The Legislature has adjourned for the Summer. The 2017 Session resulted in 353 passed bills. The Governor has signed over 300 of them so far, and he is expected to sign more in the coming days. With the exception of the texting law, these go into effect on August 9, 2017.
[Kids] Don't Text and Drive
SB 1080 bans minors from using any mobile device while driving for their first six months on the road with both a learner's permit and a driver's license. This law has a delayed start -- July 2018. Keep in mind that Pima County and parts of Maricopa County have prohibitions on any driver using cell phones while behind the wheel. Arizona remains one of the last holdouts on a statewide texting while driving ban. Rule or no rule, the right, and safe, thing to do is stay off of any distracting device while driving.
Don't Cover Your Plate
SB 1073 makes it illegal to cover a license plate or use any electronic device or film that obscures the plate from any angle.
Help with Unexpected Medical Bills
SB 1441 allows individuals with health insurance who receive an unexpected out of network medical bill over $1,000 to get help disputing the bill and reaching resolution. The State Department of Insurance will assign an arbitrator to settle the disagreement.
Chipping Away at the ADA
SB 1406 amends the Arizonans with Disabilities Act to give businesses up to 90 days to correct structural accessibility violations before a lawsuit can be filed. It also exempts websites from state accessibility requirements.
School Vouchers for Private School
SB 1431 expands the Empowerment Scholarship program to allow all public school students to apply for state money that they can use to pay private or religious or home school education costs. Under this statute, the program will be capped at 30,000 students by 2022, and awards will be made on a first come, first served basis.
Break the Glass - Get a Pass
HB 2494 provides immunity from a civil lawsuit to anyone who enters a locked, unattended vehicle to rescue a child or pet if that person believes the child or pet is in "imminent danger of physical injury or death." The person must first call police or animal control and stay with the rescued child or animal until they arrive.
Private Gun Sales
SB 1406 prevents state, county, and city governments from requiring background checks on private gun sales. This is the latest in a series of legislative actions designed to curb local control of issues ranging from destruction of seized firearms to local election dates. They are looking at you, Tucson Mayor and City Council!
Two Guys and Truck -- Moving Protections
HB 3256 provides protections for people who hire movers for an intrastate relocation. The law prevents movers from refusing to unload a customer's goods if there is a disagreement over payment. It requires movers to provide a written contract and disclose all fees.
Keep Covered, Kids
HB 2134 allows a school-aged child enrolled in a public or charter school, a camp, or a day care to have and use sunscreen without a note or prescription. This is a very common sense change to the law in our sun-drenched state.