By Asha Devineni

Legislative Recap – 2018

The 53rd Second Regular Legislative Session lasted 117 days. The Legislature adjourned sine die on May 4, at 12:26 am. Of the 1,279 bills introduced this session, 345 bills were signed by the Governor and 23 were vetoed. 10 of the vetoed bills were on the basis that there was not a budget being produced that included the teachers pay increase as well as restoration of additional assistance.

Governor Ducey announced a teacher pay increase early in April. The Governor’s plan would include a 20% increase overall by fiscal year 2020 which will amount to an average teacher pay of $58,130, up from the current $48,723. Teachers went on strike for six days starting on April 25th after there had been no legislation introduced to address the teacher pay increase. This lasted through the entire budget process and almost until sine die night. This year’s general appropriation budget bill, HB2665 general appropriations act; 2018-2019, includes provisions regarding the teachers pay increase such as the legislative intent that the increase of $273,706,100 in GF monies for basic state aid in FY2019 be used for teacher salary increases.

In June of 2017, Governor Ducey  issued a Declaration of Emergency and an Enhanced Surveillance Advisory in response to the opioid overdose epidemic in Arizona. In the Governor’s State of the State address, he addressed this issue and expressed the need to find a solution. As a product of the 53rd First Special Session beginning January 23rd, SB1001 controlled substances; regulation; appropriation was passed. The bill established a good Samaritan system that would prohibit a person from being criminally charged in regard to drug possession, if the person was seeking medical assistance for an individual experiencing a drug-related overdose. It puts further regulations on dentists, physician assistants, osteopathic physicians and more for dispensing schedule II controlled substances. The bill also appropriates $10,000,000 from the state in FY18 to establish the Substance Abuse Disorder Fund.

SB1519 school safety; protective orders; appropriations was introduced this session in response to the amount of school shootings occurring. This bill addressed suicide prevention training, school safety emergency response plans, mental and behavioral health services for schools, public safety training and reporting and also create a Severe Threat Order Protection system, This bill was very controversial and had lengthy debate in the Senate Commerce and Public Safety Committee as well as Committee of the Whole. This bill passed out of the Senate with a vote of 17-13. This bill was never given a hearing in the House probably due to the teachers pay increase issue.

Another issue that Governor Ducey mentioned in his State of the State address was Arizona’s water. There were several bills introduced throughout session such as SB1507/2512 water program amendments, HB2553 adequate water supply; county review and SB1509 water; interstate sales. While there were bills that had some legislative action on them, the issue of water did not receive much attention due to the other pertinent issues going on.

Thank you for tuning in to Arizona Voices; see you back here next year.

By Asha Devineni

Legislative Update Week of April 30

The 53rd Legislature adjourned a little after midnight on Friday, May 4. The Governor now has 10 days to take final action on the remaining bills.

Recap of the past week:

On Monday (5/1) afternoon there was an open caucus meeting that consisted of a JLBC presentation outlining the proposed budget as well as the BRBs. The budget bills were introduced late that afternoon and first read.

On Tuesday (5/1) both chambers held an Appropriations Committee to hear all of the budget bills.

On Wednesday (5/2), the House Appropriations Committee reconvened to finish the last of the budget bills. After this both chambers went to caucus for the budget bills. The House and Senate started Committee of the Whole around 8pm Wednesday night and continued until the bills were Third Read. The House finished with budget bills around 9am on Thursday and the Senate finished around 5am.

Below are brief summaries of the major budget bills as well as links to the summaries for further details.

HB2665 general appropriations act; 2018-2019
Amendments: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/GetDocumentPdf/462674

  • The feed bill includes provisions regarding the teachers pay increase such as the legislative intent that the increase of $273,706,100 in general funding monies for basic state aid in FY2019 be used for teacher salary increases.
    • It appropriates $164,700,000 from the GF in FY2020 to ADE for Basic State Aid.
    • It appropriates $289,200,000 from the GF in 2021 to ADE for Basic State Aid.
      • During FY2021 there will be a one time $50,000,000 increase in funding from the Classroom Site Fund to increase teacher salaries.
    • The above provisions require the appropriation to be used to fund an increase in the base level for teacher salary increase.
  • It appropriates $8 million from the GF in FY2019 to the universities for capital improvement and operation expenditures in further specified amounts.
  • There are several appropriations to AHCCCS that include a 2.5% provider rate increase, skilled nursing provider rate increase and behavioral health services in schools.
  • Directs appropriations and prior year balances for ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership and UA’s Center for the Philosophy of Freedom be deposited in separate accounts from other university funding.

