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From trampolines to Teslas, lawmakers’ work remains unfinished

Customers check out a new Tesla all electric car, Monday, March 17, 2014, at a Tesla showroom inside the Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati. Ohio auto dealers are sparring at the Statehouse with the California-based Tesla, which is selling it's next generation electric cars from three Ohio storefronts. Lawmakers in Ohio and other states are trying to block Tesla direct sales on grounds they undercut traditional auto dealerships. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Customers check out a new Tesla all electric car, Monday, March 17, 2014, at a Tesla showroom inside the Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati. Ohio auto dealers are sparring at the Statehouse with the California-based Tesla, which is selling it’s next generation electric cars from three Ohio storefronts. Lawmakers in Ohio and other states are trying to block Tesla direct sales on grounds they undercut traditional auto dealerships. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Besides the budget, what’s left for Arizona lawmakers to do this year? Well, almost everything.

The Legislature set out with an ambitious agenda — aiming to tackle everything from big issues such as income tax reform, to niche ideas like allowing backyard chickens in neighborhoods throughout the state.

Gov. Jan Brewer also had a lot of priorities she urged the Legislature to approve, including her marquee proposal: overhauling the state’s overwhelmed child protective service agency.

But of the more than 1,200 bills proposed by the Legislature this year, Brewer has only signed six into law so far.

A seventh bill that lawmakers sent to the governor this year — SB1062, which would have allowed business owners with sincerely held religious beliefs to discriminate against gays — was vetoed.

By this time last year, lawmakers had already sent more than 70 bills to the Ninth Floor.

Held up in the process are bills that would outlaw the distribution of private images, known as revenge porn; legislation that would regulate trampoline parks; and a bill to allow the electric Tesla car to be sold in the state. And that’s just a small sample of the bills stalled in the Legislature.

And Brewer’s warning this week that she would veto any bill that made it to her desk before the budget is finished offered a clear sign — the backlog of more than 300 bills still considered “alive” is not going to vanish any time soon.

It also marks the third year in a row that Brewer has issued such a threat.

Last year, Brewer warned lawmakers to stop sending her non-budget bills in May after the debate on Medicaid expansion had dragged well past the 100th day legislative session. In 2012, she issued the warning on the 100th day of the legislative session.

Republican leaders in both chambers say they have no plans to call her bluff this year, as they attempted to do last year by sending her several bills after the warning — all of which she vetoed.

In fact, lawmakers have declined to transmit several budgetary bills to the Governor’s Office after they were approved by both chambers, despite a 2009 court ruling that they must do so in a reasonable time.

But that doesn’t mean lawmakers are just sitting around waiting for the budget to be finished before acting on the bills.

In the past week, both chambers have been preparing bills for a final vote — pushing bills through the Rules committees, caucuses, and floor debate, but stopping just short of a final vote.

In the meantime, Brewer has given up on the Legislature approving her top priority in this legislative session. She is planning to call a special session to iron out the details and pass legislation detailing the creation of a new, separate child welfare agency to replace Child Protective Services.

Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder said the Ninth Floor doesn’t know yet whether the special session will be called after the regular session adjourns, or if it will run concurrently with the regular session.

He said that will depend on when the lawmakers and experts who have been studying the issue finish their work and when the legislation is ready. It also depends on how quickly lawmakers finish everything else.

SB1293 (publicity pamphlets; disclosure) by Republican Rep. Michelle Ugenti of Scottsdale

Awaiting House third reading

The bill would require literature or advertisements for or against ballot propositions to include a statement reading, “notice: pursuant to Proposition 105 (1998), this measure can never be changed in the future if approved on the ballot except by a three-fourths vote of the Legislature and if the change furthers the purpose of the original ballot measure, or by referring the change to the ballot.”

HB2127 (trampoline courts; safety) by Republican Rep. Doug Coleman of Apache Junction

Awaiting Senate Rules Committee

The bill would establish regulations for “trampoline courts” and allow enforcement of the regulations by the Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety. Trampoline courts would be required to register with the department, have an annual inspection, procure insurance of at least $1 million for bodily injury, and maintain specified records.

