ISSUE 11 - March 23, 2012 PRINT VERSION

Legislative update

Today is the 75th day of the second regular session of Arizona's 50th Legislature. The appropriations and rules committees were the only ones with authority to consider bills during the past week. Outside of those committees, most legislative activity occurred on the floors of the House and Senate. Budget negotiations continued behind closed doors, and the possibility continues to exist that the Legislature will adjourn sine die by April 17, within the 100-day deadline established by rule in each chamber.

Municipal water assessment

On Wednesday, March 21, the House Appropriations Committee considered and unanimously passed SB 1288 (municipal water fees; repeal; appropriation). The legislation repeals the statutory authority of the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) to impose an assessment on cities and towns to fund departmental operations. The bill further provides for funding of the agency through the State's general fund. The League testified in support of the bill, which proceeds to the House Rules Committee for further consideration.

Regulatory tax credit

On Tuesday, March 20, the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on HB 2815 (employment; incentives; regulatory tax credit). Prior to the hearing, Chairman Don Shooter (R-Yuma) circulated three amendments, including one to remove the Regulatory Tax Credit portion of the bill, the section to which the League is strongly opposed. None of the amendments, however, were offered during the committee's consideration of the bill.

Photo radar

SCR 1031 (s/e: photo radar; speeding; prohibition) would, upon statewide voter approval, prohibit the use of photo radar systems in Arizona for speed enforcement purposes. The resolution, opposed by the League, was heard in the House Appropriations Committee on March 22 and failed by a vote of 4-9.

Consumer fireworks

On Monday, March 19, the Senate caucuses passed HB 2361 (NOW: regulations; consumer fireworks). Among other things, the legislation: prevents municipalities from adopting ordinances with penalties greater than a petty offense for a person using certain consumer fireworks; permits the imposition of fees on fireworks vendors; addresses certain signage issues; and permits restrictions on the sale and use of consumer fireworks in Coconino and Yavapai Counties. The League is neutral on the bill.

Council Procedures

Earlier this week, HB 2570 (political subdivisions; proceedings; governing bodies) was approved by the Senate Rules Committee and heard by the Senate's majority and minority caucuses. The bill provides that a city or town council may not take action on a proposed ordinance until it has been publicly posted in its final form for at least seven days. The bill also prescribes a process for the adoption of emergency ordinances and exempts certain other ordinances from the bill's enhanced notice requirements.

Alarm system installation

On Monday, March 19, the House Rules Committee approved SB 1306 (s/e: alarm businesses; agents; regulation; licensing). On the same day, the Senate Rules Committee passed HB 2748 (s/e: cities; alarm licenses; reciprocity). Both bills were also caucused this past week.

Street assessments

On Monday, March 19, the Senate Rules Committee gave its approval to HB 2151 (s/e: assessments; intergovernmental agreements). The amendment prohibits a municipality from assessing property for any street constructed or improved pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement between public bodies. The League opposes the measure, which would substantially restrict the ability of municipalities to reduce costs to the taxpayer through partnerships with other public entities. The bill was held in the Senate Majority Caucus and is not expected to proceed any further through the legislative process.

Political signs

SB 1200 (political signs; hazardous locations), sponsored by Senator Sylvia Allen (R-Snowflake), 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 measure passed the House caucuses on March 19 and proceeds to the Committee of the Whole. The League remains neutral on the bill.

State parks

HB 2362 (state parks revenue fund) passed the Senate Committee of the Whole on Thursday, March 22. Sponsored by Rep. Karen Fann (R-Prescott), the bill creates a new fund for operation and maintenance of the state park system. The fund would be composed of private donations, revenue from fees and sales, and legislative appropriations. The measure also permits the State Parks Board to acquire and develop real property and improvements, subject to review by the Joint Committee on Capital Review. The League supports the bill, which now proceeds to its third reading in the Senate.

Water and wastewater

HB 2416 (water and wastewater; denial prohibited) passed out of the Senate Rules Committee and both Senate caucuses this week. The bill mandates that cities and towns in Pima County provide water service to areas outside of their corporate boundaries. The League continues to oppose the measure.

Government deposits

On Monday, March 19, the House unanimously approved SB 1135 (government deposits) by a vote of 58-0. The bill, sponsored by Senator John McComish (R-Phoenix), previously passed the Senate by a vote of 29-0. The League supports the measure, which now proceeds to Governor Brewer for her likely signature.

Liquor regulation

On Thursday, March 22, the Senate Committee of the Whole considered and passed HB 2606 (NOW: liquor omnibus). The bill's sponsor, Rep. J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler), previously agreed to an amendment, adopted by the House, which permits the State Liquor Board to consider municipal tax delinquencies in liquor license suspension and revocation proceedings. The amendment further permits a city or town to use the average of the last five years of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for fee increases (as opposed to just the previous year's CPI). The bill, which previously passed the House by a vote of 47-9, now proceeds to its third reading in the Senate.


Two firearms bills were caucused in the House on Thursday, March 22. SB 1087 (firearms; state preemption), sponsored by Sen. Ron Gould (R-Lake Havasu City), provides that local firearms ordinances can be no more restrictive than state law. SB 1304 (firearms regulation; political subdivisions), sponsored by Sen. Frank Antenori (R-Tucson), repeals statutory language permitting a political subdivision to adopt an ordinance or rule restricting the discharge of firearms within one-quarter mile of an occupied structure. Pursuant to an amendment adopted by the Senate, the bill does establish parameters for criminal negligence for the use of a firearm within a municipality. Both bills now proceed next to the House Committee of the Whole.

Tax reform

On Thursday, March 22, the Senate Committee of the Whole passed HB 2123 (transaction privilege tax reform committee). The bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Steve Court (R-Mesa), establishes a 13-member committee to study various issues related to the future of taxes in Arizona. The bill requires the committee to report its findings and recommendations by October 31, 2012. HB 2123, which passed the House by a unanimous vote of 57-0 in February, now proceeds to its third reading in the Senate.

Law enforcement

On Monday, March 19, the House Rules Committee considered and passed SB 1212 (law enforcement officers; just cause). The bill was caucused in the Senate the next day. Sponsored by Senator Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert), the bill mandates that the same "just cause" process required for the termination of law enforcement officers be applied to demotions and suspensions lasting longer than 40 hours. The League opposes the bill, which previously passed the Senate and now proceeds to the House Committee of the Whole.

Legislator Profile - Representative Cecil Ash

Representative Cecil Ash
It may not be terribly unusual for a state legislature to count among its membership a small-town rancher, a big-city diplomat, a real estate entrepreneur, a flight attendant, a public defender, a mobile home park developer, and an international missionary. What is far rarer, however, is to find those multiple personalities all rolled into one person. But so it is with Arizona Representative Cecil Ash, a sophomore legislator from legislative district 18.

A native of Mesa, Ash had four brothers, all of whom graduated from Mesa High School. Before he entered high school, however, his parents decided to relocate to the family ranch at the confluence of Aravaipa Creek and the San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona. Consequently, young Cecil attended Hayden High School in Winkelman, where a new school building had been recently constructed.

When he wasn't attending to his studies, the young cattleman worked the ranch, which supported 400 head of cattle on thirty sections of grazing land. The family's self-described "chief water engineer" was responsible for irrigating 160 acres of alfalfa.
Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
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Issue 11 - March 23, 2012
Issue 11 - March 23, 2012
Issue 11 - March 23, 2012
Issue 11 - March 23, 2012
Issue 11 - March 23, 2012
Issue 11 - March 23, 2012
Issue 11 - March 23, 2012