ISSUE 6 - February 17, 2012 PRINT VERSION

Legislative Update

Today is the 40th day of the second regular session of Arizona's 50th Legislature. It is also the deadline for bills to be heard in committee in their house of origin. Next week, legislative action will largely move to the floors of the House and Senate, and committees will begin to consider bills that have been passed by the other body.

Regulatory Tax Credit

On Wednesday, February 15, the House Commerce Committee considered and passed HB 2815 (employment; incentives; regulatory tax credit) by a 5-3 vote. The bill, regarded as the House leadership's "jobs package," includes a number of provisions intended to stimulate the economy. One section of the bill, however, represents one of the most strident anti-government provisions to be considered by the Legislature this session. It introduces a brand new concept of a "regulatory tax credit," which can be claimed by any person or organization purportedly aggrieved by an "excessive regulation."

Consolidated Elections

On Thursday, February 16, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed HB 2826 (consolidated election dates; political subdivisions) by a very close vote of 5-4. This bill would consolidate all city and town elections to August and November of even-numbered years. The League opposes this measure, because it: reduces local control; will delay special elections (such as recalls, referenda and initiatives) for up to two years; and is dismissive of charter authority. The League will pursue opportunities to positively impact the legislation as it moves closer to floor action in the House.

Licensing and permitting

A strike-everything amendment to HB 2585 (s/e: government; time frames; appeal) was heard by the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday, February 15. The amendment revived legislation from last year that would require municipalities to act on license and permit applications within 45 days. Failure to do so would, in most cases, result in automatic approval of subject applications. The proposal was overtaken last year by deliberations on SB 1598 (cities; counties; regulatory review), a complex regulatory reform measure that was signed into law.

Municipal Proceedings

The House Government Committee considered HB 2570 (political subdivisions; proceedings; governing bodies) on Tuesday, February 14. The bill provides that a municipal ordinance may not take effect until it has passed three public readings by a city council on three separate days. The League opposes the measure because it inappropriately grafts a state legislative process onto a dissimilar city council process. Unlike the Legislature, councils (which have much greater transparency and opportunity for public input than the Legislature) do not meet daily. The measure would slow down approval of zoning requests, special use permits and other municipal enactments.

Regulatory Reform

On Thursday, February 16, the Senate Committee on Border Security, Federalism and States' Sovereignty considered a strike-everything amendment to SB 1505 (s/e: municipal governments; rulemaking). The amendment would impose upon municipalities a regulatory process similar to that of the Administrative Procedures Act, which is utilized by the Federal Government for rulemaking. The League strongly opposes the measure due to its complexity and onerous bureaucratic requirements. Despite the League's testimony in opposition, the committee passed the measure by a vote of 6-1.

Permit Self-Certification

HB 2168 (building permits; self-certification process) provides that, "on receipt of any completed permit application, a municipality shall give the applicant the option of obtaining the issuance of the requested permit through a municipally directed permitting process or through self-certification." The bill further outlines standards for the establishment of the mandated self-certification program.


SB 1304 (firearms regulation; political subdivisions), sponsored by Senator Frank Antenori (R-Tucson), passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday by a 5-2 vote. This bill repeals statutory language permitting a political subdivision to adopt an ordinance or rule restricting the discharge of firearms within one-fourth of a mile of an occupied structure. The League, an opponent of the measure, requested a stakeholders' meeting to discuss its concerns with the sponsor. The sponsor committed to convene such a meeting. In the meantime, the bill moves on to the Rules Committee.


On Wednesday, February 15, the House Committee on Military Affairs and Public Safety considered an amended version of HB 2361 (consumer fireworks; regulation). As amended, the bill: establishes a maximum penalty for the use of certain consumer fireworks; allows the imposition of fees on fireworks sellers; addresses signage issues; and restricts the sale and use of consumer fireworks in Coconino and Yavapai Counties. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Karen Fann (R-Prescott), passed by a vote of 8-0 and proceeds to the House Rules Committee.

Photo Radar

On Monday, February 13, the Senate Judiciary Committee considered a number of measures sponsored by Senator Frank Antenori (R-Tucson) designed to inhibit or discourage the use of photo radar across the state. One such bill, SB 1315 (photo enforcement; tickets; service), would change the service options for photo radar tickets to include personal service or certified mail. The bill failed by a vote of 2-5.

