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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 23

The main focus this week has been the proposed 20% pay increase by 2020 for teachers. Rep. Noel Campbell released his proposal on Monday (4/23) that proposed a three-year, one cent education sales tax increase. The Arizona Federation of Teachers also put out a recommendation to have a 2.5 percent statewide tax on services, like haircuts and legal services.

On Thursday, April 26th, thousands of teachers walked out of schools and protested down at the Capitol and on Friday it was announced that the walk out will continue through Monday (4/30). Governor Ducey stated that he wanted to have a deal for the proposed teachers pay increase by the end of the day on Thursday (4/26) which ultimately did not come to fruition. There was an Invest in Education Act ballot initiative that would increase the state’s 4.54% personal income tax rate to 8% under specified criteria.

By Asha Devineni

Legislative Update Week of April 16

Action on bills has slowed down this past week. The main focus this week has been the school safety bill as well as funding for the proposed 20% pay increase by 2020 for teachers. It has been announced that teachers will strike on April 26th. Considering the strike, it is unclear as to when the budget or legislation on the teachers pay increase will occur. Attached is a link where further details of the teachers 20% pay increase can be found:

The original hearing for SB1519 protective orders; schools; approp on Monday (4/16) was rescheduled for Thursday (4/19). After a lengthy committee hearing, the bill passed out of the Senate Commerce and Public Safety Committee with a vote of 4-3.

By Laura Franco French

Legislative Update Week of April 9

With the introduction of legislation to address school safety and a proposed plan for teachers pay, the end of session could be coming soon.

Governor Ducey held a press conference on Thursday (4/12) to announce a teacher pay increase. 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. Further details of the Governor’s plan can be found at the following link:

The following bills are of note:

  • SB1519 protective orders; schools; approp was introduced and First Read on Wednesday (4/11). This bill is the Governor’s school safety that has been talked about this session. This bill will be heard in the Senate Commerce and Public Safety Committee on Monday (4/16). A link to the language of the bill can be found here:
  • 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. House concurred in Senate amendments and passed on final reading 57-0; ready for Governor.



As of Dec. 31, 2018, the Arizona Voices website will no longer be available. Thank you to all who have been active users. We encourage you to remain engaged in the legislative process.

Legislative Recap – 2018
Legislative Update Week of April 30
Legislative Update Week of April 23
Legislative Update Week of April 16
Legislative Update Week of April 9