NAC Update
WASHINGTON HOUSE BILL 1333

February 3, 2005

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                             UPDATE
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                 http://www.naturistsociety.com/NAC/
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 Copyright 2005 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
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DATE:    February 3, 2005
SUBJECT: Washington State
TO:      Naturists and other concerned citizens

Dear Naturist,

This is an Update from the Naturist Action Committee on the status of Washington House Bill 1333. If you are a Washington resident and you have already responded to NAC's Action Alert of January 30, NAC thanks you.

This Update provides additional information on the situation and suggests a way you can provide NAC with helpful information, but it makes no further call for contacting lawmakers at this time.


BACKGROUND, BRIEFLY

Washington House Bill 1333 proposes a significant change to the state's indecent exposure statute. Current law calls for a second conviction under the state's indecent exposure law to be punished as a felony. HB 1333 would expand the law so that convictions from municipal courts inside or outside the state of Washington would be counted toward felony status, as well.

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


WHAT IS NAC DOING?

The Naturist Action Committee opposes House Bill 1333. NAC moved quickly to hire a professional legislative lobbyist, and NAC continues to work with state lawmakers to resolve this issue. The NAC Action Alert issued on January 30, asked Washington residents to contact members of the State House of Representatives. Your response has been gratifying, and your contacts with lawmakers have been very helpful. Thank you.


RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Along with NAC's lobbyist and a speaker from the ACLU, NAC board member Mark Storey and NAC Area Representative Howard Williamson gave testimony opposing HB 1333 this morning before the House Criminal Justice & Corrections Committee. Supporting those who spoke were several other individuals who responded to NAC's Action Alert by attending the hearing. Their presence gave added strength and credibility to the speakers.

The hearing for HB 1333 lasted close to 45 minutes, and the committee was a tough audience, since five committee members are also cosponsors of the bill. Nevertheless, the testimony opposing the bill was well coordinated and went quite well.

As expected, law enforcement personnel offered statements supporting the bill, which would make felony convictions for indecent exposure far easier to obtain. Among those testifying in favor of the bill was a police detective from the City of Everett and Everett's hired lobbyist. Committee members asked questions of both sides, the nature of most questions demonstrating clearly that they "get" NAC's concerns about the bill.

No committee vote was taken. Committee chair Rep. Al O'Brien, who is also the principal sponsor of the bill, asked the proponents of the legislation to consult with NAC to see if the bill can be rewritten in an acceptable manner. That process is already under way.


ONE WAY YOU CAN HELP

NAC is accumulating examples of instances in which Washington's existing state indecent exposure law or ordinances of Washington cities and towns have been used to prosecute naturists or others engaged in simple non-lewd nudity within the state. If you've had such an experience, please take a moment to summarize it and send it to NAC. Be sure to include details like the date, the location (city/town/county), what you were actually doing, the specific offense with which you were charged, and the outcome. Your name will not be used in the tabulation.

Send your experiences by e-mail to Mark Storey <storey98@aol.com>.


PLEASE HELP NAC HELP WASHINGTON NATURISTS!

The Naturist Action Committee is a volunteer nonprofit organization that exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. We presently have a real opportunity to make advances in Washington, but lobbyists and attorneys are expensive. NAC relies on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you.

To donate 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 once again for choosing to make a difference!

Naturally,

Bob Morton
Chairman & Executive Director
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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