Arizona 2004: Attempted Anti-Cryonics Legislation

On February 6, 2004, a bill providing for regulatory oversight of cryonics (HB 2637) was introduced in the Arizona State Legislature. Alcor expressed strong opposition to the initial form of the bill. The sponsor of the bill, Representative Bob Stump (R-District 9) responded with amendments partly addressing Alcor's concerns, although some serious issues remained unresolved. The bill was ultimately withdrawn during consideration by the Senate as it became apparent that the outstanding issues were too complex to resolve before the end of the legislative session. The detailed history of the bill is documented below.

February 6, 2004: The original version of HB 2637 is introduced (PDF).

February 19, 2004: HB 2637 is scheduled for hearing in the Health Committee on February 26.

February 20, 2004: Legislative alert from Alcor asking members and supporters to contact members of the Health Committee.

February 22, 2004: Open Letter on Cryonics Regulation released, written by an organ preservation specialist.

February 26, 2004: Compromise reached at Health Committee hearing. Testifying for Alcor at the hearing were Barry Aarons (Alcor lobbyist), Joseph Waynick (Alcor CEO), Steve Rude (Funeral Director contracting with Alcor), Dr. Aubrey de Grey (Research Associate at the University of Cambridge), and a prominent cryobiologist.

March 8, 2004: Amendments to HB 2637 made available on Arizona Legislature website; bill as amended passes Rules Committee.

March 10, 2004: HB 2637 is scheduled for vote on the House Floor on March 11, even though promised negotiations for further amendment were not completed. Alcor issues another legislative alert.

March 11, 2004: HB 2637 passed the house floor vote after additional amendments were offered by Mr. Stump which also passed. A copy of these amendments can be found here. We also have a transcript of the floor debate and an audio recording (MP3 file) of the debate (2.6 megs, 45 minutes).

March 13, 2004: Alcor issues statement on events to date.

March 15, 2004: House engrossed version [final house version] of HB 2637 posted on state website reveals that an error was made in the Stump floor amendment. The original Health Committee amendment contained these two lines:

   Strike lines 13 through 43

   Page 2 Strike lines 1 through 36

These two lines were missing from the substitute floor amendment. Mr. Stump's office has confirmed that this was unintentional and stated that the bill will be fixed in the Senate. There is no procedure for fixing it before Third Read and final House vote, which took place today. The vote was 43 Aye, 14 Nay, 3 not voting. A 5-minute MP3 recording of the vote and remarks by Representative Lopez can be found here (to download the 1 megabyte file, right click on the file name and choose Save Target As).

March 24, 2004: Minutes of House Health Committee from February 26 released. Bill assigned to Senate Commerce Committee.

April 1, 2004: HB 2637 is withdrawn.

SOURCE: Arizona 2004: Attempted Anti-Cryonics Legislation