO?

NAC cannot do this alone. We need the help of Missouri naturists to be successful in amending this proposed state law.

House Bill 1577, with its anti-nudity rider, has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee assignment is a favorable one and reflects some of the influence we've already exerted. Now NAC needs for you to contact the seven members of the Judiciary Committee.

  
[Please note: Contacts from Missouri residents are
   extremely valuable. Contacts from those who live
   outside Missouri are not likely to help in this
   instance, and they may do some harm. NAC appreciates
   the interest of all naturists in this matter but
   asks naturists living outside of Missouri NOT to
   write or call at this time.]

WRITING OR FAXING

Missouri residents: Write or fax your comments individually to each of the committee members. Mailing addresses and fax numbers are listed later in this Action Alert. Here are some helpful hints:

   [1] Always give your name and address. Sign your letter. Unsigned letters are generally ignored.

   [2] If you are a constituent of the senator to whom you are writing, say so prominently.

   [3] Be concise and polite. Rambling letters score no points. Insulting letters hurt us.

   [4] Send a separate letter or fax addressed to each senator on the committee. Staff will not make copies or distribute letters.

   [5] Clearly identify HOUSE BILL 1577 as the legislation with which you are concerned.

   [6] Say specifically that you oppose the anti-nudity language that was added as an afterthought on the House floor. Ideas that are to become Missouri law should be given a proper chance for citizen input and should NOT be attached as a rider to an unrelated bill after the hearing process has been completed.

   [7] Ask specifically that the anti-nudity rider be stricken from the bill. This is the portion on page 49 of the printed bill, affecting subsection (1) of section 566.093 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

TELEPHONING

Missouri residents: You may choose to make your comments by telephone to each of the members of the committee. Their phone numbers are listed later in this Action Alert. Even if you've already written or faxed your remarks, a phone call is an effective way to follow up. Here are some helpful hints:

  [1] Ask for the senator by name, but be prepared to speak to an aide. Senators are seldom available to take phone calls. The aide is trained to relate your concerns to the senator.

   [2] Always give your name and address. Anonymous calls are ignored.
If you are a constituent of the senator you are calling, say so prominently.

   [3] Be brief and polite. Expressing your deep concern can be beneficial. Insults and snide remarks will do us no good.

   [4] Clearly identify HOUSE BILL 1577 as the legislation with which you are concerned.

   [5] Say specifically that you oppose the anti-nudity language that was added as an afterthought on the House floor.

   [6] Ask specifically that the anti-nudity rider be stricken from the bill. This is the portion on page 49 of the printed bill, affecting subsection (1) of section 566.093 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

CONTACTS BY E-MAIL

As a group, Missouri senators have made it difficult to contact them by e-mail. You can leave electronic messages for individual senators through the Senate web page, but no direct e-mail addresses exist. NAC recommends letters, faxes and phone calls. If you feel you absolutely must try leaving an electronic message, set your Internet browser to the following URL and follow the instructions there.  
  
  
http://www.senate.state.mo.us/email/mail_request.htm

Committee members Sen. Caskey and Sen. Schneider have chosen not to receive e-mail or electronic messages at all.

WHOM SHOULD I CONTACT?

NAC asks that you contact all seven members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  Sen. David Klarich (R-Ballwin, 26th dist.) Committee Chair
  State Capitol Building, Room 331
  Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
  Phone:(573) 751-1073   Fax:(573) 526-2609
  Office Staff: Patty Waldron
__
  Sen. Sarah Steelman (R-Rolla, 16th dist.) Committee Vice Chair
  State Capitol Building, Room 433
  Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
  Phone:(573) 751-4068   Fax:(573) 751-2745
  Office Staff: Jane Rydlund
__
  Sen. Mike Gibbons (R-St. Louis, 15th dist.)
  State Capitol Building, Room 226  
  Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
  Phone:(573) 751-2853   Fax:(573) 751-2745
  Office Staff: Kathleen Haslag, Neal English
__
  Sen. Anita Yeckel (R-St.Louis, 1st dist.)
  State Capitol Building, Room 431
  Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
  Phone:(573) 751-2887   Fax:(573) 751-2745
  Office Staff: Mary Cottom, Jenifer Zeigler
__
  Sen. Harold Caskey (D-Butler, 31st dist.)
  State Capitol Building, Room 320
  Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
  Phone:(573) 751-4116   Fax:(573) 751-2745
  Office Staff: Ronda Griggs, Kim Green
__
  Sen. John Schneider (D-Florissant, 14th dist.)
  State Capitol Building, Room 422
  Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
  Phone:(573) 751-4106   Fax:(573) 751-2745
  Office Staff: Donna Mueller, Travis Hume
__
  Sen. Harry Wiggins (D-Kansas City, 10th dist.)
  State Capitol Building, Room 423
  Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
  Phone:(573) 751-2788   Fax: (573) 751-2745
  Office Staff: Betty Lepper, Fred Dreiling


MORE INFORMATION
Additional information about House Bill 1577 and the anti-nudity rider attached to it is available on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee:

     www.naturistsociety.com/NAC

Select ALERTS,ADVISORIES & UPDATES and then "Current Alerts" to find NAC's Missouri Action Alert and additional information, including the complete text of the substitute legislation.

PLEASE HELP NAC HELP NATURISTS IN MISSOURI

The Naturist Action Committee exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. NAC is a volunteer nonprofit organization that relies on the grass roots participation of naturists who understand that individuals working together can make a difference.

NAC has no membership roster on which to assess dues, and it relies completely on voluntary contributions from concerned and involved naturists like you. Monitoring lawmakers and retaining professional legislative lobbyists is expensive, but NAC knows that it's necessary for the protection of our freedoms.

Won't you take a moment to help NAC by sending a generous donation? You may send your donation to the address below, or you may call (920) 426-5009 to donate by phone using your Mastercard or Visa.

      NAC
      PO Box 132
      Oshkosh, WI 54903
       

Thank you for choosing to make a difference!

Naturally,

Nicky Hoffman
Board Member
Naturist Action Committee

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Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton      - <ctnudists@aol.com>
Board Member Nicky Hoffman     - <nickyh@naturistsociety.com>
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick - <naturist@sunclad.com>
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