The Arizona Legislature completed its fifteenth week of session. The State budget continues to languish as the Arizona Legislature passed the 100-day mark of the Regular Session this week. Several issues continue to stand out as stakeholders engage lawmakers about the FY 2018 budget. They include:
Education funding continues to lead budget discussions, as it requires the most funding. Legislators continue to negotiate where to allocate the money i.e. teacher salaries, new school construction.
TPT Capture for University Research Infrastructure
Governor Ducey, in his budget proposal released in January, proposed TPT as a mechanism for university funding. This would allow universities to capture sales tax that would usually flow to cities and towns. However, many believe the TPT mechanism removes legislative appropriation, takes funding from local governments and funds a proposal with little clarity. The Governor’s proposal does not have the votes in the legislature. Members are negotiating a 1% pay raise for teachers and another 1% over the following 2 years.
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) Restoration
Last year Arizona cut its welfare programs. Democrats would like the funds to be restored in the budget.
HURF (Highway User Revenue Fund)
Arizona continues to sweep the Highway User Revenue Fund to be used for the Department of Public Safety. Lawmakers, especially rural legislators, want those funds sent back to their communities through the budget to be used for its main purpose, transportation.
Proposition 206 Implementation
Legislators have allocated some money to help the Disability Disadvantaged community.
Below are some of the key issues before the Legislature currently:
Governor Doug Ducey signed into law a second bill that will further alter the citizen-initiative process. The bill imposes strict compliance on issues that the public want to bring to the ballot. Ducey called the bill “common-sense legislation (that) preserves the integrity of the process by ensuring that those seeking to make lasting changes to our laws comply with current laws.” It also holds citizen initiatives to the same legal standard as referenda, he wrote in a signing letter.
SB1406-Public Accommodation; Exemptions; Enforcement; Sanctions
On Tuesday, Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill that will change the litigation processes for alleged violations under the Arizona Americans with Disability Act (Arizona ADA). It specifies that a private entity is allowed 30 days to comply with Arizona ADA regulation, unless a building permit is required; in which case a private entity is allowed an additional 60 days to resolve a violation. The specified time is tolled from the time after submitting an application until a final determination is provided and is not included in the calculation unless the delay is caused by the private entity. However, websites are exempt from the Arizona ADA.