Page 2 of 3
Guns and Ammo
It was not the best session for Second Amendment enthusiasts. A bill to allow guns on college campuses failed in the Legislature, and Brewer vetoed a bill to allow guns in public buildings unless gun safes were provided.
But lawmakers were able to remove restrictions on the types of weapons and ammo that can be used for hunting, so hunters will now be able to use automatic weapons and armor-piercing ammo against wildlife. Hunters will also be allowed to use silencers.
• In the final hours of the session, lawmakers pushed through an income-tax break on investment income. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates the tax cut will cost $62 million in fiscal year 2014 and rise to as much as $387 million in fiscal year 2020.
• State lawmakers gave a tax break to algae farms under the state's agricultural property-tax program.
The Legislature did remarkably little to help secure Arizona's border with Mexico this year. A proposal to create an armed, volunteer militia to patrol the border passed in the Senate, but died in the House. Another bill, to allow the Arizona Department of Homeland Security to announce that Southern Arizona was unsafe if conditions warranted it, died after the sponsor got a negative reaction from Southern Arizona business leaders. They feared that periodically declaring the border region unsafe would be damaging to their profits.
Law and Order
• Private prisons were a winner in the legislative session, with lawmakers agreeing to provide them with enough funding for another 1,000 beds. Lawmakers also included enough money to build a 500-unit maximum-security prison that would be run by the state.
• Lawmakers passed several reforms to the state's Child Protective Services division, including streamlined processes for dealing with complaints, and a new office that will work with law enforcement when cases involve potential criminal conduct.
• A new law will prohibit the shackling of pregnant prisoners while they give birth, unless security conditions require it.
• Defendants facing DUI charges will once again have the right to a trial by jury. Lawmakers took that right away last year, but restored it because of potential legal problems.
• Minors will no longer be allowed to possess hookahs or water pipes.
• Passive resistance to arrest has been reclassified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
• You may want to be careful about what you write on Facebook in the future. Legislators expanded the current laws against stalking to include unwanted digital contact.
• State Sen. Frank Antenori, who has had several high-profile run-ins with photo-radar enforcement, pushed a bill through the Legislature that would redefine the boundaries of an intersection to make it more difficult for motorists to get ticketed for running red lights. But Brewer vetoed the bill, citing concerns from law enforcement.