The 51st, 1st Regular Legislative Session adjourned Sine Die in the early morning hours of Friday, June 14, 2013. Session ran a total of 151 days. 1,158 bills were introduced this year. Of those bills 282 were passed by the legislature. The governor signed 256 bills and vetoed 26 bills.
The end of session was marked with elevated emotions when the governor called the legislature into Special Session on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, to specifically consider the state budget for fiscal year 2013-2014. During the Special Session, the House and the Senate each introduced ten budget bills. Included within the budget was the governor’s request for Medicaid expansion. As anticipated, the majority of the Republican caucus was not in favor of the expansion. However, the House lawmakers worked deep into the night voting on the budget in a floor session that lasted nearly 12 hours. The final results met expectations, with 9 Republicans siding with 24 Democrats to approve every budget bill. When all was said and done, the House bills were passed by both chambers of the legislature and the Special Session adjourned Sine Die at 2:55 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2013.
In addition to the governor’s request to pass Medicaid expansion, she was also successful in obtaining her Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) reform package. With the clock ticking towards the end of session, supporters of the TPT reform feverishly worked with the League of Cities and Towns to reach an agreement. In the end the various stakeholders accomplished the broader goals of the reform in a way that doesn’t create difficulties for or harm the cities.
This legislative session provided many challenges for the Arizona Association of REALTORS®. The association was once again successful in warding off any attempt to eliminate or reduce the current anti-deficiency statutes. The association was also presented with a myriad of attempts to increase regulation on the individual licensee. These efforts were sold under the notion of protecting the public, when in fact they offered little to no protection but were punitive and costly measures aimed at punishing the licensee.
A major victory for the association came on June 20, 2013, when the governor signed SB 1454 into law. Attempts last legislative session to establish protections for homeowners and tenants against continued abuses by homeowners associations (HOAs) fell short of the finish line when Governor Jan Brewer vetoed HB 2513. With the veto, HOAs were left with no restrictions on what documents they could require of a tenant and no limit on what could be charged for the collection of these documents.
In the afternoon of Thursday June 13, 2013, and what seemed to be the last day of the legislative session, Representative Michelle Ugenti offered a floor amendment to SB 1454. The amendment, amongst many topics, contained the association’s HOA language and was amended with ease. Ten hours later the bill was voted on by the entire House body and subsequently transmitted back to the Senate for Senator Yee to concur with the changes. The bill was the last bill to be voted on this legislative session, ultimately gained approval from all but one Senator.
After many attempts to get this legislation to the finish line, Governor Jan Brewer’s signature solidified the multi-year effort to establish protections for homeowners and tenants. All legislation, unless it contains a delayed effective date or emergency enactment clause, becomes law 90 days after the legislature adjourns Sine Die. The general effective date is September 13, 2013.
Below are some of the legislative and regulatory issues that AAR successfully advanced or defeated this session.
Campaign Finance; In-kind Contributions; Disclosures (Condominiums; Planned Communities; Rental Properties) — SUPPORT
Establishes protections for homeowners and tenants against continued abuses by home owners’ associations (HOAs) to over-regulate, interfere in contractual relationships, require sensitive personal information be provided to the HOA, and unjustly assess costly fees on the property owner.
SB 1454 was signed by the governor and will become effective on the general effective date of September 13, 2013. ***UPDATE*** was challenged in court prior to taking effect. The court determined the bill was in violation of the single subject rule of the constitution. Consequently, the HOA language was removed as law.
Foreclosure; Tenant Notification — SUPPORT
Mandates that if a property owner receives a notice of trustee’s sale or other notice of foreclosure on the property after a tenant has entered into a rental agreement, the owner is required to provide the tenant with a written notice containing specified information within five business days after receipt of the notice of trustee’s sale. This requirement applies only to the first notice of trustee’s sale or the first notice of foreclosure received by the owner after the tenant has entered into the rental agreement.
HB 2281 was signed by the governor and will become effective on the general effective date of September 13, 2013.
Property Tax Penalty Waiver — SUPPORT
Allows a county treasurer, in consultation with the board of supervisors, to waive a penalty imposed on a property owner who fails to respond to a request for information regarding the property’s classification for tax purposes.
SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR
HB 2344 was signed by the governor and will become effective on the general effective date of September 13, 2013.
Real Estate Licenses; Cancellation — SUPPORT
Permits the Arizona Department of Real Estate to cancel a person’s license, regardless of whether the license status is active or not.
SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR
HB 2525 was signed by the governor and will become effective on the general effective date of September 13, 2013.