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Each week during the Legislative Session the Arizona Department of Veterans Services (AZDVS) publishes an updated digest of all Bills, Memorials, and Resolutions pertaining to veterans or military affairs which have been introduced and are pending in the Arizona Legislature.

This digest is reproduced here verbatim, with only minor formatting changes for legibility, and without comment beyond that of the AZDVS writer. Analyzing and commenting on each piece of legislation as it moves through the process is beyond the constraints of the time available for the task, but it is hoped that interested persons will present questions and answers in the comments below.

The purpose of this digest is to inform interested Arizonans and others, particularly veterans residing within and without Arizona, of the course of legislative action in this admittedly narrow field as well as create an easily locatable archive on Daily Kos under the unique Tag AZDVS Legislative Digest.

You are invited to pore over these entrails, make of them what you will, and present your questions, answers, and opinions in the comments.

ADVS State Veterans/Military Legislation Update
Friday, 22 February 2013

Inclusion of any legislation in this report does not constitute endorsement of that legislation by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services.

(Notations in Bold represent new information or final action.)

SB = Senate Bill                HB = House Bill
SCM = Senate Concurrent Memorial        HCM = House Concurrent Memorial  
SCR = Senate Concurrent Resolution        HCR = House Concurrent Resolution
SR = Senate Resolution            HJR= House Joint Resolution
HR = House Resolution
PSRMA=Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs Committee

To view bills go to:  http://www.azleg.gov/....

This week was the last week to hear Senate bills in Senate committees and House bills in House committees.
 
Senate Bills

SB 1036- technical correction; firefighters; military duty

Modifies A.R.S. 48-831 relating to the exemption of firefighters in fire districts or towns under 1000 population from military duty in time of peace. A vehicle bill.

Original Sponsor: Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Dist. 6

Major Actions:  15 Jan 2013-First Read and assigned to Senate Rules Committee. 16 Jan 2013-Second Read.

SB 1116- disabled veteran special plates

Would create a special disabled veteran license plate.  

Original Sponsors: Sen. David Bradley, D-Dist. 10; Sen. Al Melvin, R-Dist. 11; Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Dist. 27  

Major Actions:  23 Jan 2013-First Read and assigned to Senate Transportation Committee and Senate Rules Committee.  24 Jan 2013-Second Read. 19 Feb 2013-Given a “Do Pass” recommendation in Senate Transportation Committee 3-1-3 not voting.  

SB 1128-- technical correction; college savings plan NOW: Tuskegee airmen day

A “Strike Everything” amendment has changed this bill into one that designates each fourth Thursday in March as Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day in Arizona.

Original Sponsor: Sen. Al Melvin, R-Dist. 11

Major Actions:  20 Feb 2013- A “Strike Everything” amendment was adopted in Senate Commerce, Energy and Military Committee and the bill was given a “Do Pass Amended” recommendation 6-0-1 not voting.

SB 1133- technical correction; National Guard

Amends A.R.S. 26-177 relating to the National Guard.  A vehicle bill.

Original Sponsor: Sen. Al Melvin, R-Dist. 11

Major Actions:  23 Jan 2013-First Read. 24 Jan 2013- Second Read and assigned to Senate Rules Committee.

SB 1243- insurance regulation; exemption

Would exempt from some insurance regulations associations and orders organized before 1880 whose members are officers or enlisted, Regular or Reserve, Active, retired, or honorably discharged members of the armed forces or sea services of the United States, and a principal purpose of which is to provide insurance or other benefits to its members. The only organizations that fit the description are the Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association which was founded in 1879 as the Army Mutual Aid Association and the Navy Mutual Aid Association also founded in 1879.  This would exempt the two organizations as veteran service organizations are exempted from some insurance regulations.

Original Sponsor: Sen. Al Melvin, R-Dist. 11

Major Actions:  29 Jan 2013-First Read.  30 Jan 2013- Second Read and assigned to the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Rules Committee.  13 Feb 2013-Given a “Do Pass” recommendation in Senate Finance Committee 7-0. 21 Feb 2013- Retained on Committee of the Whole Senate Agenda.

SB 1286- nursing facility provider assessments

Would exempt the Arizona State Veteran Homes from a nursing facility “assessment” that was passed last year.  Basically, other states with such assessments have exempted their veteran homes to prevent them from paying a costly assessment to the State. This assessment would cost the Arizona State Veteran Home-Phoenix nearly $500,000 per year.

Original Sponsor: Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Dist. 14

Major Actions:  30 Jan 2013-First Read and assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and Senate Rules Committee.  20 Feb 2013-Amendment adding a retroactive effective date and an emergency clause adopted and bill given a “Do Pass Amended” recommendation in Senate Health and Human Services Committee 7-0.

SB 1287- military retiree; pension exclusion amount

Would raise the current $2,500 military retirement and pensions exemption from Arizona income tax exemption to $5,000 effective 1 Jan 2013.

Original Sponsor: Sen. Judy Burges, R-Dist. 22

Major Actions:  30 Jan 2013-First Read and assigned to the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Commerce, Energy and Military Committee, and Senate Rules Committee. 6 Feb 2012-Given a “Do Pass” recommendation in Senate Commerce, Energy and Military Committee 7-0. 13 Feb 2013-Given a “Do Pass Amended” recommendation in Senate Finance Committee 7-0. 21 Feb 2013-Given a “Do Pass Amended” recommendation in Committee of the Whole Senate.

