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Notes from the ANA Director

We are excited to launch the new look of “This Week @ ANA”, our weekly newsletter. We hope you like it! Shout out to Julie O’Keefe, who has worked hard to bring us this new look.

In last week’s newsletter, I said that we were not sure when the legislative session would end … later that day at almost 5 p.m., they finally adjourned sine die. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t see further action as the audit is still very much in the news.

We had a couple of budget bills of concern that were part of the passed budget. Here is the info from John Moody’s notes.  

HB2893 (criminal justice; budget reconciliation; 2021-2022) – Passed and Signed by the Governor
https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/55leg/1R/bills/HB2893H.pdf

Summary:  This budget bill includes provisions relating to police body camera and other video footage applicable to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). As budget reconciliation bills, these bills were negotiated as part of the budget package agreed to by the Governor and Legislative Republican leadership.  The bill was amended prior to passage to apply to all video footage instead of just policy body-worn camera footage by DPS.   [See Section 20, pages 20-21 of the bill for these provisions]. 

Status:  HB2893 (identical to SB1821) was passed on final passage in the Senate 16-14 (party-line vote) and signed by the Governor on 6/30.   

ANA Position:  Opposed.   

SB1819 (budget procedures; budget reconciling; 2021-2022) – Passed and Signed by the Governor
https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/55leg/1R/bills/SB1819S.pdf

Summary:  This bill (and identical HB2891) was amended as part of the GOP budget agreement to include (among many other changes) a provision amending the statutory definition of “newspaper” by striking the requirement for a publication to be “admitted under federal law as a second-class matter in the United States mails for at least one year.”  [See Section 19, page 31, lines 33-43 of the bill for these provisions].

Notes:  Rep. Mark Finchem repeatedly and unsuccessfully introduced bills with similar provisions attempting to amend ARS 39-201 in 2016 (HB2041), 2017 (HB2013) and 2018 (HB2148) – bills which were all killed by the ANA in each of those years.       

Status:  Passed on 6/24 after being substituted for identical HB2891 31-29 (party-line vote) and signed by the Governor on 6/30.    

ANA Position:  Opposed.

The ANA, along with our partners, will be reviewing our options for the future regarding these bills.

A reminder to reach out to me with regards to your use of police scanners as I want to make sure our interests are protected as the police departments look to make changes.

I look forward to hearing from you – l.simpson@ananews.com; (602) 261-7655, or my cell (602) 326-9588. 

Thanks,
Lisa Simpson