Issue 6 - February 19, 2016

Legislative Overview

Today marks the 40th day of the 2016 session. This was the last week to hear bills in their chamber of origin so committee agendas were extremely lengthy. Each chamber also had extensive floor activity as they move bills to the other side.

To date, there have been three bills signed: HB2468, internet crimes against children; appropriation, SB1428, PSPRS modifications and SB1429, public retirement systems; special election. The ballot referral for PSPRS reform, SCR1019, went to the Secretary of State for preparation for the May 17th election.

Residential Rental

On Thursday, HB2026, S/E tax exemption; single family dwellings failed to pass the House Committee of the Whole by a vote of 22-36 (with two not voting). This bill concerns the municipal residential rental tax, and was amended to exempt the first two single family home rentals of an individual owner. The League opposed the measure as the first step toward the eventual elimination of the residential rental tax. The League thanks all of the municipal officials and Representatives that worked to stop this legislation.

Penalties for Local Decisions

SB1487, state law; local violations; penalties passed out of the Senate Government Committee on Wednesday by a 4-3 vote. The bill's sponsor, Senate President Andy Biggs testified that the bill was necessary to assure that cities and towns follow state law and there needs to be a monetary penalty as the bill calls for, to assure compliance. If enacted, the bill would withhold shared revenue from cities and towns that are found by the Attorney General to have violated state law. The League testified in opposition to the bill as an attack on local authority and a bypassing of the constitutional protections of due process. The bill now goes to the Rules Committee.


HB 2497, local governments; permits; regulation, sponsored by Representative Darrin Mitchell (R - Litchfield Park) passed the House County and Municipal Affairs Committee by a vote of 5-3 this week. The bill mandates that local governments permit all microcell equipment, which boosts mobile phone signals. The bill prohibits municipalities from collecting a recurring cost on microcell equipment. The League opposed the bill in committee; however, there are ongoing negotiations with stakeholders to address concerns. The bill now goes to the Rules Committee.


SB 1524, regulatory actions; limitations, passed the Senate Government Committee this week by a vote of 6-0. Sponsored by Senator Steve Smith (R - Maricopa) the bill limits regulatory restrictions a municipality may place on a business. The bill also addresses concerns of self-regulation of businesses within cities. The League is neutral on the bill. It now goes to the Rules Committee.

Photo Enforcement

Two bills related to photo traffic enforcement passed their respective committees this week. HB2540, prohibition; photo radar gained approval from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee by a vote of 5-4. Sponsored by Representative Kelly Townsend (R - Mesa) the bill would ban all type of photo enforcement, including speed, red light and school zone cameras. SB1520, S/E: photo enforcement; voter approval passed the Senate Public Safety and Military Technology Committee with a vote of 4-1. Sponsored by Senator Steve Smith (R - Maricopa) the measure would send to a municipality's voters the question of retaining photo enforcement. The League opposed both bills, as cities that continue to use photo enforcement can cite safer conditions in their communities, and those that have removed it have already listened to their constituents without having to go to an election. Both measures go on to the Rules Committee.


SB1449, unmanned aircraft; prohibited operations, passed two Senate Committees this week. Sponsored by Senator John Kavanagh (R - Fountain Hills), the bill prescribes various regulations associated with unmanned aircraft, or drones. Cities and towns are greatly restricted from adopting their own ordinances in the bill, so the League is working with the bill's proponents to ensure that municipal concerns are addressed. As such, there will continue to be amendments to the bill. SB1449 passed the Senate Transportation Committee 5-1, and the Senate Judiciary Committee 7-0. The bill now goes to the Rules Committee.

Firearms and the Federal Government

Sponsored by Representative Anthony Kern (R - Glendale) HB2300, firearms; prohibited governmental activities prohibits state or local governments from enforcing or using resources to aid in the enforcement of federal laws related to personal firearms. The League opposed the bill as it could impede cooperative activities between federal and local law enforcement related to firearms. The measure passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 4-2, and moves to the Rules Committee.


HB2024, S/E immigration laws; attorney fees, sponsored by Representative Mark Finchem (R - Tucson) prohibits the awarding of attorney fees to the prevailing party if the prevailing party is a governmental entity in a case involving enforcing immigration law. The League opposed as there could be frivolous lawsuits that occur where the municipalities prevail, but under this bill would not be able to recover attorney fees. The bill passed the House Federalism and States' Rights Committee by a vote of 5-2, and now goes to the Rules Committee.

Legislative Bill Monitoring

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

HB2497: local governments; permits; equipment

HB2540: prohibition; photo radar

SB1520: S/E photo radar; voter approval

SB1449: unmanned aircraft prohibited operations

HB2300: firearms; prohibited governmental activities

HB2024: S/E immigration laws; attorney fees

SB1523: truth in taxation; levy increases

SB1350: S/E online homesharing; administration; definitions

SB1487: state law; local violations; penalties

SB1524: regulatory actions; limitations

HB2350: occupational disease; post - traumatic stress disorder

HB2026: S/E tax exemption; single family dwellings
Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
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