Lobbyist Report – February 2019 – Bobbie
The 2019 legislative session is well underway.
There are an enormous amount of bills, resolutions, and memorials waiting to be heard.
A fair amount of the work is done prior to the session start.
Deciding what to introduce next session, finishing touches on any research needed, building a case along with the code to carry it out, getting a sponsor and opening of a folder and stakeholder meetings to gain support. All of those take time.
We have once again introduced our Anti-Profiling Memorial. This is not a bill, which creates legislation, but rather a memorial that promotes awareness of motorcycle profiling and encourages collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling. That will be our approach.
As I write this, we are still waiting to have our memorial assigned to a committee. Hopefully soon. It will most likely be assigned to the Judiciary Committee and we have confidence that Representative Allen will hear it. The bottom line is creating awareness that profiling exists and setting up a working relationship between motorcycle lobbyists and law enforcement to resolve future issues.
As some of you may have heard, Representative Friese has again introduced his Helmet Fee bill(HB2246). It would require adult riders to pay a fee, in order to ride without a helmet. Unbelievably, it is the same exact language that we shut down 2 years ago with an 8-0 NO vote. However, we understand that if he doesn’t think he has the votes, prior to a committee, he may just pull the bill. If not, our testimonies are already written!
Below are a few of the other bills that we are following:
– SB1001- highway safety fee; repeal; VLT
Statute 28-2007 was created last year and gives the director of ADOT the ability to set a Highway Safety Fee, based on what is needed to fund the AZ Highway Patrol’s budget. It was thought that it would not be over $18 but has ended up adding a $32 fee to each registration. In some cases, this is larger than the registration fee in total. HB2019 is its counterpart, but may not have to be heard if SB1001 continues through the process.
– HB2319- HURF transfers; highway patrol; repeal
Repeals the statute that allows Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF) to be used for the Highway Patrol budget. Revises an additional statue that refers to that action.
– HB2320- highway safety fee; reduction
Strikes out the language in 28-2007 that says the Highway Safety Fee funds the entire highway patrol budget and limits it to not more than $18. This bill would be necessary if SB1001 which eliminates 28-2007 all together, does not pass.
– SB1046- early voting list; mailing ballot
Removes the prohibition on voting in-person at any early voting location for all electors, including those on the Permanent Early Voting List. It goes on to allow those electors receiving an early ballot, to cast a standard ballot at the poll, rather than a provisional one on election day.
– HB2099- voting rights; restoration; felonies.
Automatically gives the voting rights back to a person convicted of 2 or more felonies, at the time they complete their probation or on their absolute discharge from imprisonment. Over the years, many of us have helped to restore the voting rights of those that have lost them.
– SB1141- distracted driving
Revises Title 28, chapter 3, article 5 heading from ‘RECKLESS AND AGGRESSIVE DRIVING’ to ‘DRIVING VIOLATIONS. The new section of code is somewhat vague. It states that you violate the distracted driving section if, in the presence of or within the view of a peace officer, you engage in any activity that is not related to the actual operation of the vehicle and your operation is an immediate hazard to another person, vehicle, property or you do not have reasonable control of your vehicle.
– HB2165- distracted driving; reckless driving
Adds additional verbiage to the existing Reckless Driving statute, to include a driver ‘participating in any activity that willfully distracts the person from safely operating the vehicle’.
– HB2174- criminal; arrest records; erasure
Once a person who has completed probation or a sentence resulting from a criminal conviction, they may ask the court to dismiss or set aside the judgment of guilt. This, in turn, releases them from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction. If this is granted, this legislation allows the person to take it one step further, and have their conviction and arrest records sealed. Their conviction can no longer be used against them. Law enforcement cannot disclose their conviction, and the person can deny in all circumstances that it occurred. This would include job interviews.
– HB2245- mandatory minimum sentences; judicial discretion
When the sentencing of a person requires a mandatory prison sentence, this legislation would leave it up to the presiding judge to impose a shorter sentence or probation. To be done if the mandatory sentence would result in an injustice to the defendant and is not necessary for the protection of the public. It lists those convictions that do not apply. A yearly report is to be established, naming all that this discretion was applied to. The ACJC shall annually determine the savings and report to State Treasurer. We believe this might fall under tax-payer savings?
Modified Motorcycle Association of AZ
Legislative Researcher-Consultant (lobbyist)