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2015 Legislative Review

First Regular Session of the 52nd Arizona Legislature

 

 

Dear Members:

 

For more than 100 years, the Arizona Bankers Association has been the preeminent voice of Arizona Banks before the Arizona State Legislature. At the heart of that effort is unparalleled government relations advocacy.

 

The Association and its partners have worked tirelessly to advocate for intelligent, thoughtful policy that will create an economic environment where Arizona banks can thrive and grow. The Association has also been the first line of defense against needless, over burdensome regulations that will create a hostile environment for banks. I am proud to announce that in 2015 The Arizona Bankers Association was again successful in both areas.

 

Attached is a summary of the substantive bills that AzBA tracked along with a brief description of each. The summaries are divided into key bills, enacted and not enacted legislation, and vetoed bills. Please keep in mind that these are bill summaries designed to alert you to significant provisions and are not comprehensive recitations of each bill. Additionally, nothing in this report should be viewed as a legal opinion. If you have legal questions on any bill, you should contact your bank’s legal counsel. Unless otherwise specified, the general effective date for all bills is July 3, 2015.

 

I am pleased to present this legislative review to you as I believe it represents the best of what The Arizona Bankers Association  has to offer – exceptional government relations advocacy that protects your bottom line and the vitality of our industry. I would like to extend a special thank you to the members of our Government Relations Committee. They devote a significant amount of time to serve the industry in this very import endeavor. Without their help and commitment none of this would be possible.

 

Thank you for your continued support and please contact me with any questions.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

Paul Hickman

President & CEO

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

SESSION IN REVIEW                                                                                 

 

 

 

 

KEY LEGISLATION                                                                                    

 

 

Proactive Legislation

 

Priority Legislation

 

Banking

 

Bonds

 

Crowdfunding

 

Privacy

 

Procurement

 

Real Estate

 

Regulatory

 

Tax

 

Miscellaneous

 

 

 

ENACTED BILLS                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

UNENACTED BILLS                                                                            

 

 

 

SESSION IN REVIEW                                                                         

 

52nd Arizona Legislature, 1st Regular Session

 

 

The Arizona Legislature adjourned Sine Die April 3rd at 3:34 a.m. after 81 days of action, bringing an end to the shortest legislative session in nearly 50 years. Although brief, members of the 52nd Legislature had plenty of work to keep them busy. Lawmakers introduced 1,163 bills and 89 memorials & resolutions. 345 bills were passed by the Legislature and sent to Governor Ducey for action.

 

As the inaugural session of the new Ducey administration, relations between the GOP-controlled Legislature and Governor’s Office were generally smooth and lacked the tension between the legislative and executive branches that had been characteristic of the previous six years.

 

Governor Ducey, Senate President Andy Biggs and House Speaker David Gowan didn’t agree on everything, but found common ground on their biggest priority: achieving a structurally-balanced budget. Tellingly, the three leaders were able to successfully shepherd the budget plan, which initially lacked sufficient votes in both chambers, with only minor amendments. Fallout from budget cuts lingered, however, especially from education advocates, hospitals and social services groups. Strategically, it appears the Governor intends to get the state budget righted early in his term so that he is freed to pursue more wide-ranging policy reforms in the years that follow.

 

Outside of the budget, Governor Ducey achieved several of the key initiatives unveiled in his State of the State address, including: passage of an American Civics test for high school students; legislation to permanently index Arizona’s income tax to inflation; and the creation of an “Achievement District” whereby the best public schools can access special State resources to serve more students. One initiative that did not garner enough support in the legislature was the creation of an Inspector General’s Office to investigate fraud, waste and abuse in state government. Some policy feuds expected to be among the session’s most hard-fought – between craft brewers and distributors, in one case; ridesharing companies and taxis, in another – were resolved with consensus legislation. In another perennial, high profile fight – auto dealers vs.

 

Tesla – the dealers again succeeded in killing the manufacturer’s bid to let it market its vehicles via direct sales.

 

The honeymoon between Governor Ducey and Legislature did not mean the Capitol was without drama. Political divisions emerged between the Governor and new Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, mostly rooted in the controversial Common Core academic standards. Governor Ducey and new Attorney General Mark Brnovich also sparred regarding the Governor’s call for the creation of an Inspector General, whose fraud-watch duties Brnovich considered duplicative of his own.

 

This session may be most remembered, however, for what didn’t happen: The Capitol provided no embarrassing moments while Arizona was under the nation’s watchful gaze during the run-up to the Super Bowl in February. And lightning-rod legislation – including multiple measures to eliminate the Common Core standards, as well as the annual attempt to allow guns in virtually all public buildings – died before reaching the Governor’s desk. Additionally, no immigration bills of significance moved through the process.

 

The Arizona Bankers Association experienced a very active legislative session, and continued a track record of success. The banking industry benefits from the experience and knowledge of House Banking and Financial Services chairman Kate Brophy-McGee. Representative Brophy- McGee has been an effective sentinel alerting the Association to potential threats and has worked closely with the Association to advance proactive legislation. The Senate installed David Farnsworth as the new chairman of the Senate Financial Institutions committee. Senator Farnsworth has displayed a passion for advancing community banking in Arizona and has made extraordinary strides to better understand the banking industry; including the regulatory obstacles the industry faces from federal regulators. Mr. Farnsworth’s desire to “push the envelope” presented some challenges during this session, but these challenges were insignificant in comparison to the opportunities he has created for a robust dialogue about advancing the Arizona banking industry. The Association’s legislative activities will not end with the adjournment of the legislative session, but will persist through the interim with regularly scheduled meetings with the House and Senate committee chairmen.

 

KEY LEGISLATION                                                                                                         

 

 

  • PROACTIVE LEGISLATION

 

The Arizona Bankers Association advanced two pieces of legislation at the request of the Association’s membership. When advancing legislation the Association manages  every

aspect of the legislation including drafting, introduction, collateral materials, lobbying, and securing the Governor’s signature.

 

SB 1447: Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act

 

History: Having identified a need to make it simpler for foreign investors to make investments in Arizona a member approached the Association about advancing legislation to have Arizona money judgments recognized in foreign jurisdictions with the agreement that Arizona would recognize money judgments from the foreign jurisdiction. A successful model for such a proposal comes from the Canadian province of Alberta which currently recognizes money judgments from Montana, Idaho, and Washington. This law became the model for the Arizona bill that was passed, with strong support throughout the process.

 

Summary: Provides Arizona with a uniform act for the reciprocal recognition of money judgments from countries with equitable, western-style due process standards and impartial tribunals. This bill was brought to the Association by member banks seeking to expand the opportunity to provide service to Canadian investors. The bill is based on uniform laws that have been adopted in the Canadian province of Alberta. Alberta currently recognizes money judgments from the U.S. states of Montana, Idaho, and Washington.

 

Sponsor:               Sen. D. Farnsworth

Status:                  Signed by Governor on April 1, 2015. Chap. 170, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1449: Pooled Collateral Amendments

 

History: As the administrator of Arizona’s new pooled collateral program, The State Treasurer’s office identified a number of statutory improvements and clarifications for the program. By most estimates, the pooled collateral system has been a success and the Association’s members were in support of the proposed changes. The Association advanced the bill as its own and was pleased to secure its passage with strong legislative support, with special thanks to Treasurer DeWit for his support and committee testimony.

