Wednesday, June 25, 2008

CAP: Governor signs Jesse Ramirez law - to protect comatose patients

In this issue:

1) Sixty-First CAP-Supported Bill Signed!
2) Please Pray!
3) Save the Date for the Values Voter Summit

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1) Sixty-First CAP-Supported Bill Signed!

Today, Governor Napolitano signed HB 2823, Jesse's Law. This is the 61st bill supported by CAP that has become law.

The new law makes a clarification on how decisions are handled for patients who cannot communicate their wishes. The law was inspired by the real-life story of Jesse Ramirez who suffered serious injuries in a car accident in May 2007. Jesse went without food and water for five days after his feeding tube was removed without proper authorization, just ten days after the accident. Emergency legal intervention by our friends at Alliance Defense Fund saved Jesse's life, and he walked out of the hospital in October 2007 and continues to make tremendous rehabilitation progress. However, this area of the law was obviously not clear enough to protect Jesse. The new law fixes one problem that was brought to light through Jesse's situation, and we hope to address the remaining legal shortfalls next year.

CAP thanks Rep. Bob Stump, Jesse Ramirez, and his family for all of their work on this bill.

2) Please Pray!

Other news from the Capitol can best be described as frustrating and challenging as we continue to play a waiting game on critical legislation. Our elected officials need our fervent prayer, especially today and throughout this week, for wisdom and guidance. Here's a brief update:

  • The Senate still has not considered the proposed state constitutional marriage amendment (SCR 1042) at a time when all 16 committed votes were present. It's critical to the future of marriage in our state for the voters to be able to decide on a definition of marriage for our state constitution, not leave this decision up to politicians or judges.
  • The Governor any day will act on the revised ban on partial-birth abortion. Please continue to contact Governor Napolitano and ask her to sign the partial-birth abortion ban, SB 1048.
  • HB 2269 to prohibit nurses from performing surgical abortions awaits a final vote on the Senate floor.
  • The Students' Religious Liberties Act (HB 2713) awaits a final vote. Last week, senators rejected a hostile amendment that would have allowed schools to censor religious speech by classifying it as "harassment or "bullying."

3) Save the Date for the Values Voter Summit

Make your plans now to attend the Values Voter Summit put on by FRC Action in Washington, D.C., September 12-14. The conference will feature noted speakers, as well as breakout sessions on a variety of topics from life and marriage to immigration and fundamentalist Islam to voter organization and turnout. Registration is $95 and just $50 for students. Register online at

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