The Capitol Roundup

The Arc of Arizona's regular recap of State & Federal legislative happenings

April 6, 2018

The Finish Line is Out There, Somewhere

​At the Statehouse...

Today is the 89th day of the 2018 legislative session, and state leaders say they are on track to end the session by the end of April. House and Senate leaders say they are nearing a budget agreement with the Governor, though few details are available as the negotiations continue behind the scenes. The budget will unfold as teachers continue to rally inside and outside schools across the state to call for more education funding.​

Throughout the week, legislators advanced many bills toward the Governor’s desk.
The House endorsed the Sonorasaurus as the official dinosaur of Arizona, extended the expiration date for eggs, and unanimously passed a bill that ensures individuals with a criminal record can get an occupational license. House members held a lengthy debate on a statement against the Humane Society of the United States but unanimously supported a law that outlines notification requirements for a data security breach.


The Senate voted to limit the ability for underage Arizonans to get married, create fines for individuals who misrepresent a pet as a service animal, make adjustments to the state’s K-3 Reading Program, and unanimously approved altered procedures and timelines for children in foster care. Senators also voted to allow virtual currency to be used in crowdfunding efforts and to prohibit local governments from blocking Arizonans’ ability to run blockchain technology from their homes.

The Governor signed more than 40 bills into law, including proposals to mandate recess periods for students in grades K-5, ban fees for freezing access to an individual’s credit, permit substitute teachers to count their classroom experience toward their substitute teaching certification, expand opportunities to use blockchain technology for corporate transactions, and allow schools to display the state motto (“God enriches”) in classrooms. 

He vetoed bills that would have exempted the Arizona Power Authority from procurement laws and altered requirements for challenging state agency decisions through the Arizona Administrative Procedure Act. 

A total of 172 proposals have become law so far this year, and almost 50 are on Governor Ducey’s desk for his consideration. More than 200 other proposals are still eligible for consideration as the legislature moves toward the end of the legislative session.

In the News

Governor Ducey declared this Public Health Week in Arizona, and designated April 5, 2018 as Rose Mofford Day in honor of the former Governor’s leadership and pioneering spirit. He made headlines when he welcomed President Trump’s announcement that he may deploy the U.S. military along Arizona’s border with Mexico.

Priority Bills
  • SB 1162 (silver alert notification; developmental disability) expands the state’s Silver Alert notification system to include missing individuals of any age who have a developmental disability. Governor Ducey signed the bill into law (Chapter 39).
  • SB 1218 (developmental homes; licensure; investigations) provides statutory protections for vulnerable children and adults who receive services through the Department of Economic Security’s Division of Developmental Disabilities in developmental home residential settings. The bill passed the House Rules Committee and awaits a vote in the House.
  • HB 2087 (family caregiver income tax credit) creates an individual income tax credit for up to $1,000 and up to 50% of the costs incurred caring for a qualifying family member. The bill was discussed in the Senate Appropriations Committee but did not receive a vote. The issue was moved to budget discussions.
School Safety Discussions Continue

Governor Ducey continues to refine his school safety proposal through ongoing discussions with legislators, school advocates, law enforcement, and other relevant organizations. An early draft of the legislation to implement the Governor’s plan was released this week. The draft bill proposes funding for new school resource officers and for new behavioral and mental health training and treatment in schools. It implements the goals outlined in the Governor’s plan for expanded law enforcement access on school property and background checks for some gun purchases.

Some gun rights advocates have asked legislators to oppose the Governor’s plan, but this week the Governor’s office said the National Rifle Association will support it when it is introduced.

Legislators continue to disagree on the concepts and priorities in the Governor’s approach to school safety. Some Republicans believe any school safety effort should include arming teachers in the classroom, and Democratic legislators say they are opposed to any version of the bill that does not include background checks for gun purchases and a ban on the use of bump stocks.

It is not yet clear when the legislature may begin debate on the Governor’s final proposal. House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler) has expressed a desire to complete a state budget before considering school safety, but others believe the Governor has a better chance of obtaining support on his school safety priorities if the bill moves before the legislature acts on a state budget compromise.
On the Bright Side…

A recent report says Arizona is in the top five states in the country for economic momentum.

On the Federal Front...

Major Recent Events

Due to the Congressional recess, the next Federal update will be published in the April 20 Capitol Roundup. In the meantime, look for updates on
​The Arc's blog.


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