 

Summary: Championed by State Treasurer DeWit (state administrator for the Arizona pooled collateral program), this bill provides technical corrections and clarifications necessary to properly administer the state’s pooled collateral system. Disqualifies as eligible collateral registered state and municipal warrants and first mortgages (including deeds of trust and promissory notes for first mortgages). Further, SB 1449 disqualifies charter schools, tribal entities and federal agencies as public depositors and clarifies that housing authority funds that have already been collateralized pursuant to HUD regulations are not subject to the state pooled collateral rules. Stipulates that withdrawals of collateral require written consent from the

 

Administrator, while substitutions of collateral may be made with notification to the Administrator and changes the deposit amount which exempts a subdivision from the law regarding the handling of public funds from $100,000 to the FDIC maximum.

 

Sponsor:                  Sen. D. Farnsworth

Status:                     Signed by Governor on Mach 30, 2015. Chap. 89, Laws 2015.

 

 

  • PRIORITY LEGISLATION

 

The following bills required the attention of the Bankers Association either because they posed a threat to the banking industry or required the input of the Association’s membership.

 

HB 2135: Transportation Network Companies

 

History: After a flurry of ridesharing legislation around the country in 2014, including an Arizona bill vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer, the banking industry had become keenly aware of the potential impacts to a lender when a vehicle is used for ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft. The legislation in Arizona evolved into a bill that met the Association’s requirements for disclosure to the driver that their contract with the lienholder may be impacted and direct payments when an accident has occurred.

 

Summary: Modifies statute relating to the regulation of transportation network companies, including motor vehicle insurance for the inclusion of the terms of the transportation network company, transportation network service, and transportation network vehicle. Amended to include the following provisions:

 

  • Requires the TNC to disclose to its drivers in writing or electronic format that providing transportation network services “MIGHT VIOLATE THE TERMS OF THE…DRIVER’S CONTRACT WITH THE DRIVER’S LIENHOLDER”.
  • Specifies the TNC insurer to issue a payment for a comprehensive or collision claim to the business repairing the vehicle or jointly to the owner of the vehicle and the primary lienholder on the covered vehicle.

Sponsor:         Rep. Fann

Status:            Signed by Governor on April 9, 2015. Chap. 235, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2270: Establishment of State-Owned Bank

 

History: This bill is introduced annually and the Association has been successful in preventing it from ever receiving a hearing. OPPOSED

 

Summary: The state is required to engage in the business of banking by establishing a Bank of Arizona. All state monies must be deposited in the Bank. The Bank retains any income earned from investments made for its own account on state monies. Deposits are guaranteed by the state. Establishes a Bank of Arizona Commission and a Bank of Arizona Advisory Board of Directors

 

to oversee the Bank. The Commission and the Board terminate on July 1, 2025 and all Bank statutes self-repeal on January 1, 2026.

 

Sponsor:                   Rep. Mendez

Status:                      Never received a hearing in chamber of origin.

 

HCM 2002: Urging Congress; Glass-Stegall Act

 

History: An organized group of individuals continues to press the legislature to send a postcard to Washington DC urging Congress to reinstate key provisions of the Glass-Stegall Act. The proponents erroneously believe that the economic recession could have been averted if the key provisions of Glass-Stegall had remained in effect. The bill did not get a hearing. OPPOSED

 

Summary: The Legislature urges the U.S. Congress to adopt legislation similar to the Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2013 and the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2013. The Secretary of State is directed to transmit copies of this memorial to the President of the U.S., the President of the U.S. Senate, the Speaker of the U.S. House, each member of Congress from Arizona and six other specified members of U.S. Congress.

 

Sponsor:            Rep. Mendez

Status:               Never received a hearing in chamber of origin.

 

SB 1242: Credit card fees; State Entities

 

History: After discussions with representatives of the Arizona Bankers Association on their many concerns with the bill, the sponsor of SB 1242 chose not to advance the legislation. OPPOSED

 

Summary: If a credit card issuer does business with a state entity that acts as a merchant, any fee that the issuer charges the state entity when the credit card is used must be the issuer’s lowest fee. Violations are subject to a civil penalty equal to three times the fee that the issuer charged to the state entity.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. Dial

Status:                Never received a hearing in chamber of origin.

 

SB 1337: State-Chartered Financial Institutions; Growth

 

History: Senator Farnsworth introduced this bill and similar bills in an effort to remove obstacles to the creation of new state-chartered community banks.

 

Summary: The Superintendent of Financial Institutions is required to make it a priority to encourage the growth of state-chartered financial institutions in Arizona. By February 1 of each year, the Superintendent must notify the Governor and the Legislature if the total number of state-chartered banks or credit unions decreased during the prior calendar year.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. D. Farnsworth

Status:                Signed by Governor on April 1, 2015. Chap. 164, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1395: State-Owned Bank Task Force; Appropriation

 

History: There continues to be significant confusion around the creation and role of a “state bank” and a small group of proponents continue to press the issue with policymakers. Thanks to input from the Bankers Association there has been success in defeating related bills each year. OPPOSED

 

Summary: Creates a task force within the Arizona Commerce Authority to examine the feasibility of establishing a state-owned bank in Arizona.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. Dalessandro, Sen. Farnsworth Status:                           Failed in Senate.

 

 

SB 1450: Banks; Insuring Organization

 

History: This bill was another example of Senator Farnsworth’s efforts to assist banks by reducing regulation and providing regulatory flexibility for banks. However, the Association politely opposed the measure as it is unnecessary and contradicts what has proven to be a very effective and effective regulatory environment. OPPOSED

 

Summary: Permits state chartered banks to purchase and hold insurance from the FDIC, the NCUA or its successor, or any equivalent deposit insurer approved by the Superintendent of DFI.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. D. Farnsworth, et al. Status:                           Vetoed

 

SCM 1011: CFPB  Reform Resolution

 

History: The Association was asked to comment on early drafts of this postcard to Congress. Although the Association’s comments were incorporated into the draft, the bill failed to pass.

 

Summary: Resolution from the Arizona Legislature to the President, Congress, and the CFPB urging a broadening of mortgage underwriting standards allowing individuals to demonstrate their ability to repay through methods other than income documentation, lenders to go over the 43%debt-to-income ratio ceiling, and lenders to price loans according to risk instead of a flat 3% maximum fee.

 

Sponsor:               Sen. Farley, Sen. D. Farnsworth, et al. Status:                             Failed in the House.

 

SCM 1016: Glass-Stegall Act; Urging Congress

 

History: An organized group of individuals continues to press the legislature to send a postcard to Washington DC urging Congress to reinstate key provisions of the Glass-Stegall Act. The proponents erroneously believe that the economic recession could have been averted if the key provisions of Glass-Stegall had remained in effect. The bill did not get a hearing. OPPOSED

 

Summary: The Legislature urges the U.S. Congress to adopt legislation similar to the Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2013 and the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2013. The Secretary of State is directed to transmit copies of this memorial to the President of the U.S., the President of the U.S. Senate, the Speaker of the U.S. House, each member of Congress from Arizona and six other specified members of U.S. Congress.