HB2663/SB1521 K-12 education; budget reconciliation; 2018-2019
Amendments: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/GetDocumentPdf/462639

  • Increases the Base Level for FY 2019 from $3,683.27 to $3,960.07.
  • Continues to declare that it is the intent of the Governor and Legislature that school districts increase the total percentage of classroom spending over the previous year’s percentages in instruction, student support and instructional support.
  • Directs ADE to reduce the amount of CAA by $13,628,800 that otherwise would be apportioned to charter schools for FY 2019 and requires budget limits to be reduced accordingly.
  • Continues to direct ADE to reduce DAA for school districts that are not eligible to receive Basic State Aid funding by the amount that would be reduced if the district was eligible for Basic State Aid funding and reduce the school district’s budget limits accordingly.
    • Establishes a schedule to reduce the suspension of DAA to $0.00 in FY 2023
  • Requires school districts to prominently post on their websites a copy of the profile page displaying classroom spending percentages from the Auditor General’s Classroom Spending Report.
  • Includes financial expectations in charter school performance frameworks and instructs charter sponsor annual reports to include financial performance of the charter portfolio

HB2662 higher education; budget reconciliation; 2018-2019
Amendments: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/GetDocumentPdf/462645

  • Outlines information that must be included in a report on commercial projects.
  • Continues the Foster Care Tuition Waiver Scholarship Program.
  • Asserts that the annual Capital Improvement Plan reports must include information about ongoing or recently completed land acquisitions and capital projects of an agency’s component units, in addition to acquisitions and projects of an agency
  • Requires a community college course offered for credit to meet requirements adopted pursuant to district governing board policies, including national standardized examinations and credit by evaluation or exam.
  • Prohibits a community college from offering a course with a prerequisite for enrollment that requires a student to be a member of a labor organization, trade organization or trade guild to participate in an industry apprenticeship program.

HB2659/SB1526 health; budget reconciliation; 2018-2019
Amendments: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/GetDocumentPdf/462605

  • Requires the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to deposit the first $300,000 of all radiation related fees for licensure and certification collected each FY into the GF.
  • Repeals the Radiation Regulatory Fee Fund and the State Radiologic Technologist Fund.
  • Permits the Director for ADHS to raise fees in FY 2019 for services provided by the Bureau of Radiation Control.
  • Stipulates that the reimbursement level for behavioral health services provided at an inpatient facility after July 1, 2018 is capped at the fee-for-service schedule adopted by AHCCCS, multiplied by 90%, unless the recognized inpatient facility and a contractor or RBHA enter into a contract.
  • Requires AHCCCS to transfer to the counties the portion necessary to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act regarding the counties’ proportional share of the state’s contributions by December 31, 2019.
  • Requires AHCCCS to submit a report to the Director of JLBC by January 2, 2019 on the availability of inpatient psychiatric treatment for adults, children and adolescents who receive services from RBHAs.
  • Sets the annual DSH Payment amount for the District in FY 2019 in the amount of $113,818,500.
  • Sets the annual county ALTCS contributions for FY 2019 at $268,554,800

Thank you for following the legislative session with us; until  next time!

By Asha Devineni

Legislative Update Week of April 2

This legislative session is starting to near its end. This week consisted of a lot of floor action. From what has been heard, the House, Senate and the Governor’s office are not conflicting significantly.

The following bills are of note:

HB2090: pre-arrest diversion; precomplaint education program. The standards used by the Joint Legislative Income Tax Review Committee to evaluate tax credits may include whether adequate protections are in place to ensure that the fiscal impact of the credit in future years does not increase substantially beyond the current projections. This bill passed out of the Senate 23-5 and is ready for House action on Senate amendments.

HB2126: government property; abatement; slum; blight. This bill passed out of the Senate 28-0 and is ready for House action on Senate amendments.

