April 1, 2004
To All Alcor Members and Supporters,
I want to announce to you that I just received word that Representative Stump has decided to withdraw his bill for this legislative session.
For those of you who are on the Advisory Board you already know that the Alcor negotiating team submitted a striker amendment to HB 2637 last Monday in the first stakeholder meeting with Senator Leff and senate staffers. Senator Leff was quite pleased with the balanced nature of our amendments and accepted them almost in their entirety as compromise legislation. Senator Leff handed off our striker language to the senate staffers to draft and add additional language to address concerns expressed by the Funeral Directors Association and Organ Procurement organizations. Upon receipt of the draft language, it was disseminated to the Alcor advisors for input, with which we further modified the senate draft in preparation for the next meeting.
Yesterday, a second stakeholder meeting was held at which we presented our modified version of the senate draft. Representative Stump also brought a modified version of his original bill which had been passed by the House. After negotiating the merits of the two proposals over a two hour period, the meeting concluded with the intention of reconvening on Monday for a final stakeholder meeting. As it stands right now, there is no longer a need for that final meeting.
There are still a few administrative hurdles to overcome at the legislature. For example, there is always the possibility that another member of the senate could attach HB 2637 to another bill and run a striker. Although I think this possibility is remote, it is still a possibility. We will be watchful as the session winds to a close.
At this point I suggest we all step back, take a well deserved breather, (I know I certainly need one as it was recently pointed out, and rightly so). I cannot emphasize strongly enough how fortunate I feel to have such a strong team in Barry Aarons and Tanya Jones assisting me on a daily basis. In addition, I cannot express enough thanks for the generous and thought provoking input from our board of directors and advisors, most of which lead our thinking in constructing the striker amendment.
The grassroots support from our membership and supporters that poured out in such forceful torrents certainly put us on the map, if not only in the hearts and minds of the legislature. Special recognition needs to go to the Life Extension Foundation and Immortality Institute. They contacted thousands of their supporters to help generate the strong email, phone, and fax campaign that was urgently requested when the bill went to the House. Thank you! An organization like ours with such a vocal and active membership is worthy of serious consideration by government.
Finally, I want to devote my closing statement to Representative Linda Lopez. Her support of Alcor will go down in history as nothing short of legendary. Her performance on the floor of the House of Representatives was masterful. Against overwhelming odds she stood her ground and articulated her arguments with precision, knowledge, and genuine conviction for what she believed was right. Iíve never admired an elected official as much as I admire Linda Lopez.
If I left anyone out of my acknowledgements, it was done accidentally and I offer my apologies. I wish I could name all of the people who helped make this possible. If I did this message would contain thousands of names. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for all that youíve done.
Alcor Life Extension Foundation