Today marks 90 days from the end of this year’s legislative session, which means many of the laws passed earlier this year go into effect today.
Here are 5 of the most noteworthy ones:
- Cracking down on short-term rentals
As companies like Airbnb and VRBO have led to a flush of property owners renting out their homes for weddings, parties and events, they’ve also frustrated locals who’ve found their neighborhoods inundated with partygoers.
HB 2672, introduced by Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hill) bans short-term rentals for special events, such as weddings, or other “nonresidential uses.”
Supporters hope the bill will crack down on short-term rentals for party houses.
2. Suicide prevention training now required for teachers
Teachers in Arizona will now be required to undergo suicide prevention training to help them identify warning signs of suicidal behavior in adolescents and teens. They will also learn how to appropriately intervene.
SB 1468, which was sponsored by Sen. Sean Bowie (D-Chandler), also mandates that school districts provide suicide awareness and prevention training to staff, beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.
3. It’s now harder to petition for a statewide ballot referendum
Arizona, like many other states, has long had a robust system for allowing the public to propose the passage or repeal of laws by placing them on the ballot, via petition.
But now, Arizona Republicans have made that process significantly more difficult. SB 1451, introduced by Sen. David Gowan (R-Sierra Vista) mandates that anyone paid to gather petition signatures for a statewide ballot initiative or referendum must register with the Secretary of State’s Office. They are also required to submit a notarized affidavit.
The law essentially erects financial and logistical roadblocks for anyone who wants to petition to place a measure on the ballot.
The bill also forces candidates for office to file a statement of interest with election officials prior to circulating petitions to earn a place on the ballot, a measure intended to prevent surprise candidates from making it onto the ballot.
4. Universal licensing program
HB 2569 creates a universal licensing recognition program, allowing barbers, optometrists, real estate agents and a host of other professionals to easily get licensed in Arizona as long as they are licensed and in good standing in another state.
Workers will still have to submit applications, pay fees and go through any testing or background check requirements, but they may not have to go through training and education programs required of new, previously unlicensed applicants.
5. Regulating scooters
The boom of electric scooters has caught lawmakers in many states off guard, as they struggle to regulate the increasingly popular mode of transportation.
This year saw Arizona’s legislature pass SB 1398, which regulates scooters like bicycles, giving scooter riders the same rights and privileges as bicyclists.