Today marks the 19th day of the 2016 session. Legislative activity related to municipal concerns increased remarkably this week. All of
this work was in committee, but floor activity should pick up next week.
To date there have been 995 bills introduced, with 83 memorials and resolutions. This is an increase of almost 200 bills since last
week, and 21 more memorials and resolutions. February 1st is the deadline for Senate Bill introductions, and February 8th is the
deadline for the House.
The long-awaited Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) reform package is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Finance
Committee on Wednesday morning. The League has been a key participant in the negotiations and much of the work of the Pension Reform
Task Force has been incorporated into the legislation. While no legislation can eliminate our existing unfunded liability, these
proposed changes will go a long way toward stabilizing the system and reducing the costs associated with future public safety personnel.
There is broad support for the package and we are very hopeful that this issue will receive approval by the Legislature and will be on
the May special election ballot. The bill numbers are SB1428, SB1429 and SCR1019, but the bill language is not posted yet.
On Monday two League Resolutions passed through the House Counties and Municipal Affairs Committee. The first bill, sponsored by Rep.
Jeff Weninger (R - Chandler),
HB2076 (annexation; single property owner; exception)
went through unanimously. The measure allows for annexations to take place when the property owner and the municipality both want the
annexation, and also to alter the length and width requirements in this circumstance.
HB2107 (substance abuse recovery homes)
also passed the committee, by a vote of 5-3. Rep. Noel Campbell (R - Prescott) sponsor of the bill is seeking to provide some regulation
on the substance abuse recovery home industry.
The League supported both bills, and they now go to the Rules Committee.
Sponsored by Sen. John Kavanagh (R - Fountain Hills)
SB1162 (alarm industry; fingerprint requirements)
makes alterations to alarm business licensing from the Board of Technical Registration, including allowing alarm personnel to submit
proof of having a fingerprint verification card instead of submitting fingerprints to the Board. This change and the rest of the changes
are not onerous to municipalities, so the League was neutral on the bill. It unanimously passed the Senate Public Safety, Military and
Technology Committee and now proceeds to the Commerce and Workforce Development Committee.
Local Control; Bags and Benchmarking
Two bills passed the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday by the same vote of 5-3:
HB2130 (municipalities; counties; energy use; reporting)
and HB2131 (municipalities; counties; auxiliary containers; prohibitions).
Both measures are sponsored by Rep. Warren Peterson (R - Gilbert). HB2130 prohibits local governments from requiring energy use reports
from private companies. HB2131 prohibits cities, towns and counties from restricting businesses from using "auxiliary containers," which
include plastic shopping bags. The League opposed these bills as they are an encroachment on local authority. Both bills now go onto the
Public Employees and Penalties
HB2115 (public employees; misappropriation; penalty)
sponsored by Rep. Warren Peterson (R - Gilbert) would prevent public officers or employees from receiving certain benefits such as
severance pay, annuity payments and pension benefits if that person is "found" to have misappropriated public funds. The bill would also
require this prohibition to be included in any new employment contract. While the League is not opposed to having penalties in place in
the event this occurs, there are concerns that the bill may be unconstitutional as drafted. The League was neutral on the bill and
testified in committee, pointing out these concerns. The bill passed the House Government and Higher Education Committee by a vote of
6-2, and it now goes on to the Rules Committee.
The House Commerce Committee passed
HB2517 (businesses; professions; regulation restrictions)
by a 5-3 vote. This bill was proposed by the Goldwater Institute and sponsored by Rep. Warren Peterson (R - Gilbert). It would limit
municipalities, counties and state agencies from adopting any regulation that applies to business except for purposes of public health,
safety and welfare. Additionally, these governmental entities would have to review all of their existing regulations, eliminate or
modify any that do not meet this restriction and then report to the Legislature. The bill also establishes a private right of action,
allowing any person to sue the municipality if they believed they were not in compliance. The League opposed this bill. It will now go
to the Rules Committee.
Municipal Improvement Districts
The House Government and Higher Education Committee passed
HB2440 (municipal improvement districts)
by a vote of 5-3. Sponsored by Rep. Warren Peterson (R - Gilbert), the measure drastically alters how municipal improvement districts
are formed, including a requirement for a vote of the qualified electors in the district and the landowners, whose votes are based on
acreage owned. The League opposed the bill. The bill will next go to the House Rules Committee.
Legislative Bill Monitoring
(All bills being actively monitored by the League
can be found here.)
HB 2076: annexation; single property owner; exception
HB 2107 substance abuse recovery homes
SB 1162 alarm industry; fingerprint requirements
HB 2130 municipalities; counties; energy use; reporting
HB 2131 municipalities; counties; auxiliary containers; prohibitions
HB 2115 public employees; misappropriations; penalty
HB 2517 business professionals; regulation; restrictions
HB 2440 municipal improvement districts; formation election
Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
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