 

Sponsor:               Sen. McGuire

Status:                  Never received a hearing in chamber of origin.

 

 

  • BANKING

 

HB 2097: Loan Originators; Advance Fee Loans

 

Summary: Registered advance fee loan brokers are required to apply for renewal by June 30 of each year. A registration for which a renewal application is not received by June 30 is suspended, and the broker may not act as such until the registration is renewed or a new registration is issued. The registration expires if the broker has not filed the renewal application by July 31. A registration may not be granted to the holder of an expired registration except as provided in statute for the issuance of an original registration. Also repeals the Loan Originator Examination Committee.

 

Sponsor:               Rep. Brophy McGee

Status:                  Signed by Governor on Mach 30, 2015. Chap. 97, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2173: Legal Tender; Specie

 

Summary: Legal tender in Arizona would have consisted of legal tender authorized by Congress, specie coin issued by the U.S. government, and any other “specie” (defined as coin or bullion having gold or silver content) that a court of competent jurisdiction rules to be within the scope of state authority to make a legal tender. A person would have been prohibited from compelling another person to tender or accept specie legal tender, except as expressly provided by contract. The exchange of one form of legal tender for another would not have given rise to liability for any type of tax. Legal tender would have been declared to be money and not subject to taxation or regulation as property other than money. The Attorney General would have been required to enforce this legislation and to intervene in any legal action to preserve and protect the state’s monetary authority. Would have become effective from and after 90 days after the 52nd Legislature, 2nd Regular Session adjourns sine die.

 

Sponsor:               Rep. Finchem

 

Status:                  Vetoed

 

HB 2220: Protected Person; Reports; Security Freezes

 

Note: With input from the Association’s members, an amendment was added to the bill to guarantee banks the same rights to review existing accounts as they are currently afforded under Arizona’s credit freeze statutes.

 

Summary: Enables a protected person’s representative to request a security freeze to be placed on the protected person’s record or credit report.

 

Sponsor:                   Rep. Cobb

Status:                      Signed by Governor on April 13, 2015. Chap. 280, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2587: State agencies; Credit Cards

 

Note: This bill was satisfactorily amended at the request of the Bankers Association.

 

Summary: Transfers the authority of a state agency to contract with an authorized agent for the electronic processing of transactions to the Treasurer. Prescribes requirements with regard to contracts entered into by the Treasurer for the electronic processing of credit card payments.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Finchem

Status:                 Vetoed

 

SB 1334: Banking Permit; Branch Office; Fees

 

Summary: The fee for a banking permit is reduced to $5,000, from $10,000, and the fee for each banking branch office is reduced to $750, from $1,500.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. D. Farnsworth

Status:                 Signed by Governor on April 13, 2015. Chap. 163, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1336: Banking Permits; Application Process

 

Summary: The Superintendent of Financial Institutions is required to establish an organizational application process and a final application process for new banking permit applications.

Information that must be included in the organizational application is specified. The final application may begin at any time during the organizational phase, and the required capital must be raised during the final application process.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. D. Farnsworth

Status:                Signed by Governor on March 23, 2015. Chap. 45, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1338: Savings & Loan Association Permits

 

Summary: The filing fee for a savings and loan association permit application is reduced to

$5,000, from $10,000. Also, for the purpose of savings and loan association regulations, the definition of “insurance corporation” is expanded to include any other equivalent deposit insurer approved by the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. D. Farnsworth

Status:                 Signed by Governor on April 1, 2015. Chap. 165, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1403: Consumer Lawsuit Loans; Prohibition

 

Summary: A consumer lawsuit loan company is prohibited from entering into a “consumer lawsuit loan transaction” (defined) with a consumer with respect to “legal action” (defined) in which the consumer is a party if the company imposes an annual rate of interest that exceeds 36 percent. A loan contract entered into in violation is void. Violations are an unlawful practice and subject to enforcement through private action and prosecution by the Attorney General.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. Yee

Status:                 Failed in the House.

 

 

  • BONDS

 

HB 2323: Industrial Development Authority; Projects

 

Summary: modifies the definition of a project for an Industrial Development Authority and, for the purpose of IDA financing, the definition of “project” is modified to remove any office building for use as corporate or company headquarters or regional offices or the adaptive use for offices of any building in Arizona that is on the national register of historical places or rehabilitation of residential buildings located in registered historic neighborhoods, and to add facilities for manufacturing.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Weninger, Rep. Brophy McGee

Status:                 Signed by Governor on March 30, 2015. Chap. 114, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2482: Student Loan Bonds

 

Summary: A corporation may issue student loan bonds without approving a plan if the bond issuance is for either refunding bonds previously issued or additional bonds issued under the same governing documents as a previously approved plan if the additional bonds are rated in the “A” category or better. The State Treasurer, instead of the Governor, is the state program representative for student loan bond programs

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Livingston

Status:                 Signed by Governor on April 10, 2015. Chap. 311, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1378: Universities; Commercial Paper

 

Summary: The list of powers of the Arizona Board of Regents for each university is expanded to include power to obtain lines of credit for cash management or liquidity purposes and to issue commercial paper to finance capital projects or for other specified purposes. Regulations for commercial paper issued by ABOR are established.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Dial

Status:                 Failed in the Senate.

 

SB 1451: Investment of Trust Monies

 

Summary: The list of authorized investments for trust and treasury monies is modified to include evidences of indebtedness that carry an investment grade rating by a nationally recognized bond rating agency, instead of specified ratings from certain rating agencies. The mean bid-ask price of U.S. Treasury obligations used to determine the interest rate of State Transportation Board funding obligations is as determined by the pricing system used by the State Treasurer, instead of as published most recently in the Wall Street Journal. The minimum assets a bank must have to be eligible to be the servicing bank for the state is reduced to $100 million, from $200 million.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. D. Farnsworth

Status:                 Signed by Governor on April 1, 2015. Chap. 171, Laws 2015.

 

 

  • CROWDFUNDING

 

HB 2591: Crowdfunding (Securities Registration; Exemption; Website Operators)

 

Summary: Exempts certain intrastate offerings from securities registration: $10 thousand per person and unlimited for qualified investors, $1 million per offering for regular companies and

$2.5 million if they submit audited financials. The legislation allows portals and transactions can to be made traditionally.

 

Sponsor:               Rep. Weninger, et al.

Status:                  Signed by Governor on April 1, 2015.  Chap. 185, Laws 2015.

 

 

  • PRIVACY

 

HB 2566: State Computers; Sensitive Electronic Data

 

Summary: Beginning July 1, 2016, the Government Information Technology Agency (GITA) would have been required to compel budget units to establish a robust password system for every state owned or leased computer. By July 1, 2018, GITA would have been required to establish a data encryption standard for all budget units to protect “sensitive electronic data,” and budget units would have been required to encrypt sensitive electronic data.

