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Bill loosens regulations on food trucks

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A Republican lawmaker, who owns a food truck, wants to ease regulations on food trucks.

Rep. Kevin Payne, R-Peoria, introduced HB2636, which would make it legal for food vendors to operate on private properties in residential areas.

Payne owns a barbeque food truck, K Star BBQ, and just last year introduced a similar bill, HB2371, that would cut government regulations that operators like Payne said hamper business. The bill after a few amendments passed through House and Senate and Governor Ducey signed it in May.

Payne told the Arizona Republic last year, attorneys for the House deemed it was not a conflict of interest to sponsor that bill.

Payne could not be reached for comment regarding potential conflict of interest for the new bill, which the House Regulatory Affairs Committee is set to hear today.

At the time last year’s bill was introduced, the Arizona League of Cities and Towns opposed it fearing it would give food-truck owners special privileges other businesses do not have. They came around after it was amended and took a neutral stance.

This time is like déjà vu for them.

Tom Savage, legislative associate with League of Arizona Cities and Towns, said the concern regarding vendors operating in residential areas was too broad.

“We wanted to tighten up the language, so it would only apply to contracts for catering services,” he said.

Savage said Payne did not have a problem with the League’s suggested amendments.

The League now remains neutral on this new bill that will go to the House Reg Affairs today.

Payne told Arizona Capitol Times in October one of the issues he would like to address is that some cities require food truckers to pay a fee (in Phoenix it’s $350) for each location where they operate. That means not only paying $350 for each street corner, but also waiting months for approval, Payne said, noting the wait in Phoenix is about three months. “It’s insanity,” he said.

Some cities also require vendors to have fingerprint background checks on their employees.

Payne’s new bill addresses both of those issues.

The fingerprint rule dates back to a kidnapping by an ice cream truck driver, which Payne said operates differently than any other food truck.

“No kid has ever said Mommy, Mommy give me a dollar for the BBQ truck,” he said.

Update 4:50 p.m.: HB2636 passed through House Reg Affairs 6-1. 

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