As predicted, substantial committee work took place this week as chairmen sought to advance bills through the process as the deadline to
hear bills in committees in the chamber of origin is now less than a month away (February 21). Another deadline to be aware of is the
senate bill introduction deadline which is Monday February 3 at five o'clock.
As of this morning, 852 bills and 63 memorials and resolutions have been introduced. The League is currently tracking and monitoring 183
pieces of legislation for their potential impacts to cities and towns.
Streamlined Local Policies
On Monday, the Senate Government and Environment Committee was scheduled to hear SB 1161 (municipal policies; authority); however, the
bill was held by Committee Chairman Sen. Gail Griffin (R-Hereford) without discussion. The League was prepared to testify in opposition
to the bill, which would have created recommended policies that can already be adopted voluntarily today by municipalities. The
opposition of the League was due in large part to the bill's preamble, which said the "authority granted to municipalities may encourage
the exercise of local government power that is threatening to general public health, safety and welfare, frustrating to economic
development [and] inimical to fiscal responsibility."
The House Government Committee passed
HB 2387 (improvement districts; lighting; streets; parks) with
a 7-0 vote. The measure, sponsored by Representative Michelle Ugenti (R - Scottsdale), facilitates the conversion of county streetlight
improvement districts that are entirely within a municipality's corporate boundaries into municipal street light improvement districts to
be administered by the receiving municipality. Transfers are optional and must have the mutual consent of the respective county and
municipality. Improving the administration of street light improvement districts is part of a resolution passed by the League last
summer. The League appreciates Rep. Ugenti's support on this issue.
A trio of annexation related legislation was considered in the House Government Committee on Tuesday.
HB 2126 (municipal annexation; size; exception),
HB 2148 (municipalities; counties; transfer; right-of-way) and
HB 2330 (municipalities; deannexation; public right-of-way) all
seek to enact minor changes to Arizona's annexation statutes. The League registered its support on the measures, which all passed
HB 2162 (city or town council; vacancy), passed the House
Government Committee this week by a unanimous vote. Sponsored by Representative Debbie Lesko (R - Peoria) the bill states that if any
member on a city or town council ceases to be a qualified elector or resident of that municipality, at any time during the member's term
of office, their council seat must be deemed vacant. The measure also says that the vacancy can be filled as any other vacancy would be,
and that the county attorney is deemed the appropriate entity to conduct investigations into the vacancy. The bill arose out of a
situation in a city where a council member had moved out of state before his term was up, but remained on the council. The bill now
moves to the Rules Committee.
On Tuesday, the House Insurance and Retirement Committee passed
HB 2050 (ASRS membership; section 218 requirements) on a 7-0
vote. The bill, sponsored by Representative Phil Lovas (R-Peoria) decouples the Arizona State Retirement System's (ASRS) eligibility
requirements from the state's Section 218 agreement with the Social Security Administration. This change will finally put to rest the
question of the pension eligibility of certain public safety employees, at least in regards to new hires. The League believes this bill
represents a big step towards resolving this issue. The League would like to thank Rep. Lovas, Representative
Bob Robson (R-Chandler), ASRS, legislative staff and the other numerous stakeholders for their extensive work on this issue. The bill,
which was amended to clarify the process for newly eligible employees to purchase service, now proceeds to the Rules Committee.
Other Bills of Note
(All bills being actively monitored by the League can be found here.)
Bill Number - Short Title - Subject(s)
No bills of note.
Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
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