 

Sponsor:               Rep. Thorpe

Status:                  Vetoed

 

 

  1. PROCUREMENT

 

SB 1090: Neutrality Agreement; Apprenticeship Agreement; Prohibition

 

Summary: State agencies and political subdivisions are prohibited from requiring contractors to do any of the following as a condition of bidding, negotiating, being awarded or performing work on a public works contract: negotiating or otherwise becoming a party to any project labor agreement, entering into a neutrality agreement with any labor organization, or participating in or contributing to an apprenticeship program registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.

 

Sponsor:               Sen. Kavanagh

Status:                  Signed by Governor on April 1, 2015.  Chap. 144, Laws 2015.

 

 

  • REAL ESTATE

 

HB 2311: Judgment Liens; Recordation; Real Property

 

Summary: A certified copy of the judgment of any court in the state may be filed and recorded in the office of the county recorder in each county where the judgment creditor desires the judgment to become a lien on the real property of the judgment debtor. On recording, the judgment becomes a lien on the real property of the judgment debtor. Applies to judgments that are recorded beginning January 1, 2016.

 

Sponsor:               Rep. E. Farnsworth

Status:                  Signed by Governor on March 30, 2015.  Chap. 110, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1368: Judgment Liens; Recordation; Real Property

 

Summary: Municipalities are prohibited from requiring a licensed real estate broker or salesperson to obtain an additional business license to do business within that municipality if the person is licensed to do business in the municipality in which the person’s primary place of business is located.

 

Sponsor:               Sen. Griffin

Status:                  Signed by Governor on April 2, 2015.  Chap. 189, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1448: Trustee’s sale; Foreclosure; Notice; Recording

 

Note: This bill was satisfactorily amended at the request of the Arizona Bankers Association.

 

Summary: Requires a notice of trustee’s sale to include a statement in its first paragraph specifying that the sale will be final, unless: 1) an action is filed and a court order stopping the

 

sale is obtained before 5 p.m. MST on the last business day before the scheduled date of the sale; or 2) the right to defend or object to the sale is waived.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. D. Farnsworth

Status:                Signed by Governor on March 30, 2015. Chap. 190, Laws 2015.

 

 

  • REGULATORY

 

HB 2086: Fingerprint Clearance Cards; Omnibus

 

Summary: Various changes relating to fingerprint clearance cards (card). If the Department of Public Safety Fingerprinting Division determines that it is not authorized to issue a card to a person, or if the Division suspends or revokes a card, the Division is required to inform the person in writing and include the criminal history information on which the denial or other action was based. Department of Child Safety employees who have contact with children or are employed in an information technology position are required to have a valid card or provide documentation of application for a card and certify that the employee has not committed any specified criminal offenses. Department of Emergency and Military Affairs employees are required to submit fingerprints for the purpose of obtaining a state and federal criminal records check, instead of being required to have a valid card.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Borrelli

Status:                Signed by Governor on March 30, 2015. Chap. 94, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2169: Loan Originator; Licensing

 

Summary: The 20 hours of education that loan originator licensees must complete during the 3- year period preceding license application must include 4 hours of the laws of Arizona, and the 8 hours of continuing education that licensees must complete before submitting a renewal application must include 1 hour of the laws of Arizona. The examination for loan originator license applicants must be developed or deemed acceptable by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry established by federal law.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Brophy McGee

Status:                Signed by Governor on March 30, 2015. Chap. 102, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2218: Accountancy Board; Certified Public Accountants

 

Summary: Various changes relating to the Board of Accountancy, including allowing an applicant for a reciprocal certificate as a certified public accountant to pass the either the international qualification examination or the uniform certified public accountant examination, modifying the requirements for reinstatement of a revoked or relinquished certificate, allowing a firm to relinquish its registration pending or in lieu of an investigation or a disciplinary proceeding or while under a disciplinary order, and providing a process for reinstatement of the firm’s relinquished registration.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Thorpe

Status:                Signed by Governor on April 6, 2015. Chap. 207, Laws 2015.

 

 

HB 2279: Housing Trust Fund; Unclaimed Property

 

Summary: The amount of proceeds from the sale of abandoned property that are deposited in the Housing Trust Fund each fiscal year is changed to 55 percent of the proceeds, instead of $2.5 million.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Alston

Status:                 Never received a hearing in chamber of origin.

 

HB 2419: Municipalities; Pawnbrokers; Gold; Prohibited Fees

 

Summary: The Corporation Commission is authorized to allow fees to be paid by alternative methods, including credit cards, charge cards, debit cards and electronic funds transfers.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Stevens

Status:                Failed in the Senate.

 

 

HB 2297: Accountancy Board; Certified Public Accountants

 

Summary: State agencies are prohibited from adopting any new rule that would increase existing regulatory restraints or burdens on the free exercise of property rights or the freedom to engage in an otherwise lawful business or occupation, unless the rule is a component of a comprehensive effort to reduce regulatory restraints or burdens or is necessary to implement statutes or required by a final court order or decision. Some exceptions. Any person subject to a civil or criminal proceeding arising from the enforcement of a rule in violation has an affirmative defense to the enforcement action. The court or administrative body considering or reviewing the defense must rule on its merits without deference to any legislative, administrative or executive finding concerning the rule, and is permitted to award the prevailing party, other than the agency, attorney fees and costs.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. E. Farnsworth

Status:                Signed by Governor on April 9, 2015. Chap. 240, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1069: Ordinances; Businesses; Prohibited Security Requirements

 

Summary: Municipalities and counties are prohibited from adopting an ordinance requiring a retail business to comply with specific security requirements, including installation of security cameras or security lights based on the size or type of the retail business or the number of calls the retail business made to law enforcement per year. Does not include a bar, hotel, restaurant or a business that has live entertainment, dispenses or cultivates medical marijuana or that requires age verification for admission.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. Smith

Status:                Signed by Governor on April 1, 2015. Chap. 139, Laws 2015.

 

 

  • TAX

 

HB 2001: Income Tax Brackets; Inflation Index

 

Summary: For each tax year beginning with 2016, the Department of Revenue is required to adjust the income dollar amounts for each individual income tax rate bracket by the average annual change in the metropolitan Phoenix consumer price index. The revised dollar amounts must be raised to the nearest whole dollar and cannot be revised below the amounts prescribed in the prior tax year.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Olson

Status:                Signed by Governor on March 30, 2015. Chap. 91, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2108: Property Tax; Class Nine; Conventions

 

Summary: The class 9 property tax classification is modified to include improvements located on federal, state, county or municipal property and owned by the lessee of the property if the improvements become the property of the government on termination of the leasehold interest in the property and if both the improvements and the property are used exclusively, instead of primarily, for convention activities.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Mitchell

Status:                Signed by Governor on April 9, 2015. Chap. 233, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2615: Illegal Tax Levies; Review; Notice

 

Summary: The Property Tax Oversight Commission is required to review the secondary property tax levy of each county, municipality and community college district to identify violations of constitutional and statutory requirements. If the Commission determines that a county, municipality or community college district has levied a secondary property tax in violation of law, the Commission is required to notify the affected political subdivision, the county board of supervisors, the county attorney and the Attorney General of the violation by December 31.

