Issue 10 - March 15, 2013 PRINT VERSION

Legislative Overview

Today marks the 61st day of the First Regular Session of the 51st Legislature. Floor activity was limited as each chamber sought to move remaining bills to the other body. Notwithstanding certain exceptions, the deadline to hear bills in committee is March 22.

Perhaps the biggest news at the Capitol was the governor's unveiling of her proposal on Medicaid. Among other provisions, the proposal would increase eligibility for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System to cover everyone below 133 percent of the federal poverty level and allow AHCCCS to assess a fee on hospitals to pay for the expansion. A press release on the bill can be found here. Additionally, the legislative language proposed by Gov. Brewer can be found here and is likely to be sponsored by Rep. Heather Carter (R-Cave Creek).

Changes to Transaction Privilege Taxes

Although discussions on HB 2657 (transaction privilege tax changes) continued this week, it should be noted that HB 2111 (investments; public monies) is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday at 2 p.m. According to the agenda, a strike-everything amendment may be offered on the bill with the subject of "transaction privilege tax changes." The language of that strike-everything amendment is not required to be available until 4 p.m on Monday. The League continues to monitor the situation and will provide information as it becomes available.

Scrap Metal Dealers

HB 2262 (scrap metal dealers; registration) unanimously passed both the Senate Government and Environment and the Public Safety committees this week. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Tom Forese (R - Chandler) and supported by the League, requires scrap metal dealers to register with the Department of Public Safety and also requires all Arizona law enforcement to be registered on a free theft notification website. The bill contains numerous provisions intended to decrease metal theft while still allowing scrap metal dealers to operate without undue burdens. The bill does state that the Legislature determines dealer registration is a matter of statewide concern and that the power to register dealers is preempted, but a city, town or county may continue to enforce business licensing laws. The bill now goes to Senate Rules.

Election Revisions

On Tuesday, March 12, HB 2536 (campaign finance; committees; revisions) was amended in the Senate Elections Committee to add the provisions of HB 2527 (elections; revisions). The amended bill passed out on a 5-1 vote. HB 2536 makes changes regarding independent expenditures and political committee contributions. The amendment: authorizes municipalities to lengthen or shorten their terms in order to transition to candidate elections in the fall of even years; modifies municipal incorporation statutes accordingly; and provides municipalities with their "home rule" authorization expiring in the spring of 2014 the opportunity to move those elections to the fall of 2014 without suffering financial penalties. The League supports the bill as these key changes will ensure the smoothest transition to a consolidated election schedule. The League thanks Rep. Michele Ugenti (R-Scottsdale) for her sponsorship and continued support.

Alarm Regulations

On Wednesday, March 13, the House passed HB 2185 (alarm businesses; alarm agents) in the Committee of the Whole and Third Read. As amended the bill allows for alarm companies to provide local law enforcement the necessary information to respond to alarm calls. The bill also has mechanisms in place for background checks for alarm agents. This bill is a clean-up measure to last year's HB 2748.

The League is in support of the bill and is grateful for all of the hard work of the sponsor, Rep. Karen Fann (R - Prescott). The bill now goes to the Senate.

Public Notices

HB 2533 (local governments; public notices; website) failed in its third reading in the House on March 13th. Sponsored by Rep. Warren Peterson (R - Gilbert) HB 2533 allows cities, towns and counties to provide public notice on their own websites, instead of in a newspaper. If a city or town does not have a website, the League will host the posting. Once a year, the municipality will have to publish in a newspaper the location of the public notice website. The bill was also amended in the House Committee of the Whole to exclude municipalities under 100,000.

This issue has been important to cities and towns for many years. We are thankful to Rep. Peterson and the bill's co-sponsors for this effort. The bill will be reconsidered on Monday, March 18.

Ineligible Employees

On Wednesday, HB 2562 (public retirement systems; ineligible employees) was significantly amended in the Senate Finance Committee. As amended the bills aims to prevent future employees seeking enrollment in the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) and the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) from being improperly participating in one of the state's pension plans. Although some final adjustments are needed to the bill, the League is supportive of both the statutory and administrative path going forward in order to both prevent future incorrect enrollments as well as properly and respectfully address existing ineligible employees. The League thanks the sponsor, Rep. Bob Robson (R-Chandler) for his patience and leadership on this issue and willingness to not only bring stakeholders together, but also listens to the concerns raised, in order to craft a viable solution.

Other Bills of Note

(All bills being actively monitored by the League can be found here.)

Bill Number - Short Title - Subject(s)
HB 2292: photo radar citations; service times - transportation, criminal justice

HB 2347: tax levy; bond costs - finance

HB 2443: cities; counties; regulatory review - regulatory reform

SB 1231: public buildings; construction; indemnity - general government

SB 1278: homeowners' associations; public roadways - homeowners' associations

SB 1365: planned communities; zoning; prohibitions - homeowners' associations

SB 1403: United Nations Rio declaration; prohibition. - general government

Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
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Issue 10 - March 15, 2013
Issue 10 - March 15, 2013
Issue 10 - March 15, 2013
Issue 10 - March 15, 2013
Issue 10 - March 15, 2013
Issue 10 - March 15, 2013
Issue 10 - March 15, 2013