Legislation Archive

Session Summaries

Bill Archive

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Appropriation; WQARF

HB 2591: Appropriation; WQARF

In Brief: Appropriates $20 million from the general fund to the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF).

Sponsor(s): Gabaldon

Last Action: Failed in Appropriations Committee 2/25/19

Description: This bill appropriates $20 million from the general fund to the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) in fiscal year 2019-20. WQARF is a state-sponsored program established by the Legislature and administered by the Department of Environmental Quality to clean up hazardous soil and groundwater contamination.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72225

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Appropriation; employees; water resources - Striker

SB 1440: Appropriation; employees; water resources - Striker

In Brief: Appropriates $740,000 for the Department of Water Resources to hire new staff.

Sponsor(s): Pratt

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill declares the Legislature’s intent to appropriate $740,000 to ADWR for the purpose of hiring hydrologists, geographic information system professionals, and other support staff. ADWR has stated that it faces challenges in competing with California for the hiring of technical hydrologic staff.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72094

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Adequate water supply; designation; standards

HB 2595: Adequate water supply; designation; standards

In Brief: Modifies the criteria for analysis of the physical and legal availability of water when ADWR prepares an Adequate Water Supply determination.

Sponsor(s): Gabaldon

Last Action: Held in the House.

Description: On August 8, 2018, the Arizona Supreme Court held that ADWR is not required to consider unquantified federal reserved water rights as part of the legal or physical availability analysis in its determination of an adequate water supply. This decision addressed ongoing litigation over a large development near Sierra Vista. The Court’s opinion was predicated on its interpretation of the adequate water supply statutes, reasoning that, (1) ADWR is not required to consider the impacts of an applicant’s groundwater withdrawals on existing uses, but rather that the agency must consider existing groundwater uses on the supply of the applicant, (2) the legislature did not specify that unquantified federal reserved water rights must be considered in the determination of legally available water supplies, and that (3) a private water company’s possession of a Certificate of Convenience & Necessity is, in effect, consumer protection for the legal availability of water. HB 2595 attempts to alter adequate water supply statute to address these considerations. AMWUA staff have identified technical issues with the bill and do not anticipate its movement through the legislature.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72229

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Harquahala non-expansion area; groundwater transfer

HB 2609: Harquahala non-expansion area; groundwater transfer

In Brief: Expands statutory list of entities eligible to pump groundwater in the Harquahala INA for transport to an AMA.

Sponsor(s): Peterson & Cook

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill adds a provision to statute allowing private water companies to withdraw groundwater from purchased land in the Harquahala irrigation non-expansion area (INA) and transport that water to an initial Active Management Area (AMA). Previously, only political subdivisions of the state could purchase land and transfer the groundwater to AMAs. HB 2609 also deepens the acceptable level of the water table for groundwater pumping, from 1,000 feet below ground surface to 1,500 feet.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72245

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Freshwater ecosystems; ecological water; survey

HB 2630: Freshwater ecosystems; ecological water; survey

In Brief: Establishes statutory classification for ecological water, directs ADWR to survey the condition of Arizona watersheds.

Sponsor(s): Engel and seven others

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill adds a statutory definition and provides for the appropriation of “ecological water.” Current statutes allow for the appropriation and beneficial use of water for fish and wildlife purposes, but not explicitly for the benefit of the watershed or ecosystem as a whole. SB 1370 would also require the Director of ADWR to perform a one-time survey of Arizona’s watersheds, identifying any ecological water needs, and recommending any necessary environmental or policy improvements.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72268

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Invasive vegetation eradication; grants

SB 1450: Invasive vegetation eradication; grants

In Brief: Appropriates $15 million for the removal of invasive vegetation for the purposes of fire and flood prevention and conservation of water and habitat.

Sponsor(s): Kerr and five others

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill would appropriate $15 million from the general fund for the Game and Fish Commission to provide grants to municipalities, counties, tribes and political subdivisions of the state for projects to eradicate invasive vegetation. The projects must assist in fire and flood prevention and conservation of water and wildlife habitat.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72109

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Appropriation; best land management practices

SB 1477: Appropriation; best land management practices

In Brief: Directs the State Forester to establish a best land management practice program for wildfire prevention. Appropriates $4 million.

Sponsor(s): Otondo and 16 others

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill directs the State Land Commissioner and State Forester to establish a program promoting best land management practices for the removal of hazardous vegetation on state land for the purposes of fire suppression and watershed management. SB 1477 outlines the program requirements to specifically include a plan for removal of hazardous vegetation from federal and tribal lands for the purposes of protecting infrastructure and municipal water supplies. The bill would appropriate $4 million from the general fund for the program.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72158

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Municipalities; counties; wildfire hazard removal

SB 1478: Municipalities; counties; wildfire hazard removal

In Brief: Requires cities or towns containing Wildland-Urban Interfaces to adopt ordinances requiring property owners to remove wildfire hazards.

Sponsor(s): Otondo and 13 others

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: The Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) is a federal land classification for areas where communities are located in and around forests. SB 1478 would require that cities or towns that contain a WUI must adopt an ordinance requiring private property within the WUI to remove any vegetation, natural fuels, or trash which constitute a wildfire hazard. This bill appropriates $1 million for cities or towns to use in matching programs for the wildfire fuel removal.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72159

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Water conservation; landscaping; rent; notice

SB 1544: Water conservation; landscaping; rent; notice

In Brief: Forbids property owners and HOAs from prohibiting water conservation devices or practices.

Sponsor(s): Mendez and three others

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: This bill would forbid the owner of a property or Homeowners Association from prohibiting the use of a water saving device or water conservation practice as part of a property contract or rental agreement.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72218

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
State drink; lemonade

HB 2692: State drink; lemonade

In Brief: Designates lemonade as the official Arizona State drink.

Sponsor(s): Peterson

Last Action: Signed by Governor May 13, 2019

Description: Statute outlines the official state emblems, which include a state fossil, state bird, state flower, state tree, state neckwear, state gemstone, state animals, state butterfly, state nickname, state firearm, state metal, state mineral and state dinosaur (A.R.S. Title 41, Chapter 4.1, Article 5). There is currently no state drink designated in statute.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72336?SessionId=121