Effective January 1, 2016. Also transfers administration of the Debt Oversight Commission to the State Treasurer, from the Department of Revenue.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Ackerley

Status:                Signed by Governor on April 8, 2015. Chap. 221, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2617: Political Subdivisions; Financial Audit Report

 

Summary: The deadline for counties, municipalities and community college districts to file financial reports with the Auditor General under the uniform expenditure reporting system is moved to nine months after the close of the FY, instead of four months after, and the authority

 

for the Auditor General to grant an extension is deleted. Counties, municipalities and community college districts are required to post financial statements and audits in a prominent location on their official websites no later than seven business days after the date of filing the statements with the Auditor General, and must be accessible for at least 60 months. If the financial statements are not completed and filed, on or before the adoption of the municipal, county or district budget in the subsequent fiscal year, the municipal governing body, county board of supervisors, or district board is required to include a form in the published budget stating that the financial statements are pending, the reasons for the delay and the estimated date of completion. A copy of the form must be sent to the Auditor General, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. Beginning July 1, 2016, a fee is assessed to each council of governments (COG) that receives state shared revenues and to each regional transportation authority (RTA) in counties with a population of more than 400,000 (Pima and Maricopa) that receives state shared revenues as determined by the Department of Revenue. The share of fees assessed to these entities must be in proportion to the aggregate amount of monies distributed to all COGs or RTAs for the FY two years preceding the current FY, as a percentage of aggregate distributions to all relevant local governments for that FY. Counties with a population of more than 200,000 but less than 900,000 persons (Pinal, Mohave, and Yavapai) are authorized to use up to $1 million to meet any county fiscal obligation from any source of county revenue designated by the county, including monies of any countywide special taxing jurisdiction in which the board of supervisors serves as the board of directors. By October 1, 2015, these counties are required to report to the Director of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee if the county used a revenue source for other than its designated purpose to meet a county fiscal obligation.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Mesnard

Status:                Signed by Governor on April 14, 2015. Chap. 323, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2653: Tax Liens; Delinquency; Partial Payments

 

Summary: Eliminates the requirement for a person to pay interest at a delinquency rate of 16 percent when redeeming a real property tax lien in a county that has established an Elderly Assistance Fund, instead of the rate stated in the certificate of purchase. Eliminates the requirement for the county treasurer to deposit an amount in the Fund that is equal to the different between 16 percent and the amount of interest stated in the certificate of purchase. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Elderly Assistance Program will continue using monies currently in the Fund.

 

Sponsor:             Rep. Olson

Status:                Signed by Governor on April 14, 2015. Chap. 324, Laws 2015.

 

 

SB 1135: Tax Liens; Delinquency; Partial Payments

 

Summary: For all certificates of purchase sold in calendar year 2016 and afterwards for tax year 2014 and afterwards in a county with a population of more than 3 million persons (Maricopa County), if no prior year certificates of purchase are outstanding, the county treasurer is required to accept a partial payment on delinquent taxes in an amount equal to at least 25 percent of the

 

principal amount shown on the oldest remaining year of the delinquency plus any accrued interest and fees due on the principal amount. If no certificate of purchase is outstanding, the county treasurer is required to credit the taxpayer for the payment. If any part of the tax or any installment remains unpaid at the date of delinquency, the delinquency relates only to the amount remaining unpaid. Partial payments on delinquent taxes are required to be impounded and disbursed by the county treasurer as prescribed by statute. Beginning in calendar year 2016, on or after June 1 in a county with a population of more than 3 million persons (Maricopa County), if no prior year certificates of purchase are outstanding and if a person who holds a certificate of purchase for tax year 2014 and afterwards desires to pay subsequent taxes, the county treasurer is required to issue a separate certificate of purchase by assignment for each subsequent year’s taxes, accrued interest and fees due on the property. The principal amount of each subsequent year’s certificate of purchase bears interest at the rate stated in the original certificate of purchase from the first day of the month following the purchase of the subsequent certificate. Subsequent certificates of purchase by assignment issued by the county treasurer carry the full foreclosure right as the original certificate of purchase. A lien that has been partially redeemed must be fully redeemed before the delivery of a treasurer’s deed to the purchaser. The county treasurer is prohibited from accepting partial payments after the date the treasurer receives notice of action to foreclose the right to redeem.

 

Sponsor:             Sen. Smith

Status:                Signed by Governor on April 14, 2015. Chap. 322, Laws 2015.

 

 

  • MISCELLANEOUS (Enacted and Un-enacted)

 

Enacted  Bill Summaries

 

 

HB 2085: PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS; SECURITY GUARDS; REGULATION

The grounds for disciplinary action for licensed private investigators is expanded to include being arrested for any offense that would disqualify the licensee from obtaining a license, and to include failing to maintain all qualifications as applicable. On completion of an investigation, the license of a person arrested for such an offense may be suspended. A private investigator must notify the employer agency within 48 hours after being arrested, and the agency must notify the Department of Public Safety within 24 hours after receiving notice. Security guard agencies are required to maintain liability insurance. A majority of members of the Private Investigator and Security Guard Hearing Board constitutes a quorum, regardless of vacancies, and a majority vote of a quorum present is necessary for the Board to take action.

First sponsor: Rep. Borrelli

Signed by Governor on March 30, 2015. Chap. 93, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2352: CREDIT FOR REINSURANCE

Various changes relating to credit for reinsurance. A domestic ceding insurer must be allowed credit for reinsurance as either an asset or a reduction from liability only when the reinsurer meets a list of specified requirements, including that the reinsurance is ceded to an assuming insurer that is licensed in Arizona and accredited by the Department of Insurance as a reinsurer.

 

Credit for reinsurance cannot be granted unless the form of the trust and any amendments have been approved by the director or commissioner of the state where the trust is domiciled or of another state that has accepted principal regulatory oversight of the trust. Establishes various regulations for the trust, including requirements for reinsurance agreements, trusteed surplus requirements, and reporting requirements. Certified reinsurers are required to secure obligations assumed from U.S. ceding insurers at a level consistent with its ratings, and various other requirements for certified reinsurers are established. If the trust fund is inadequate or if the grantor of the trust has been declared insolvent or placed into receivership or similar proceedings, the trustee must comply with an order of the Dept with regulatory oversight or with a court order directing the trustee to transfer to the Dept all assets of the trust fund, and the assets must be distributed by the Dept in accordance with the applicable state laws for liquidation. If an accredited or certified reinsurer ceases to meet the requirements for accreditation or certification, the Dept is authorized to suspend or revoke it after notice and an opportunity for a hearing. The Dept is authorized to adopt rules relating to credit for reinsurance.

First sponsor: Rep. Fann

Signed by Governor on March 30, 2015. Chap. 119, Laws 2015.

 

HB 2578: REAL PROPERTY; PURCHASER DWELLING ACTIONS

Various changes to statutes regulating purchaser dwelling actions. A seller who receives a written notice of claim has a right to repair or replace any alleged construction defects after providing written notice to the purchaser of the seller’s intent to do so, and a purchaser cannot file a dwelling action until the seller has completed all intended repairs and replacements.

