Today marks the 33rd day of the 2016 session. The Legislature was in high gear this week, with long committee and floor sessions. There
is one more week for bills to be heard in their chamber of origin.
All deadlines have passed for bill introduction. To date there have been 1219 bills introduced, with 105 memorials and resolutions. This
is an increase of approximately 5% over last year's totals. There are 694 House bills and 525 Senate bills. So far, only a single bill
has been signed: HB2468 (internet crimes against children; appropriation).
The package of bills that reform the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS),
SCR1019, passed out of a
special meeting of the House Insurance Committee on Thursday by votes of 7-1 each. The League testified in support of the package as the
best solution for reforming the state pension system for public safety personnel. Cities and towns have the most members in
the system and have the largest unfunded liability. The bills create a new Tier 3 for future employees-those hired after July 1, 2017 -
and include a question that should appear on the May 17th special election ballot that changes the Permanent Benefit Increase (PBI) to
an annual COLA for existing employees and retirees. The bills passed out of the full House on Thursday. SB1428 was amended on the House
floor and will likely have final action in the Senate on Monday.
HB2122, technical correction; technical registration board
had a strike-everything amendment related to photo enforcement and driver's license suspension. Sponsored by Representative J.D. Mesnard
(R - Chandler), the bill would prohibit a license suspension for a failure to appear in court violation on a photo enforcement ticket.
The League was opposed as removing the suspension would essentially take the enforcement out of the photo radar system. The bill passed
the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee by a vote of 5-3 and now moves on to the House Rules Committee.
HB2223, prohibited money transfers; information sharing,
passed the House Government and Higher Education Committee on Thursday by a vote of 6-3. The bill is sponsored by Representative Jay
Lawrence (R - Scottsdale) and would penalize cities and towns that do not follow federal immigration law by withholding shared revenue.
The League testified that there are no sanctuary cities in Arizona and was therefore neutral. The bill proceeds to the House Rules
Sponsored by Representative J.D. Mesnard (R - Chandler)
HB2538, municipal bonds; tax levy
was heard in the House Ways and Means committee on Monday of this week. The League signed in favor of the bill because it allows a
city's or town's secondary property tax levy to include enough funds to be used for early defeasance of existing debt as well as to
correct prior year shortages in the levy. Currently cities and towns can only levy enough to pay for principal and interest on the
bonds. The bill passed unanimously and proceeds to the House Rules Committee.
HB2570, local government bonds; ballot statement
was heard in the House Ways and Means committee on Monday of this week. The League testified in opposition to the bill, which is
sponsored by Representative John Allen (R - Scottsdale). The League opposed the language in the bill that requires publicity pamphlets
to include the costs of a bond for a homeowner over the lifetime of that bond. That language makes it impossible for municipalities to
calculate for a variety of reasons, including property valuations changing. While members of the committee expressed concerns with the
bill, it was voted out unanimously. The measure now goes to the House Rules Committee. The League will seek amendments when the bill
goes to the floor of the House.
HB2486, telecommunications utilities; relocation; reimbursement
was heard in the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday of this week. Sponsored by Representative Justin Olson (R - Mesa) the bill
concerns reimbursement of telecommunication utilities' relocation costs that are related to bond funded infrastructure projects. The
League agreed to be neutral after the telecommunications industry made significant changes to similar legislation that they ran last
year. The bill passed out of Committee unanimously, and goes on to the House Rules Committee.
HB2026, municipal tax exemption, residential lease,
sponsored by Representative Darin Mitchell (R - Litchfield Park), passed the House Ways and Means Committee by a vote of 5-4. The bill
contains a strike everything amendment that would prohibit municipalities from charging residential rental tax on individuals who own
three or fewer single family homes within one city. Before testimony in the committee the sponsor announced that he will sponsor a floor
amendment to limit the tax exemption to the first two single family homes owned by an individual. The League opposed the bill, as the
sponsor indicated his eventual goals is to eliminate the residential rental tax altogether. The bill now goes to House Rules Committee.
Legislative Bill Monitoring
(All bills being actively monitored by the League
can be found here.)
HB2391: municipalities; water rates; requirements
HB2026: municipal tax exemptions; residential lease
HB2538: municipal bonds; tax levy
HB2570: local government bonds' ballot statement
HB2122: S/E: photo radar; driver license suspension
HB2486: telecommunications utilities; relocation; reimbursement
HB2233: public buildings; applicable fire codes
HB2223: prohibited money transfers; information sharing
Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
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