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It’s famous now, but SB1070 used to be a nondescript bill number

History is a fickle mistress, so no one today can say with certainty what the legacy of the Arizona Legislature’s 2010 session will be.

But what is certain today is that the label SB1070 is at least the most well-known product of that session.

SB1070 was the bill number for Arizona’s controversial immigration law that requires law enforcers to inquire about people’s immigration status if they are suspected of being here illegally.

As the 2011 session dawned, some bill was sure to grab that same label, and thus, it would gain instant recognition.

In fact, Senate Minority Leader David Schapira, a Democrat from Tempe, dropped nine bills this month, thinking one of them would be numbered SB1070.

To Schapira’s surprise, he got bill numbers SB1069 and SB1071, but SB1070 went to Senate President Russell Pearce, the author of last year’s hotly contested immigration policy.

Pearce was exercising his prerogative as leader of the 30-member Senate. He said reserving the bill number is a way to respect Arizona and preserve what his original legislation now means for people here and abroad.

The bill Pearce introduced this year, the one numbered SB1070, offers a minor technical change to the state’s immigration laws.

Although Pearce had the power to claim this year’s SB1070, what he could not control was the pre-2010 history of that now famous bill number.

It turns out that before SB1070 became famous, that bill number was indiscriminately assigned to proposals that dealt with such topics as methamphetamine, concealed weapons, group insurance and a minor change in the requirements for getting a license to sell citrus fruits.

Bills identified as an “apparent striker bus” contain a technical correction to possibly be used later in the session for more substantive changes.


Here is a list, starting with the present and going back to 1999, of the bills that wore that once-obscure but now-famous label:

50th Legislature, First Regular Session – 2011

Short Title: Tech Correction; Unlawful Aliens; Transporting

Summary: Minor change in Title 13 (criminal code) pertaining to offenses against the public order. Apparent striker bus.

First Sponsor: Sen. Russell Pearce

Final Action: Referred to Senate Rules Committee

49th Legislature, Second Regular Session – 2010

Short Title: Immigration; Law Enforcement; Safe Neighborhoods

Summary: Various measures related to enforcement of immigration laws. No governmental entity or official may adopt a policy that limits or restricts enforcement of federal immigration law to the full extent permitted. Any Arizona resident may bring an action in superior court to challenge any jurisdiction that adopts a policy that restricts the enforcement of immigration laws. Much more.

First Sponsor: Sen. Russell Pearce

Final Action: Signed by governor

49th Legislature, First Regular Session – 2009

Short Title: Sentencing; Prior Convictions; Meth

Summary: The list of conditions under which a second conviction of a crime involving methamphetamine will result in sentencing enhancements is expanded to include if the prior conviction occurred in another jurisdiction.

First Sponsor: Sen. Jonathon Paton

Final Action: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee (held)

48th Legislature, Second Regular Session – 2008

Short Title: Concealed Weapons Permit; Qualifications; Instructors

Summary: Qualifications for instructors of firearms safety courses (completion of which is required for a person to be issued a concealed weapons permit) are expanded to include a requirement that the person be either DPS-certified or possess a current NRA instructor certificate in pistol and personal protection.  Requirements for concealed weapons permit applicants are modified to require “adequate documentation” (defined) that an approved training program was satisfactorily completed.

First Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Gray

Final Action: Signed by governor

48th Legislature, First Regular Session – 2007

Short Title: Tech Correction; Contractors

Summary: Minor change in title 34 (public buildings) related to bids and estimates by contractors.  Apparent striker bus.

First Sponsor: Sen. Jack Harper

Final Action: Referred to Senate Government Committee (held)

47th Legislature, Second Regular Session – 2006

Short Title: Group Life Insurance; Coverage Requirement

Summary: Statutory provision requiring that at least 75 percent of the members of a group (for example, credit union, employee group, trustee group, labor union, etc.) participate in paying at least part of the premium for group life insurance is deleted.

First Sponsor: Sen. Dean Martin

Final Action: Signed by governor

47th Legislature, First Regular Session – 2005

Short Title: Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable; Council

Summary: The requirement that an applicant for a business license to be a citrus or fruit and vegetable dealer, packer or shipper must attest to certain items of personal history (for example whether the applicant has ever had a related license in any state denied, suspended or revoked) via an affidavit is replaced by a requirement for a statement of the facts “signed under the penalty of perjury.” For the purposes of product standardization rules for citrus, fruits and vegetables, the definition of “year” is changed to July 1 through June 30 from September 1 through August 31. Changes in membership of the Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Council.

First Sponsor: Sen. Jake Flake

Final Action: Signed by governor

46th Legislature, Second Regular Session – 2004

Short Title: Tech Correction: Public Health

Summary: Minor change to ARS 36-1490 pertaining to slum clearance and redevelopment. Apparent striker bus.

First Sponsor: Sen. Toni Hellon

Final Action: Referred to Senate Rules Committee (held)

46th Legislature, First Regular Session – 2003

Short Title: Airport Expansion Oversight

Summary: An Airport Expansion Oversight Commission is created; members are 1) legislators who represent districts that include any part of a city or town within a 65-decibel day-night sound level contour of a commercial airport owned by another city or town, and 2) legislators who represent any part of the city or town that owns the airport in question. A city or town cannot expand such an airport without submitting a plan to mitigate the impact of the expansion to the commission and 1) receiving the commission’s approval, or 2) complying with a commission alternative plan, or 3) submitting the issue to arbitration if it does not agree with the commission recommendation and thereafter complying with the arbitrator’s recommendation. Noncompliance means loss of revenue from the state aviation fund.

First Sponsor: Sen. Harry Mitchell

Final Action: Referred to Senate Natural Resources & Transportation Committee (held)

45th Legislature, Second Regular Session – 2002

Short Title: Defibrillators at State Buildings

Summary: All new state buildings and all state buildings renovated at a cost of $250,000 or more must be equipped with automated external defibrillators. Beginning with fiscal year 2003-4 and continuing each year thereafter, funding for AEDs must be included in capital budgets for new state buildings. Effective midnight June 30, 2003.

First Sponsor: Sen. Sue Gerard

Final Action: Signed by governor

45th Legislature, First Regular Session – 2001

Short Title: Independent Living Program Appropriation

Summary: Appropriation of $40,300 for fiscal year 2001-2002 to the Department of Economic Security for a paralegal position to obtain behavioral health services and file appeals to assist youth in the independent living and transitional independent living programs.

First Sponsor: Sen. Ruth Solomon

Final Action: Referred out of Senate Family Services Committee; no further action

44th Legislature, Second Regular Session – 2000

Short Title: Insurers; Risk-Based Capital Requirements

Summary: Definitions of “insurer” in statutes imposing requirements for risk-based capital are expanded to include hospital, medical, dental and optometric service corporations and health-care services organizations. Health organization RBC requirement is to be determined according to a formula that must include asset, credit and underwriting risks specifically as well as all other business risks and any risks listed in the RBC instructions. The state Insurance Dept director may exempt any health organization from RBC requirements if it meets conditions including writing direct business only in Arizona, having annual premiums of $2M or less and covering fewer than 2,000 lives. A hearing demanded by an insurer upset by a state RBC ruling is closed to the public unless a principal asks otherwise. Effective midnight Dec. 31, 2000.

Final Action: Signed by governor

44th Legislature, First Regular Session – 1999

Short Title: School District; Subdivision Limit

Summary: A school district in existence less than ten years may not subdivide into a new district.

First Sponsor: Sen. John Huppenthal

Final Action: Failed on Senate floor vote

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