Establishes a process for the purchaser to allow the seller a reasonable opportunity to repair or replace the defects. During the notice and repair or replacement process, and for 30 days after substantial completion of the repair or replacement, the statute of limitations and statute of repose applicable to the purchaser are tolled as to the seller. Both parties’ conduct during the repair or replacement process may be introduced in any subsequent dwelling action. Sellers are authorized to offer cash or other consideration instead of or in addition to a repair or replacement. The purchaser is permitted to accept or reject an offer of monetary compensation or other consideration, other than repair or replacement. Severability clause.

First sponsor: Rep. Mitchell

Signed by Governor on March 23, 2015. Chap. 60, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1064: SERVICE OF PROCESS; REGULATION

Alternative or substitute service of process for a photo enforcement violation must be sent by certified mail with an additional copy by regular mail and a notice must be posted on the front door of the business or residence and, if present and accessible, a residence’s garage door.

Service of the complaint is complete on filing the mailing receipt and proof of posting in the court having jurisdiction of the violation.

First sponsor: Sen. Kavanagh

Signed by Governor on April 1, 2015. Chap. 138, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1218: COUNTY RECORDER; RECORDING FEES

A county recorder is required to receive a fee of $15 for each deed that transfers, conveys or affects an interest in real property, a fee of $25 for each deed of trust or mortgage, and a fee of

 

$10 for each release of a deed of trust or mortgage. These fees include the amount charged for delivery by mail and any special recording surcharges.

First sponsor: Sen. S. Allen

Signed by Governor on March 26, 2015. Chap. 67, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1345: PRIVATE LAND ACQUISITION; STUDY COMMITTEE

Establishes a 7-member Study Committee on Private Land Acquisition to conduct hearings and collect information relating to the acquisition of privately owned real property by government entities, examine the impact the government ownership of real property has on the state and local economies, and identify a process to allow a government entity to acquire privately owned real property without reducing the tax base of the local community. The Committee is required to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by December 31, 2017 and self-repeals October 1, 2018.

First sponsor: Sen. Griffin

Signed by Governor on April 2, 2015. Chap. 188, Laws 2015.

 

SB 1465: DISTRIBUTED ENERGY GENERATION SYSTEMS; DISCLOSURE

Establishes requirements for agreements governing the financing, sale or lease of a “distributed energy generation system” (defined)to any person or a political subdivision. The agreement must be dated and signed by the person buying, financing or leasing the system, must include a provision granting the buyer or lessee the right to rescind the agreement within three business days after signing and before the system is installed, and must contain specified information about the system. The agreement must set forth the total cost to the buyer or lessee for the system over the life of the agreement, including interest and fees, and must identify all current tax incentives and rebates for which the buyer may be eligible. The agreement must identify potential tax obligations related to the system, disclose any restrictions or other impacts the agreement may have on the ability to modify or transfer ownership of a system, and provide a full and accurate summary of the total costs of maintaining and operating the system over the life of the system. Effective January 1, 2016.

First sponsor: Sen. Lesko

Signed by Governor on March 30, 2015. Chap. 90, Laws 2015.

 

Unenacted  Bill Summaries

 

HB 2023: TECH CORRECTION; STATE PARKS BOARD

Minor change in Title 41 (State Government) related to the State Parks Board. Apparent striker bus.

First sponsor: Rep. Brophy McGee

 

HB 2076: SUPREME COURT JUSTICES; NUMBER

In a superior court or justice court action, a full-time officer or authorized employee of a corporation may represent the corporation, and an active general partner or authorized full-time employee may represent a partnership. Does not limit or otherwise interfere with a party’s right to assign or employ counsel.

First sponsor: Rep. Petersen

 

HB 2096: BD OF APPRAISAL; COMPLAINTS; DISCLOSURE

The Board of Appraisal is prohibited from disclosing the name of a licensee during the complaint process unless the Board determines that there is a violation of law or the uniform standards of professional appraisal practice. The Board is required to dismiss a complaint if the Board determines there is no evidence of a violation of law or the uniform standards of professional appraisal practice. Complaints dismissed by the Board cannot be disclosed.

First sponsor: Rep. Brophy McGee

 

HB 2172: MOTOR VEHICLE LIABILITY INSURANCE REQS

For motor vehicle liability insurance policies issued or renewed beginning June 1, 2016, the minimum required coverage is increased to $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident, from $15,000, to $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any one accident, from $30,000, and to $25,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident, from $10,000.

First sponsor: Rep. Brophy McGee

 

HB 2188: EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION; PROHIBITION

The list of attributes for which a person cannot be discriminated against in employment practices is expanded to include gender, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation. A religious organization is allowed to take certain employment actions on the basis of gender, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation if the employee’s position is directly related to the religious functions of the organization or directly involved in providing education to students of an educational institution substantially controlled or supported by the religious organization.

First sponsor: Rep. Mach

 

HB 2189: HOUSING DISCRIMINATION; PROHIBITION

The list of attributes for which a person cannot be discriminated against in practices related to the sale or rental of housing, including providing real estate and brokerage services, is expanded to include gender, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation.

First sponsor: Rep. Mach

 

HB 2201: PROCUREMENT; ARIZONA BIDDERS; PREFERENCE

For procurement contracts awarded by competitive sealed bid, Arizona bidders must be given preference over nonresident bidders if there are two or more low, responsive offers from responsible bidders that are identical in price.

First sponsor: Rep. Sherwood

 

HB 2202: UNIFORM TRANSFERS TO MINORS; AGE

For the purpose of the uniform transfers to minors act, “adult” is defined as a person who is at least 18 years of age, decreased from 21 years of age, and “minor” is a person who is under 18 years of age.

First sponsor: Rep. Sherwood

 

HB 2251: CORPORATE TAX CREDITS; ANNUAL REPORT

Beginning January 1, 2016, the Department of Revenue is required to annually report to the Governor and the Legislature specified information on corporate tax credits for any corporation

 

that claims aggregate credits in any taxable year of $5,000 or more. The Dept is authorized to disclose confidential taxpayer information for this purpose.

First sponsor: Rep. Mitchell

 

HB 2252: TAX; DELINQUENCY DATES; TAX LIENS

The date on which unpaid property taxes become delinquent is moved to December 31, from November 1. The county treasurer is permitted, instead of required, to notify the purchaser of a tax lien of a pending expiration at least six months, increased from 30 days, before the expiration date. Tax liens that are assigned to the state do not expire unless the lien is resold.

First sponsor: Rep. Mitchell

 

HB 2253: PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS; ONE-YEAR CYCLE

Numerous changes relating to property tax assessment processes in order to establish a single- year property tax cycle instead of an 18 month property tax cycle. Modifies the definition of “valuation date” to mean January 1 of the year in which taxes are levied for property valued by the county assessor. Various deadlines relating to the property tax valuation process are modified. Repeals sections of statute regulating valuation in the case of new construction. The Department of Revenue is required to conduct sales-ratio studies and issue equalization orders to the county assessor for areas identified as inconsistent with the valuation directives, rules and guidelines issued by the Dept. Changes to sections of statute related to the valuation of assessed property become effective January 1, 2017. Changes to sections of statute related to the assessment process become effective January 1, 2018.

