In 2017, our state made significant new investments in public safety, health, and education, including an additional $163 million for K-12 schools and a permanent raise for our teachers—not to mention empowering our universities to invest up to $1 billion on research infrastructure that will keep them at the front of the pack.
We passed important reforms to expand opportunities for Arizonans and improve the quality of services that government provides to citizens. Even better, many of these new laws passed the legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Here are 10 that take effect today, Wednesday, August 9, 2017:
- SB1368 - Ensures that every baby born in Arizona is automatically screened for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). The rare genetic disorder is treatable—with early detection. The new law protects taxpayers from avoidable treatment costs and can save many newborns’ lives, including in our state’s Native American tribes, who experience disproportionately high rates of SCID.
- HB2271 - Makes it easier for veterans to find new careers and transition back into civilian life by reducing duplicative licensure requirements. The new reform ensures that Arizona’s regulatory agencies consider a veteran’s relevant military experience, education, and training when determining whether he or she is qualified to receive that license or certificate.
- HB2372 - Extends and reforms cash-assistance benefits to Arizona’s most vulnerable citizens by incentivizing recipients to participate in job-seeking activities and to make sure that their children are going to school. The new law also waives occupational licensing fees for individuals living in poverty.
- HB2493 - Establishes a review team to investigate every drug overdose death in our state. The review team—which will be comprised of expert public health and safety officials, among others—is tasked with collecting data on overdoses in order to address the drug abuse and addiction crisis and save innocent lives.
- HB2365 - Makes Arizona the first state in the nation to pave the way for 5G technology. The new law streamlines the deployment of one of the newest upcoming wireless communications technologies, which will enable the expansion of Internet connectivity through our state, including to rural areas where connections are still a little spotty.
- SB1042 - Improves our state’s outdated teacher certification process by empowering principals with the ability to make hiring decisions for their schools. Before the new law passed, there was an existing (streamlined) certification program that made it easier for high-qualified professionals to become STEM teachers; these reforms expand that successful certification program to other fields of teaching in order to provide children with access to even more educational opportunities.
- HB2494 - Allows ‘Good Samaritans’ to break into a hot car in order to save the life of a child or pet. The new also establishes specific legal processes in order to facilitate these life-saving actions—including a requirement that the person involved notify law enforcement or emergency medical personnel beforehand—thereby balancing law-and-order and public safety.
- HB2268 - Establishes time limits, standards and reporting requirements in order to ensure that all rape kits in Arizona are tested. The new law requires health care facilities to notify law enforcement within 48 hours that a rape kit has been collected—and then mandates that law enforcement submit the rape kit to a crime lab for testing within 15 days.
- SB1123 - Bans state agencies, boards, and commissions from hiring lobbyists on the taxpayer’s dime. The new law makes permanent an executive order issued by Governor Ducey in 2016.
- SB1366 - Increases the severity of punishment for criminals who attack law enforcement officers. The new law makes it clear that our state will not tolerate violence against those who put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe.
Governor Ducey signed 344 bills and vetoed 11 bills during the legislative session in 2017. Many of these signed bills take effect today in addition to those listed above.
If you are interested in seeing a longer list highlighting what Arizonans achieved this year, please feel free to visit www.azgovernor.gov