NAC Action Alert
WASHINGTON HOUSE BILL 2645

January 24, 2004

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                           ACTION ALERT
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                 http://www.naturistsociety.com/NAC/
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DATE:    January 24, 2004
SUBJECT: Washington State
TO:      Naturists in the State of Washington

Dear Naturist,

The Naturist Action Committee has identified important legislation in the state of Washington. NAC is alerting you to that situation and is asking for you to take action.

HOUSE BILL 2645

House Bill 2645 proposes a significant change to the state's statute fixing punishment for indecent exposure. Current law calls for a second conviction under the state's indecent exposure law to be punished as a felony. HB 2645 would amend the law to include convictions under any municipal indecent exposure ordinance in the count to determine the level of punishment.

The measure was introduced by Rep. Al O'Brien (D-Mountlake Terrace).

BACKGROUND

Police in the cities of Everett and Federal Way consider the state's current indecent exposure law to have a loophole because it does not include convictions under local ordinances in the ratcheting of punishment. Rep. O'Brien is a retired Seattle police sergeant with a reputation for introducing bills friendly to law enforcement. He was approached to introduce this bill, and he agreed to do so.

The resulting loosely written bill specifies only that convictions under municipal lewd conduct or indecent exposure ordinances be counted. It doesn't address possible wide variations among municipalities in determining the elements of the offense. The City of Bellevue, for example, considers the "display of the male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, even if completely and opaquely covered" to be a "lewd act." That ridiculous definition goes far beyond the state law, but if HB 2645 is passed into law, a conviction in Bellevue will count toward making you a felon in the state of Washington.

Nor does the bill, as written, even require that the municipal convictions take place in the state of Washington. The law proposed by HB 2645 would hold individuals hostage to the lowest common denominator of municipal ordinance-making anywhere.

The consequence of a second offense - being labeled as a felon - is serious enough when the standard is the state's definition of the offense. There's a good reason that the legislature did not include municipal ordinances from just anywhere when they created this portion of the law.

HB 2645 would make very bad law for the state of Washington.


WHAT IS NAC DOING?

The Naturist Action Committee has hired a professional legislative lobbyist to advise and assist NAC's grassroots efforts in this matter. Under NAC's direction, the lobbyist is working with key lawmakers and is investigating alternatives for NAC to evaluate.


NAC IS ASKING YOU TO TAKE ACTION!

A public hearing for HB 2645 has been scheduled by the Criminal Justice & Corrections Committee, of which Rep. Al O'Brien is the chair. NAC will be at the hearing to speak against the bill. We aren't asking for additional speakers at this time, though you are certainly welcome at this public hearing to speak if you wish.

What we DO need are supporters to show up at the hearing! The more the better. If you can make the hearing, please contact NAC board member Mark Storey in advance by phone or by e-mail for instructions and so that we can have a count.

   Mark Storey
   TEL: (206) 361-9428 [leave a message]
   EMAIL: storey98@aol.com

   HEARING TIME / PLACE

   DATE: Wednesday, January 28, 2004
   TIME: 1:30 pm
   WHERE: House Hearing room E
         John L. O'Brien Building
         Olympia, WA

The John L. O'Brien Building is near the Governor's Mansion in the southwest corner of the Washington State Capitol Complex. Please plan to arrive at the hearing room by 1 o'clock p.m.

Please note that NAC is NOT asking you to contact members of the committee or any other lawmaker at this time. There will be plenty of time for that. Please watch carefully for NAC Action Alerts, Advisories and Updates on this important matter.


MORE INFORMATION

Find more information on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee:

  www.naturistsociety.com/NAC

  Select "Alerts," then click on "View Current," to select and view this NAC Action Alert. The Action Alert includes links that allow you to view the text of the existing Washington law and the complete text of House Bill 2645.


PLEASE HELP NAC HELP WASHINGTON NATURISTS!

The Naturist Action Committee exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. To confront bad legislation like House Bill 2645, NAC's dedicated volunteers rely on the grassroots participation and financial support of concerned naturists like you.

NAC is standing strong for naturists against the passage of a bad law in Washington! The hiring of a professional legislative lobbyist is very expensive. NAC is not afraid to make that sort of commitment, but we need your help.

Please help today by sending a generous donation to NAC. Use the address below, or call toll free (800) 886-7230 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,

Mark Storey
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 Mark Storey       - <storey98@aol.com>
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick - <naturist@sunclad.com>
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