Department looks to protect Peoria’s interests

By Philip Haldiman
Independent Newsmedia

No rest for the IGA.

Now that the 2019 Arizona state legislative session has come to an end, Peoria’s intergovernmental affairs team has already begun looking to possible bills that may be introduced in the next session that could affect the city.

Intergovernmental Affairs Director Thomas Adkins said bills regarding water, peer-to-peer car rentals, transportation and the census may be introduced that could affect Peoria.

“Every January, when the legislature convenes, the IGA team is down at the Capitol keeping a close eye on all the legislation that the legislators in the house and senate introduce,” he said. “Our goal is to protect the interests of the city of Peoria and its residents.”

The legislature could consider at least two issues in the coming years that may affect Peoria — the extension of a transportation tax approved by voters in 2004 that provided some of the most important projects in more than the last 10 years, and the 2020 U.S. Census.

Proposition 400 provided Peoria with infrastructure such as the Loop 303 interchanges of Lone Mountain Road, Lake Pleasant Parkway and Happy Valley Road, as well as Loop 101 additions including HOV lanes through Peoria and noise walls from Northern to Olive avenues. An extension to this tax could be sent to the voters in 2022, but first the ballot will have to be approved by the legislature.

IGA coordinator Ginna Carico said the census will be a big focal point on a regional scale during the legislative session as the official Census Day is April 1, 2020.

“Last session, a bill was introduced, SB 1431, to distribute monies to Census Complete Count Committees. It ultimately never received a hearing, but it’s possible we could see similar concepts next year,” Ms. Carico said.

How to regulate the burgeoning peer-to-peer car rental industry was hot in the 2018 session with two competing bills that were introduce but neither passed.

One bill was proposed by Sen. David Livingston (R-Peoria) that would have set regulations for such things as insurance and safety when citizens rent their cars to others.

Ms. Carico said she anticipates this issue to return to the next session.

She said the 2018 session was very successful with wins in the drought contingency plan and funding, as well as a tax conformity law that was passed allowing Arizona to tax out-of-state retailers if they did $100,000 worth of sales or 200 or more transactions within the state.

“The city supported this concept because it creates equity for in-state retailers,” Ms. Carico said.

Also in the 2018 session, Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law HB 2318, which banned texting while driving. Peoria officials wrote a similar draft ordinance earlier this year, but decided to wait on consideration by council.

“As anticipated the governor and the legislature did reach an agreement, and with the recent adoption of our own matching ordinance, Peoria and the state sent a strong and clear message that we are raising the bar on driving safety,” Ms. Carico said.

Philip Haldiman can be reached at 623-876-3697, phaldiman@newszap.com, or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.

 

2018 legislative session
Bills introduced
2018: 1,206
2019: 1,318
Bills signed
2018: 346
2019: 320



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