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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Capitol Insider April 5, 2011



April 5, 2011


Arizona’s Budget- Update


This past Friday at 8:09 a.m., the House of Representatives passed a budget after an almost five-hour floor session to debate and vote on the bills. As expected, the budget bills received overwhelming support from the Republican caucus and vocal opposition from the Democrat caucus. The final budget agreement more closely resembled the budget plan passed by the Senate than Governor Brewer’s January proposal. Overall, the budget cut about $200 million less than the original Senate plan and $467 million more than the governor’s plan. The following are some of the major budget components.


AHCCCS: $67.8 million reductions in fiscal year 2011. $510.6 million reductions in fiscal year 2012.

Community Colleges: $72.9 million cut in fiscal year 2012.

Corrections; $10 million increase in fiscal year 2012.

Department of Economic Security: $31 million reduction in fiscal year 2011. $50.4 million            cut in fiscal year 2012.

K-12: $1.9 million increase in fiscal year 2011. $183.2 million cut in fiscal year 2012.

Health Services: $2.6 million cut in fiscal year 2011. $53.4 million cut in fiscal year 2012.

University: $198 million cut in fiscal year 2012.

Other Agencies: $11.6 million in fiscal year 2011. $22.6 million cut in fiscal year 2012.


Friday afternoon, the budget was transmitted back to the Senate where the budget bills were final read. The final vote on all of the bills was split down party lines with 21 ayes (Republicans) eight nays (Democrats) and one not voting (Senator Linda Lopez). After the vote, all bills were transmitted to the governor. It is anticipated that the governor will sign the budget that was sent up to her desk last Friday.


Progress of Association Bills


Yesterday, two very important bills to the association made crucial steps toward becoming law. In the House of Representatives SB 1149 (planned communities; condominiums; document fees) was third read with a vote of 56-3-1. Since the bill was amended in the House Committee of the Whole, it will now be transmitted back to the Senate where the sponsor of the bill (Senator Andy Biggs) will either concur or object to the changes made in the House. It is expected that Senator Biggs will concur on the changes, and the bill will be final read in the Senate. Once it is final read, and passes, the bill will be transmitted to the governor’s desk for her signature.


As one will recall from past Capitol Insider editions, SB 1149 limits the fee that a planned community and condominium association can charge a unit owner for the preparation of required documents associated with the resale of a unit to an aggregate of $400. The bill also prohibits a condominium or planned community from charging a fee for the use or placement of a for sale sign or for lease sign by a unit owner. The bill further establishes that any association, declarant or property management company that acts in violation of statutes allowing the placement of specified signage, forfeits their lien rights for a period of six consecutive months.


The other piece of legislation that was heard yesterday in the Senate Committee of the Whole was HB 2193 (municipal water charges; responsibility). Though this bill was not amended in the Senate Water, Land Use and Rural Development Committee, it was amended with a simple amendment in the Senate Rules Committee (for clarifying purposes to the language) and as a result had to be heard in the Senate Committee of the Whole. The bill received no discussion, and it is anticipated it will be third read later this week.


AAR has actively worked on HB 2193 throughout the legislative process. This bill establishes the responsible party for payment of municipal water and wastewater rates, fees and service charges as the person who contracted for the service, resides at the property and receives the service.


Sine Die in the Near Future


With the budget now on the governor’s desk, the end of session (sine die) is on the horizon. If the governor signs the budget, the rest of session will focus on passing the remainder of the bills that are still alive in the legislative process. Many individuals believe that session could wrap up within a month’s time. This includes pushing the bills through the Committee of the Whole, Third Read and Final Read then up to the governor’s desk for her signature or veto. As a result, expect movement on many of the bills that the association has been involved with and updates as the bills progress through the process.


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