Political Signs

SB 1200 (political signs; hazardous locations) stipulates that a government agency must notify the owner of a political sign in writing if a particular sign is deemed to create a hazardous condition. It further provides that, for purposes of calculating the time frame for permissible sign installation, a primary election begins on the day that early ballots are first mailed out to voters. The League worked closely with the bill's sponsor, Senator Sylvia Allen (R-Snowflake), who agreed to permit electronic notification to satisfy the "in writing" requirement of the bill. SB 1200 passed its third reading in the Senate by a vote of 21-9 and now proceeds to the House for further consideration.

Online Tax Remittance

After being held on the past three agendas of the House Committee on Ways and Means, HB 2466 (local sales tax; payments; DOR) was heard on Monday, February 13. The committee considered and unanimously passed a strike-everything amendment that provides for the creation of an online portal for taxpayers to pay municipal sales tax for all self-collecting cities. The amendment also authorizes the Arizona Department of Administration to solicit competitive bids for a public-private partnership for portal development. The League expresses its gratitude to Rep. Jeff Dial (R-Chandler) and Rep. Rick Gray (R-Sun City), the bill's sponsor, for their considerable work on this issue and their willingness to work closely and productively with the League.

Business Incentives

On Thursday, February 16, the Senate Finance Committee passed SB 1442 (prime contracting; manufacturing facilities; infrastructure) by a vote of 6-1. The measure allows municipalities and counties to recapture state transaction privilege taxes paid by qualified manufacturing facilities for public infrastructure necessary for those facilities. The League supports the measure as a tool for attracting manufacturing jobs to Arizona. The bill was amended in committee to make clarifying changes and to reduce the threshold for qualifying facilities in rural counties.

Pension Reform

On Tuesday, February 14, the House Employment and Regulatory Affairs Committee considered a strike-everything amendment to HB 2745 (defined contribution retirement systems) to make a change to the Alternate Contribution Rate (ACR) requirements of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS). The change would preclude employers from paying the PSPRS ACR on a PSPRS-eligible position if the retired person was hired before the effective date of last year's pension reform bill, SB 1609 (retirement systems; plans; plan design) and the individual is enrolled in another state retirement system. This change will result in cost savings for some of Arizona's small cities and towns. The League thanks Rep. Justin Pierce (R-Mesa) for spearheading this effort and and Rep. Bob Robson (R-Chandler) for sponsoring the amendment. The measure passed unanimously and now moves on to the Rules Committee.

Highway Users Revenue Fund (HURF)

On Thursday, February 16, the House Transportation Committee considered HCR 2058 (HURF; monies; allowable uses). The bill would constitutionally protect HURF and Vehicle License Tax dollars from future sweeps and restrict their use to traditional highway and roadway purposes. The League has worked extensively with the bill sponsor, Rep. Vic Williams (R-Tucson), and provided testimony in favor of the bill. Additionally, more than 20 cities and towns formally registered their support. The bill passed committee with a unanimous vote of 7-0.

Water Utilities

On Monday, February 13, the House Government Committee considered a strike-everything amendment to HB 2416 (s/e: water and wastewater; denial prohibited) that requires municipal water providers to grant services outside of their corporate boundaries if certain conditions are met. The League opposes the measure, sponsored by Rep. David Stevens (R-Sierra Vista), because of its negative impacts on local control, as well as its lack of protections for current customers and assured water supplies. The bill passed the House Government Committee by a vote of 5-4 and proceeds next to the House Rules Committee.

Legislator Profile - Representative Peggy Judd

Representative Peggy Judd
State Representative Peggy Judd is a small town girl with big city energy. Having spent her entire life applying that energy to the care of her family and the improvement of her community, she has brought her animated spirit and grinding horsepower to the Arizona Capitol, where she can make a difference on a larger scale.

A native of Willcox, Arizona (population 4,294), Representative Judd has resided in Cochise County since birth. To hear her speak of her beloved home and its rich surroundings, there is little reason to think that she'll ever leave.

"I love my world," the freshman representative enthuses. "I love the desert and the nighttime sky. I love the earth and trees and mountains. I love the cactus, the trains, the mines, the small hill towns, the smelters. I love everything about it."
Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
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Issue 6 - February 17, 2012
Issue 6 - February 17, 2012
Issue 6 - February 17, 2012
Issue 6 - February 17, 2012
Issue 6 - February 17, 2012
Issue 6 - February 17, 2012