First sponsor: Rep. Mitchell

 

HB 2255: PURCHASER DWELLING ACTIONS

Numerous changes relating to purchaser dwelling actions. The statute of limitations for actions involving development of real property is decreased to six years after substantial completion of the improvement to the property, from eight years. If an injury occurred or a latent construction defect was discovered during the sixth year, an action may be brought within one year after the injury occurred or the defect was discovered. For an improvement that was substantially complete on or before September 15, 2015, the new waiting periods begin to run on that date, and this provision applies to claims that accrued before the effective date of this legislation.

Makes various changes to the requirements for notice to the seller and the right to repair or replace alleged defects. If the purchaser fails to comply with notice requirements before bringing a dwelling action, the dwelling action must be dismissed. More. Severability clause.

First sponsor: Rep. Mitchell

 

HB 2256: DEPT OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS; EXAMINATIONS

The examination of financial institutions and enterprises by the Department of Financial Institutions must verify that all products and services offered by financial institutions and enterprises conform to federal and state law.

First sponsor: Rep. McCune Davis

 

HB 2257: THIRD PARTIES; AUTO TITLE LENDERS

 

An authorized third party (to perform driver licensing and vehicle title, registration and licensing tax functions) and a person who conducts secondary motor vehicle finance transactions are prohibited from conducting business within the same office space.

First sponsor: Rep. McCune Davis

 

HB 2258: AUTO TITLE LOANS; MILITARY MEMBERS

For secondary motor vehicle finance transactions, a violation of the federal John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for FY2007 or any regulation adopted under that Act is a violation of state regulations relating to auto title loans.

First sponsor: Rep. McCune Davis

 

HB 2278: SECURITY FREEZES; CREDIT REPORTS; MINORS

Parents are permitted to request that a consumer reporting agency place a security freeze on the credit report of the parent’s minor child.

First sponsor: Rep. Alston

 

HB 2315: FINANCIAL INFORMATION; COMPREHENSIVE DATABASE; POSTING

If a “local government” (defined) fails to comply with the requirement to establish and maintain an official internet website that is available to the public and that contains a comprehensive reporting of all revenues and expenditures over $5,000 of local monies, the Department of Administration is required to notify the State Treasurer and the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Upon notification, the State Treasurer is required to withhold one percent of the distribution of state shared revenues to the affected county or municipality or one percent of the affected university’s general fund appropriation until the university, county or municipality is in compliance. Upon notification, the Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to withhold one percent of the affected school district’s apportionment of state aid that would otherwise be due until the school district is in compliance. Effective January 1, 2016.

First sponsor: Rep. Barton

 

HB 2384: COMMUNITY FACILITIES DISTRICTS; FORMATION

Various changes related to community facilities districts, including increasing the maximum term of bonds to 30 years, from 25, and allowing a bond election question to include authorization for an ad valorem tax levy to pay debt service on the bonds and a limitation on the tax levy.

First sponsor: Rep. Olson

 

HB 2416: DPS; TOWING CONTRACTS; RATES

On good cause shown by a consumer lender licensee, the Superintendent of Financial Institutions may extend the time for filing the annual report for up to 70 days, increased from 60 days.

First sponsor: Rep. Stevens

 

HB2444: UNCLAIMED PERSONAL PROPERTY; DONATION

A municipality must retain unclaimed personal property in its custody for at least 100 days, increased from 90 days, before donating the property to nonprofit charitable organizations. First sponsor: Rep. Montenegro

 

HB 2472: REPEAL; RIGHT TO WORK

Statute prohibiting agreements denying employment because of non-membership in labor organizations is repealed. Conditionally enacted on the state Constitution being amended by the voters at the 2016 general election to repeal the right to work or employment without membership in labor organizations.

First sponsor: Rep. Mendez

 

HB 2484: INCOME; LICENSING; PATENTS; REPEAL

Statute requiring Arizona State University to distribute income from licensing and patents is repealed.

First sponsor: Rep. Shope

 

HB 2485: TAX LIEN FORECLOSURES; SUBDIVISIONS; EXEMPTION

Lots, parcels or fractional interests that are the result of a foreclosure of the right to redeem are added to the list of lands that are exempt from statutes regulating the sale of subdivided lands. Does not apply to a tax lien investor who plans to offer the subdivided lands for sale to a person who is not required to complete a public report. AS PASSED HOUSE.

First sponsor: Rep. Shope

 

HB 2535: TAX; RENEWABLE ENERGY; ON-SITE CONSUMPTION

For property tax purposes, solar energy devices or systems and renewable energy equipment designed for the production of energy are considered to have no value and to add no value to the property on which they are installed only if they are primarily for on-site consumption by the owner of the device, system or renewable energy resources.

First sponsor: Rep. J. Allen

 

HB 2585: SECONDARY MOTOR VEHICLE FINANCE TRANSACTIONS

A person is prohibited from entering into a secondary motor vehicle finance transaction for a motor vehicle that is encumbered or subject to any lien. A person is prohibited from taking additional security or guaranty as a condition to entering into a secondary motor vehicle finance transaction. Any transaction in violation is void as to principal and all charges, and an act or practice in violation is an unlawful practice and is subject to enforcement and penalties under consumer fraud regulations. Secondary motor vehicle finance transactions are subject to a maximum finance charge of 36 percent a year, and the previous tiered maximum finance rates based on the original principal amount are deleted.

First sponsor: Rep. McCune Davis

 

HB 2611: CONSUMER FLEX LOANS

Adds a new chapter to Title 6 (Financial Institutions) regulating “flex loans” and “flex loan lenders” (both defined). A person is prohibited from engaging in the business of a flex loan without being licensed as a flex loan lender by the Department of Financial Institutions. Some exceptions. Fees for flex loan lender licenses and branch offices are established. Requirements for licensure and reasons for license denial, suspension or revocation are established. Flex loan business is limited to licensed locations, except that a licensee may make flex loans by mail or electronic means and conduct specified administrative functions at another location. Licensees are required to maintain specified records and make them available to the Dept, and are required to annually report specified information to the Dept, including annual percentage rates in effect. Establishes prohibited acts for licensees, loan restrictions, disclosure requirements, and civil penalties for noncompliance. Flex loans are limited to $3,000 and finance charges on flex loans are limited to a rate of 36 percent per annum. Establishes regulations for computation of finance charges, repayment of flex loans, and allowable fees.

First sponsor: Rep. Mesnard

 

HB 2628: COLLECTION AGENCIES; UNLAWFUL ACTS

The list of unlawful acts for collection agencies is expanded to include bringing suit or initiating an arbitration proceeding against the debtor or otherwise attempting to collect on a debt while knowing that the applicable statute of limitations expired, the debt was discharged in bankruptcy, the debt was paid or otherwise settled or the debt is illegal.

First sponsor: Rep. McCune Davis

 

HCR 2034: FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH

The members of the Legislature proclaim April 2015 as Financial Literacy Month in Arizona, support increased public awareness about the importance of personal financial education, and support the Office of the State Treasurer in its efforts to increase awareness of and access to financial literacy resources.

First sponsor: Rep. Brophy McGee

 

SB 1013: EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION; ENFORCEMENT; DAMAGES

Increases the statute of limitations on filing employment discrimination charges to 2 years from 1 year. Allows the recovering party in unlawful employment practice cases to recover punitive or compensatory damages if specified conditions are met.

