NAC Update
MISSOURI House Bill 1577

May 19, 2002

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE

DATE   : May 19, 2002
SUBJECT: Missouri House Bill 1577
TO     : All naturists


The Missouri legislature has finished its business and has gone home without passing an omnibus bill that included a harsh anti-nudity rider.

Freshman Rep. Rick Johnson (D-Jefferson City) had attached the rider to House Bill 1577 as it was being considered on the floor of the State House of Representatives last month. HB 1577 was a compilation of six bills, each of which had nothing directly to do with nudity. Had it been passed into law, the amendment attached to HB 1577 would have greatly increased the scope of the state's law criminalizing nudity, including skinny-dipping and nude sunbathing.

Rep. Johnson's timing in adding the rider during the House floor debate allowed the anti-nudity language to bypass all House committee hearings. In that way, naturists were prevented from opposing the anti-nudity measure through public testimony before House lawmakers. The proposed new law was sent directly to the State Senate, where it was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Johnson surprised everyone with his anti-nudity rider on HB 1577. Nevertheless, within hours of that move, the Naturist Action Committee had hired a professional legislative lobbyist in Jefferson City, Missouri's state capital. Working with lawmakers behind the scenes, NAC's lobbyist immediately began complementing the more visible grass roots efforts that were expected to result from response to NAC's Action Alert.

Responding to the Action Alert issued by the Naturist Action Committee on May 8, Missouri naturists and nudists in impressive numbers contacted members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Reports from the offices of committee members indicate that the statements of naturists were persuasive and effective. The Judiciary Committee did not advance House Bill 1577 for further consideration.

The Naturist Action Committee, through its professional lobbyist, also arranged for layers of backup action to be implemented in the event HB 1577 were somehow to escape from the Senate committee. As a result, key lawmakers were prepared to remove the offending language from the bill on the floor of the Senate, if that had become necessary.

Additionally, NAC began close monitoring of House Bill 1498, a separate piece of legislation that was deemed to be another possibly attractive vehicle for Rep. Johnson's anti-nudity rider.

Even before the end of the legislative session, the Naturist Action Committee had initiated an educational dialog with Rep. Johnson and other lawmakers, in the hope that we can avoid a repeat of this situation in future sessions.

NAC kept an extremely close eye on the flurry of activity that accompanied the final hours of the Missouri legislative session. Neither HB 1577 nor HB 1498 made it to the floor of the Senate, and so the fallback measures did not have to be implemented. The Missouri Senate adjourned shortly after 6 o'clock p.m. on Friday, May 17.

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

Click on "LEGISLATIVE BILL TEXTS" and then select Missouri HB 1577 from the 2002 list of bills. You may view the text of the rider, as well as the complete text of the omnibus bill.

The Naturist Action Committee thanks all who have demonstrated their interest and support, and extends special thanks to those Missouri naturists who responded to NAC's Action Alert and contacted state lawmakers.

Your actions made a difference!


Bob Morton
Chairman & Executive Director
Naturist Action Committee

Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton      - <>
Board Member Nicky Hoffman     - <>
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick - <>

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