It wasn’t all bad news…

July 03, 2013

2013 Legislative Session Update Alert  (07/03/2013)

Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

As you probably know, Governor Jan Brewer, with the help of Democratic legislators and 14 Republicans, managed to force the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion through the Legislature.  (That battle is not over.  Click here to take action.)  And almost nothing was done during the 2013 legislative session to curb the power of government employee unions.

But the 2013 session did bring some good news for taxpayers.  Several bills supported by AFP-Arizona were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, and several of the bills we opposed were blocked.  More info is available at this link, but below is a quick summary.

HB 2531 — This bill, sponsored by Rep. J.D. Mesnard, reforms Arizona’s tax code to allow businesses to get an immediate income tax deduction for equipment purchases.

SB 1363 — Sponsored by Sen. Rick Murphy, this bill expands eligibility and funding for Arizona’s system of school choice education saving accounts.

HB 2458Sponsored by Rep. Paul Boyer, this bill will help to prevent fraud in Arizona’s recently-created system of school choice education savings accounts.

HB 2608 — This bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Phil Lovas and was a key policy priority of House Speaker Andy Tobin, is an important first step in the reform of government employee pensions.  HB 2608 converted the Elected Officials Retirement Plan (EORP) from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.

HB 2045 — This bill mandates that health care providers make some cash prices available to their consumers.  By doing so, the reform will introduce greater price competition to health care in Arizona, help to prevent some fraud and over-billing, and let the market guide consumers toward better health care choices.  Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Nancy Barto, this reform was included in the AHCCCS payments overhaul bill sponsored by Rep. Heather Carter.

AFP-Arizona is grateful to report that two corporate welfare bills were blocked.  Governor Brewer vetoed HB 2342 and the Senate held HB 2646.  (Both bills were sponsored by House Speaker Andy Tobin.)

While a bill increasing local bonding authority and property taxes (HB 2399 — Rep. Heather Carter) passed and was signed by the Governor, a bill creating new local taxing districts (HB 2456Rep. Phil Lovas) was successfully blocked.

AFP-Arizona will soon publish its 2013 Legislative Scorecard (the 29th annual scorecard put out by AFP-Arizona and the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers).  On the Scorecard, you will be able to see how your Legislators performed on these bills and dozens of others.

Grassroots Education Events in July

On July 25, our sister organization, AFP Foundation-Arizona, will co-sponsor an all-day Scottsdale simulcast of the Western Conservative Summit, with live presentations by Arizona Congressmen Trent Franks, Paul Gosar and Matt Salmon.  And on the evening of July 31, AFPF-Arizona will celebrate Milton Friedman’s birthday with a panel discussion on Common Core.  (Click on the links to register.)

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity

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