Issue 6 - February 14, 2014 PRINT VERSION

Legislative Overview

League staff were kept busy this week with significant committee work and numerous stakeholder meetings. However, next week will likely be the busiest of the legislative season as Friday, February 21 marks the last day for the consideration of bills by committees in the chamber of origin. It should be noted that historically, the Appropriations committees have been afforded an additional week to consider bills.

The deadline to introduce legislation in the House was this past Monday, at 5:00 pm. There were a total of 701 bills and 61 memorials and resolutions introduced in the House. That bring the totals for the legislative session to 1,184 bills and 103 memorials and resolutions, which is slightly higher than last year, but well below the 1,395 bills and 149 memorials and resolutions of 2011. The League is currently tracking 279 measures for their potential municipal impacts.

Utility Tax Exemptions

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee heard SB 1413 (taxes; manufacturers' electricity sales; exemption). Sponsored by Senator Steve Yarbrough (R-Chandler), SB 1413 exempts electricity used in manufacturing and smelting operations from state transaction privilege taxes. Cities and towns are preempted from levying any tax or fee (including franchise fees) on the electricity used in manufacturing and smelting operations. The League opposed the bill due to the inability to accurately determine the direct revenue impacts to municipalities and the potential disruption to local economic development programs. As written, SB 1413 removes an important business attraction tool that better serves the state by being reserved for cities and towns to use when courting new businesses. The League signed in and testified in opposition to the bill, which passed on a 7-0 vote. A group of mayors and League staff met with the Governor and her staff on Thursday and remain hopeful that compromise can be reached on the measure.

Building Code Preemption

The Senate Government and Environment Committee passed SB 1227 (municipalities; counties; energy efficient codes) with a 3-2-2 vote. Sponsored by Sen. Chester Crandell (R-Heber), the bill prohibits municipalities from adopting any new energy efficiency building codes. The League opposed the bill due to its infringement on what is a matter of local concern.

Political Subdivision Entities

On Tuesday, the House Insurance and Retirement Committee considered HB 2069 (ASRS; political subdivision entities), which precludes future employees of political subdivision entities (PSEs) from joining the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS). The League opposed the bill because PSEs (which includes groups like the League, the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association and various regional councils of governments) serve government and government purposes and preventing future employees from participating in ASRS will have negative consequences in the future. The bill, sponsored by Representative Michelle Ugenti (R-Scottsdale) passed out of the on a 4-3 vote.

State Lake Improvement Fund

On Tuesday the House Agriculture and Water Committee passed HB 2149 (state parks; SLIF fund distribution) by a vote of 6-2. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Sonny Borelli (R-Lake Havasu City), states that money in the State Lake Improvement Fund (SLIF) shall be used in accordance with the Arizona State Parks Board's specifications. It also states that the money shall be distributed at least annually to counties and municipalities where motorboats are used on waterways. Money may also be distributed to the Game and Fish Commission. The League supports the measure. The bill proceeds to the Rules Committee.

State Preemption on Firearms

On Thursday the House Judiciary Committee passed HB 2517 (firearms; state preemption; penalties) by a vote of 5-3. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Smith (R -Maricopa), states that if a political subdivision passes an ordinance, rule, tax or regulation that violates the state preemption on firearms, the courts shall declare it invalid and enjoin the subdivision from continuing the act. It further stipulates that there could be civil penalties and court action if the responsible party enacted such a regulation knowingly and willfully. The League opposed the measure as there have not been complaints of such behavior made to the League and it seems that the punishment is not commensurate with the alleged problem. The bill 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)
HB 2421: S/E: public records; notice; penalty - transparency

HB 2536: best land management practices; appropriation - natural resources

SB 1277: vehicle right of way; buses - transportation

SB 1400: public safety assistance; commission; fund - public safety

SB 1482: homeowners' associations amendments; omnibus - HOAs
Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
Forward your comments or suggestions to .
Issue 6 - February 14, 2014
Issue 6 - February 14, 2014
Issue 6 - February 14, 2014
Issue 6 - February 14, 2014
Issue 6 - February 14, 2014
Issue 6 - February 14, 2014