HB2338 (aggravated assault; firearm) by Republican Rep. Brenda Barton of Payson

Awaiting Senate Rules

The bill would make it an aggravated assault to knowingly take or attempt to exercise control over a person’s lawfully possessed firearm with the intent to cause harm. The bill does not apply to a peace officer who takes or attempts to exercise control over a person’s firearm while engaged in the execution of official duties or to a person who is justified in using physical force or deadly physical force pursuant to statute.

HB2515 (unlawful distribution of private images) by Republican Rep. J.D. Mesnard of Chandler

Awaiting Senate Rules

The bill would make it a class 5 felony to intentionally disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise or offer a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording of another person in a state of nudity or engaged in a sexual act if the person knows or should have known that the depicted person has not consented to the disclosure. If the depicted person is recognizable, the classification is increased to a class 4 felony.

HB2528 (municipalities; regulation; sign walkers) by Republican Rep. Warren Petersen of Gilbert

Awaiting Senate Committee of the Whole

The bill states a municipality that adopts regulations relating to sign walkers cannot restrict a sign walker from using a public sidewalk, walkway or pedestrian thoroughfare, and allows enforcement in a private civil action and relief, including an injunction, which may be awarded against a municipality.

SB1151 (fowl regulation; prohibition) by Republican Sen. David Farnsworth of Mesa

Awaiting House Rules

The bill would prohibit municipalities from adopting a zoning ordinance that prohibits a resident of a single-family detached residence from keeping fowl in the backyard of the property. Municipalities could still restrict the number of fowl.

SB1032 (special license plates; standard design) by Democratic Sen. Steve Farley of Tucson

Awaiting House Committee of the Whole

The bill would require all special license plates to have a standard design with one three-inch square area on the plate that is set aside for a logo or message, as opposed to covering the entire plate with the logo or message.

HB2164 (laser pointer; aircraft; violation) by Republican Rep. Ethan Orr of Tucson

Awaits Senate Rules

The bill would make aiming a laser pointer at an occupied aircraft a class 3 misdemeanor if the person is under 19 years of age, and a class 5 felony if the person is at least 19 years of age, except if it renders the pilot unable to operate the aircraft safely or causes serious physical injury to any person on board, the penalty would be increased to a class 4 felony.

HB2284 (abortion clinics; inspection; minors; reporting) by Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko of Peoria

Awaiting Senate Committee of the Whole

The bill would allow any duly designated employee at the Department of Health Services to enter the premises of the clinic during regular business hours to determine compliance with regulation if the Department of Health Services determines that there is a reasonable cause to believe an abortion clinic is not adhering to any law or rule concerning abortion. If an inspection reveals violations, the department may take action as authorized by statute. The bill would also make it a class 1 misdemeanor for a person to intentionally cause, aid or assist a minor in obtaining an abortion in violation of statutory requirements for parental consent.

HB2454 (human trafficking; prostitution) by Republican Rep. Eddie Farnsworth of Gilbert

Awaiting Senate Committee of the Whole

The bill would make various changes to human trafficking laws, as recommended early in the year by the governor’s task force on Human Trafficking, which sought to tighten human trafficking laws, and provide tougher penalties for those who purchase child prostitutes in preparation for Arizona hosting the 2015 Super Bowl, which attracts human trafficking operations.

HB2024 (aggressive solicitation; offense) by Republican Rep. John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills

Awaiting Senate Committee of the Whole

The bill would make it a class 1 misdemeanor for a person to solicit money or the sale of goods or services within 15 feet of a bank entrance or ATM, in any public transportation vehicle or within 10 feet of a bus stop, or in various situations involving making physical contact with or obstructing the passage of the person being solicited, or in a manner that is likely to cause a reasonable person to fear imminent bodily harm.

SB1168 (teenage drivers; communication devices prohibited) by Republican Rep. Karen Fann of prescott

Awaits House third reading

The bill would prohibit learners permit license holders from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless communication device for any reason, except during an emergency in which stopping the vehicle is impossible or will create an additional hazard. The prohibition would not apply beginning on the licensee’s 18th birthday.

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