By Asha Devineni

Legislative Update Week of March 26

This session is starting to near its end. The Appropriation Committees in both chambers met this week which will conclude the meeting of committees for this session.  The remainder of this session will include floor action to get the remainder of the bills sent to the governor as well as budget meetings.  Budget discussion began several weeks ago. From what has been heard, the House, Senate and the Governor’s office are not conflicting significantly.

The following bill is of note:

By Asha Devineni

Legislative Update Week of March 19

This session is starting to near it’s end; this was the last week for the House and Senate Committees to hear bills. The Appropriation Committees in both chambers will have one more week to hear bills.

On Monday (3/19) Governor Doug Ducey released his school safety action plan to address the epidemic going on throughout the US.

The following bills are of note:

  • HB2005: public service corporations; penalties. Municipal governing bodies are authorized to sell or lease for “economic development activities” land or buildings owned by or under the control of the municipality if specified conditions are met, including that the lease term cannot exceed 25 years, that the land or building is appraised by an experienced appraiser, and that the land is sold or leased at a public auction to the highest responsible bidder after public notice of the sale or lease is given. This bill passed in both the Senate and the House, 16-12 and 34-24 respectively and is now ready for the Governor.
  • SB1390 TPT; additional rate; education was heard in the Senate Education Committee on Thursday (3/22). This legislation effectively makes permanent the additional TPT rate for education approved by the voters as Proposition 301 in November 2000, which will expire June 30, 2021. This bill passed out of committee with a vote of 6-0 as amended. This bill then proceeded to go through the legislative process where it was ultimately voted on in both chambers and passed on Thursday. This bill will now be sent to the Governor for his final signature.
  • SB1147 county excise tax for transportation was heard in the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday (3/21). There were four amendments introduced and adopted to the bill. A link to the consolidated amendments can be found below. This bill passed out of committee with a vote of 5-4.
  • SB1499 community facilities districts; directors. A resolution ordering the formation of a district must state whether the district will be governed by a district board consisting of members of the governing body, ex officio, with two additional members who are initially designated by the owner who owns the largest amount of privately owned acreage in the district and who are appointed by the governing body, or, at the option of the governing body, five directors appointed by the governing body. This bill passed out of the House with a vote of 54-5 and is ready for the Governor.

By Asha Devineni

Legislative Update Week of March 5

Next week will be the last week for House consideration of Senate bills and Senate consideration of House bills. The Appropriation Committees in both chambers will have an extra week to hear bills.

The following bills are of note:

  • SB1390 TPT; additional rate; education will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Thursday (3/22). This legislation effectively makes permanent the additional TPT rate for education approved by the voters as Proposition 301 in November 2000, which will expire June 30, 2021.
  • HB2126 government property; abatement; slum; blight was heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday (3/14). This bill passed out of committee with a vote of 7-0. There was a committee amendment that was adopted to the bill which can be found at the link provided: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/GetDocumentPdf/460190
  • HB2490 contracts; licensure requirement waivers will be heard in the Senate Commerce and Public Safety committee on Monday (3/19). This bill would permit two or more private parties in a contract to agree to waive any state, city, town or county laws relating to licensure, certification, registration or other authorization to act for the purposes of the contract if a list of specified conditions apply.

By Asha Devineni

Legislative Update Week of February 26

Committees have resumed hearing bills this week. March 23rd will be the last day for House consideration of Senate bills and Senate consideration of House bills.

The following bills are of note:

  • HB2126 government property; abatement; slum; blight will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday (3/14).
  • SB1147 county excise tax for transportation was heard in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday (3/8). This bill would allow the board of supervisors of a county with a population of 400,000 persons or less to submit to the voters a transportation plan funded by an excise tax that is in addition to a county transportation excise tax. This passed out of committee with a vote of 7-0.

By Laura Franco French

Legislative Update Week of March 2

Committees have resumed hearing bills this week. March 23rd will be the last day for House consideration of Senate bills and Senate consideration of House bills.

In the House Caucus on Tuesday (2/27), there was a JLBC presentation of the JLBC Baseline and Executive Budget Comparison. A link to this presentation can be found here: https://www.azleg.gov/calendar/0227201807.01H.pdf

The following bills are of note:

  • HB2126: government property; abatement; slum; blight. Modifies the size of the geographical area for a central business district. The bill also modifies the requirements for leases between a prime lessee and a government lessor for which tax is abated. This bill passed the House 58-0 and is ready for the Senate.
  • SB1147: county excise tax for transportation will be heard in the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee on Wednesday (3/7). This bill would allow the board of supervisors of a county with a population of 400,000 persons or less, on a majority vote, to submit to the voters a transportation plan funded by an excise tax that is in addition to a county transportation excise tax.