First sponsor: Sen. Ableser

 

SB 1071: TAX LIEN DEEDS; AGGREGATE FEES

The maximum aggregate fee the county treasurer may require to execute and deliver a deed for any judgment foreclosing the right to redeem ten or more individual parcels is $500. Applies to any judgment entered before the effective date of this legislation for which a treasurer’s deed has not been applied or issued.

First sponsor: Sen. Smith

 

SB 1110: UNLAWFUL EMPLOYEE TERMINATION; FAMILY EMERGENCY

It is unlawful for an employer to terminate or threaten to terminate an employee for being notified by a school or law enforcement officer of an emergency regarding the employee’s child or for leaving work to attend to the child’s emergency, except in cases of excessive abuse of this protection.

First sponsor: Sen. Ableser

 

SB 1148: TECH CORRECTION; WATER RESOURCES

Minor change in Title 45 (Waters) related to the Department of Water Resources. Apparent striker bus.

First sponsor: Sen. Griffin

 

 

SB 1249: GREEN TECHNOLOGY & MANUFACTURING INCENTIVES

Establishes individual and corporate income tax credits for net increases in qualified employment positions by a green manufacturing business. The amount of the credit is a percentage of the taxable wages paid to qualified employees who are Arizona residents. Requirements that a business must meet in order to qualify for the credit are specified. Also classifies property and improvements comprising a certified green manufacturing business as class 6 property for property tax purposes. Effective January 1, 2016.

First sponsor: Sen. Ableser

 

SB 1251: TAX RATE REDUCTIONS; SUSPENSION

Following every fiscal year, the Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to determine whether a “trigger event” (defined as per student general fund expenditures for K-12 education being at least equal to the median among the 50 states, at least 94 percent of 3rd grade student reading at or higher than grade level, and/or a high school graduation rate of at least 93 percent) has occurred and report the findings to the Governor and the Legislature by December 1. Until a trigger event occurs and in lieu of the statutory assessed valuation, the assessed valuation for class one (commercial) property is 18.5 percent of its full cash value or limited valuation. Until a trigger event occurs and in lieu of the statutory tax rates for corporations, a tax is levied on the entire Arizona taxable income of every corporation, unless specifically exempt by law, in amount of six percent of net income of $50, whichever is greater.

First sponsor: Sen. Farley

 

SB 1253: HIRING PRACTICES; CRIMINAL HISTORY; LIMITATIONS

Employers are prohibited from inquiring, considering or requiring disclosure of the criminal conviction record of an applicant for employment during the hiring process unless it has a direct relationship to the employment position, is only for the period of the ten most recent consecutive years, and takes place after the applicant has received a conditional offer of employment. Does not apply to positions that require a valid fingerprint clearance card.

First sponsor: Sen. Quezada

 

SB 1316: SUBPOENA COMPLIANCE; COPYING; CLERICAL COSTS

The “reasonable cost” that a witness who is not a party to an action may charge against the party requesting a subpoena for the production of documentary evidence is increased to 25 cents per page, from 10 cents per page, for standard reproduction of documents and to $25 per hour per person, from $10 per hour per person, for clerical costs incurred in locating and making the documents available.

First sponsor: Sen. Driggs

 

SB 1317: ELDERLY ASSISTANCE FUNDS; DISTRIBUTIONS

The county treasurer is required to develop application forms, documentation requirements and procedures for the distribution of monies from the Elderly Assistance Fund in a county with a population of more than 2 million persons (Maricopa County). Modifies the definition of “qualified owner” for the purpose of qualifying for assistance from the Fund.

First sponsor: Sen. Burges

 

SB 1327: EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION; PROHIBITION

The list of attributes for which a person cannot be discriminated against in employment practices is expanded to include gender, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation. A religious organization is allowed to take certain employment actions on the basis of gender, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation if the employee’s position is directly related to the religious functions of the organization or directly involved in providing education to students of an educational institution substantially controlled or supported by the religious organization.

First sponsor: Sen. Miranda

 

SB 1331: ELECTRONIC DATA; METADATA; PROHIBITED COLLECTION

State agencies, political subdivisions and their employees and contractors are prohibited from providing assistance to any federal agency or complying with any federal law that purports to authorize the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action that is not based on a warrant that “particularly describes” the person, place and thing to be searched or seized. The State Treasurer is prohibited from transferring any monies to a political subdivision in the fiscal year after a final judicial determination that the political subdivision adopted a rule or policy that intentionally violated this prohibition. An agent or employee in violation is deemed to have resigned and is forever after ineligible to hold any office of trust, honor or emolument under the laws of Arizona.

First sponsor: Sen. Ward

 

SB 1395: STATE-OWNED BANK TASK FORCE

Establishes a 10-member State-owned Bank Task Force within the Arizona Commerce Authority to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a state-owned bank and submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature by December 1, 2015. Self-repeals October 1, 2016. Appropriates an unspecified amount (blank in original) from the general fund in FY2015-16 to the Authority to support the Task Force.

First sponsor: Sen. Dalessandro

 

SB 1405: SCHOOLS; FINANCIAL EDUCATION; COURSE REQS

The State Board of Education is required to prescribe a separate personal finance course for the graduation of students from high school and to develop or adopt an existing method of measuring proficiency in the course requirement. Information that must be included in the course is specified. Statute allowing school boards and charter schools to prescribe a separate personal finance course is deleted.

First sponsor: Sen. Yee

 

SB 1430: EMPLOYMENT & LABOR OMNIBUS

Various changes related to employment regulations. Employers are no longer permitted to pay employees who customarily and regularly receive tips a wage up to $3 per hour less than the minimum wage if specified conditions are met. Employees are authorized to use “personal sick leave” (defined) provided by the employer for absences due to an illness of or injury to the employee’s child or relative. Employers are prohibited from requiring nondisclosure by an employee of the employee’s wage information as a condition of employment and from taking adverse employment action against an employee for disclosing the employee’s wages. The Industrial Commission is required to issue an equal pay certificate to a business that meets

 

specified qualifications, including that the average compensation for female employees is no consistently below the average compensation for male employees within each job category. Beginning January 1, 2016, a business that has at least 40 full-time employees in Arizona or in the state where the business’s primary place of business is located is required to have an equal pay certificate or a waiver in order to be eligible to contract with any purchasing agency in Arizona for a procurement of more than $5,000. Due to voter protection, the minimum wage provisions of this bill require the affirmative vote of at least 3/4 of each house of the Legislature for passage.

First sponsor: Sen. Hobbs

 

SCM 1011: MORTGAGE STANDARDS; URGING FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

The members of the Legislature urge the U.S. President, the U.S. Congress and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to broaden the qualified mortgage underwriting rules to include specified lending practices, to allow lenders to go over the 43 percent debt-to-income ratio ceiling if the borrower meets other criteria that demonstrate an ability to pay, and to create a fee schedule that allows lenders to price loans according to risk. The Secretary of State is directed to transmit copies of this memorial to the President of the U.S., the President of the U.S. Senate, the Speaker of the U.S. House, each member of Congress from Arizona and the Director of the Bureau.

First sponsor: Sen. Farley