By Asha Devineni

Legislative Update Week of February 19

March 23rd will be the last day for House consideration of Senate bills and Senate consideration of House bills.

The following bills are of note:

  • HB2005: municipal economic development; sale; lease. Municipal governing bodies are authorized to sell or lease for “economic development activities” land or buildings owned by or under the control of the municipality if specified conditions are met, including that the lease term cannot exceed 25 years, that the land or building is appraised by an experienced appraiser, and that the land is sold or leased at a public auction to the highest responsible bidder after public notice of the sale or lease is given. This bill passed out of the House 32-26 and was referred to the Senate.
  • HB2090: tax credit review; evaluation standard. The standards used by the Joint Legislative Income Tax Review Committee to evaluate tax credits may include whether adequate protections are in place to ensure that the fiscal impact of the credit in future years does not increase substantially beyond the current projections. This bill passed out of the House 57-0 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.
  • HB2116: limitations of actions; dedicated property. Municipalities and counties are prohibited from instituting or maintaining an action or arbitration based on a required permit against a person who develops or develops and sells real property that is dedicated to the municipality or county more than eight years after “substantial completion”of the improvement. This bill passed out of the House 39-21 following the addition of amendments #4028 and #4437
  • HB2126: government property; abatement; slum; blight. Modifies the size of the geographical area for a central business district. The bill also modifies the requirements for leases between a prime lessee and a government lessor for which tax is abated.This bill was heard in the House Ways and Means Committee and there were references to a possible floor amendment that all parties agreed on. This bill was retained on the House COW calendar.
  • HB2158: TPT; additional rate; education. Beginning July 1, 2021, an additional transaction privilege tax (TPT) rate increment is levied at the rate of 0.6 percent of the tax base of the list of business classifications. The State Treasurer is required to distribute the revenues for various public education purposes according to a specified formula, including $86.3 million annually to the Department of Education for increased basic state aid. This legislation effectively makes permanent the additional TPT rate for education approved by the voters as Proposition 301 in November 2000, which will expire June 30, 2021. Amendment #4184 was added to this bill.
  • HB2165: county excise tax for transportation. The board of supervisors of any county is permitted to submit to the voters a transportation plan funded by an excise tax. If approved by the voters, the county is required to levy and the Department of Revenue is required to collect the tax beginning January 1 or July 1, whichever occurs first after voter approval, on the same tax base that applies to other excise taxes in the county.
  • HB2280: universities; lease-back financing. Prohibits ABOR or a corporation formed by a university from entering into a development agreement unless the property improvement is primarily for an academic purpose or student housing. This bill passed out of the committee with a vote of 5-4 and amendment #4071.
  • HB2330: one percent property tax limit; gplet. If a school district qualifies for additional state aid for education in the fiscal year and if all or part of an affected school district is located in a municipality or stadium district in which any government property improvement is located, the Property Tax Oversight Commission is required to determine the full amount of primary property tax that would have been assessed for the tax year by the affected school district against each government property improvement. The State Treasurer must pay the amount computed for each government property improvement to each appropriate school district. The maximum amount of additional state aid for education funded by the state of $1 million per county is deleted. This bill was retained on the House COW calendar.
  • HB2377: teachers’ school supplies; tax credit. Retroactive to January 1, 2018, an individual income tax credit of up to $400 per teacher is established for expenses incurred by a “qualified schoolteacher” (defined as a teacher in kindergarten or grades 1 through 12) for educational supplies and materials purchased by the teacher and used in the teacher’s classroom. If the allowable credit exceeds taxes due, the unclaimed amount of the credit may be carried forward for up to five consecutive tax years. This bill failed to pass 23-31. It will be reconsidered within 14 days.
  • SB1014: municipal zoning; zoning protests. Clarifies that the group of persons authorized to file a protest in writing against a municipal rezoning, which triggers a requirement for the rezoning to obtain a 3/4 vote of the municipal governing body for passage, is the owners of 20 percent or more of the property. This bill passed out of the the Senate with a vote of 23-7 and was referred to the House Local & International Affairs Committee.
  • SB1147: county excise tax for transportation. Permits the board of supervisors of any county to submit to the voters a transportation plan funded by an excise tax. This passed out of the Senate with a vote of 24-6 and is ready for the House.
    • The identical bill (HB2165) listed above, was reconsidered in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday (2/7).

  • SB1499: community facilities districts; directors. A resolution ordering the formation of a district must state whether the district will be governed by a district board consisting of members of the governing body, ex officio, with two additional members who are initially designated by the owner who owns the largest amount of privately owned acreage in the district and who are appointed by the governing body, or, at the option of the governing body, five directors appointed by the governing body. This bill passed out of the Senate with a vote of 30-0 and is ready for the House.

By Asha Devineni

Legislative Update Week of February 5

All of the deadlines for bills to be introduced have passed. A total of 1,279 bills have been introduced this session. Feb. 16th will be the last day for House consideration of House bills and Senate consideration of Senate bills.

The following bills are of note:

  • HB2116: limitations of actions; dedicated property. Municipalities and counties are prohibited from instituting or maintaining an action or arbitration based on a required permit against a person who develops or develops and sells real property that is dedicated to the municipality or county more than eight years after “substantial completion”of the improvement.
  • HB2126: government property; abatement; slum; blight. For the purpose of statute allowing municipalities to abate taxes for government property improvements in a single central business district, the definition of “central business district” is modified to require the geographical area to be not larger than the greater of 2.1 percent of the total land area within the exterior boundaries of the municipality or 960 acres, instead of not larger than the greater of 5 percent of the total land area or 640 acres. A municipality that has designated a central business district on or before August 31, 2018 is required to modify the district to comply with this change. Within one year after the effective date of this legislation, each municipality is required to review each area within its boundaries that has been designated as slum or blight for over ten years and either renew or terminate the designation.
  • HB2158: TPT; additional rate; education. Beginning July 1, 2021, an additional transaction privilege tax (TPT) rate increment is levied at the rate of 0.6 percent of the tax base of the list of business classifications. The State Treasurer is required to distribute the revenues for various public education purposes according to a specified formula, including $86.3 million annually to the Department of Education for increased basic state aid. This legislation effectively makes permanent the additional TPT rate for education approved by the voters as Proposition 301 in November 2000, which will expire June 30, 2021.
  • HB2165: county excise tax for transportation. The board of supervisors of any county is permitted to submit to the voters a transportation plan funded by an excise tax. If approved by the voters, the county is required to levy and the Department of Revenue is required to collect the tax beginning January 1 or July 1, whichever occurs first after voter approval, on the same tax base that applies to other excise taxes in the county.
  • HB2280: universities; lease-back financing. Prohibits ABOR or a corporation formed by a university from entering into a development agreement unless the property improvement is primarily for an academic purpose or student housing. This bill passed out of the committee with a vote of 5-4 and amendment #4071.
  • SB1014: municipal zoning; zoning protests. Clarifies that the group of persons authorized to file a protest in writing against a municipal rezoning, which triggers a requirement for the rezoning to obtain a 3/4 vote of the municipal governing body for passage, is the owners of 20 percent or more of the property. This bill passed out of the the Senate with a vote of 23-7.
  • SB1147: county excise tax for transportation. Permits the board of supervisors of any county to submit to the voters a transportation plan funded by an excise tax. This passed out of committee with a vote of 7-0.
    • The identical bill (HB2165) listed above, was reconsidered in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday (2/7).

  • SCR1002: The 2018 general election ballot is to carry the question of whether to amend the state Constitution to require, beginning in 2018, a statewide initiative or referendum that is approved by a vote of the people to be referred to a subsequent vote of the people ten years after the measure’s initial approval. The subsequent vote must be on the question of whether to reauthorize the measure for another ten-year period.
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Legislative Recap – 2018
Legislative Update Week of April 30
Legislative Update Week of April 2
Legislative Update Week of March 26
Legislative Update Week of March 19
Legislative Update Week of March 5
Legislative Update Week of February 26
Legislative Update Week of March 2
Legislative Update Week of February 19
Legislative Update Week of February 5