SB 1378- professional licensure; reciprocity; military spouses

Would require that a military spouse married to and accompanying an active duty military member assigned to a military post in Arizona shall be issued a professional license or certificate within 72 hours of application if a criminal check is not required and within 120 hours if a criminal background is required if the person is currently licensed or certified in at least one other state in the discipline applied for at the same practice level and holds such license or certificate in good standing.

Original Sponsor: Sen. Al Melvin, R-Dist. 11

Major Actions:  4 Feb 2013-First Read and assigned to Senate Commerce, Energy and Military Committee. 13 Feb 2013-Given a “Do Pass” recommendation in Senate Commerce, Energy and Military Committee, 5-0-2 not voting. 18 Feb 2013-Out of Senate Rules Committee.

SB 1381- military personnel; military history credit

Would require the Arizona Board of Regents to give 30 hours of military history credit to those who, (1) served at least 6 years on active military duty and was honorably discharged, (2) was on active duty during a war or conflict and was honorably discharged, and or, (3) is currently on active duty and at least a portion was during war or conflict, and or, (4) was on active duty in a foreign combat zone and honorably discharged, and or, (5) currently on active duty and was previously in a foreign combat zone.

Original Sponsor: Sen. Al Melvin, R-Dist. 11

Major Actions:  4 Feb 2013-First Read and assigned to Senate Education Committee. 21 Feb 2013-Held in Senate Education Committee.

SB 1431- American Indian veterans; special plates

Would create the American Indian Veterans National Memorial special plates with proceeds going to the Heard Museum to maintain the American Indian Veterans National Memorial.  

Original Sponsor: Sen. Jack Jackson Jr., D-Dist. 7

Major Actions:  5 Feb 2013-First Read and assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate Rules Committee.

SCR 1014- Vietnam war; commemorative partner

Would support efforts for the State of Arizona to be recognized as a partner in the official Department of Defense 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War. To be recognized as such, there has to be at least two events a year that that recognize Vietnam veterans and thank them for their service.  Arizona already meets that requirement.

Original Sponsor: Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Dist. 14

Major Actions:  30 Jan 2013-First Read and assigned to the Senate Commerce, Energy and Military Committee, and Senate Rules Committee.  6 Feb 2012-Given a “Do Pass” recommendation in Senate Commerce, Energy and Military Committee 7-0. Mon 11 Feb 2013-Out of Senate Rules Committee. 14 Feb 2013-Passed Senate 28-0-2 not voting and transmitted to the House. 18 Feb 2013-First Read in House and assigned to House PSMRA Committee and House Rules Committee. Weds, 27 Feb 2013-Scheduled for hearing in House PSMRA Committee, 9 am, HHR3.

House Bills

HB 2025- fallen hero special plates (Pat Tillman Legacy Plate Act)

Would create a “Fallen Hero” special license plate in honor of Pat Tillman with monies raised going to the Pat Tillman Foundation for a scholarship program to aid all veterans especially veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Original Sponsor: Rep. Michelle Ugenti, R-Dist. 8

Major Actions:  15 Jan 2013-First Read and assigned to House Transportation Committee and House Rules Committee. 16 Jan 2013-Second read.  24 Jan 2013 - Given a “Do Pass” recommendation in House Transportation Committee, 6-0. 4 Feb 2013-Out of House Rules Committee 8-0-1 absent. 7 Feb 2013-Technical amendment adopted and given a “Do Pass Amended” recommendation in Committee of the Whole House. 11 Feb 2013-Passed by House with Emergency Clause 57-2-1 not voting and transmitted to the Senate. 19 Feb 2013-First Read in Senate and assigned to Senate Transportation Committee and Senate Rules Committee.

HB 2064- training permits; military health professionals

Would require the State to issue training permits to qualified military dentists, allopathic doctors, and physician assistants who are licensed in a U.S. jurisdiction and who are participating in a clinical training program at a civilian hospital affiliated with the U. S. Department of Defense.  

The applying dentist, allopathic doctor, and physician assistant may not practice outside of the civilian hospital affiliated with the U. S. Department of Defense.  

Basically, the Department of Defense trains certain military professionals at Scottsdale Healthcare.  The State Medical Board only recognizes professionals training in federal facilities.  This will recognize those being trained at private Arizona facilities.

Original Sponsors: Rep. Heather Carter, R-Dist. 15; Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Dist. 27, et al

Major Actions:  16 Jan 2013-First Read and assigned to House PSMRA Committee and House Rules Committee. Weds, 23 Jan 2013-Hearing scheduled in House PSMRA Committee, 9 a.m., HHR 3.  23 Jan 2013-Given a “Do Pass” recommendation in House PSMRA Committee 8-0. 28 Jan 2013-Out of House Rules Committee, 7-0-2 absent. 31 Jan 2013-Given a “Do Pass Amended” recommendation in House Committee of the Whole. 5 Feb 2013-Passed House 59-0-1 not voting and transmitted to the Senate.
19 Feb 2013-First Read in Senate and assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee and Senate Rules Committee. Weds, 27 Feb 2013-Hearing scheduled in Senate Health and Human Services Committee, 2 pm, SHR 1.

HB 2076- separating service members; licensure NOW:  military applicants; license requirements

Would give credit for military education, training or experience in meeting the requirements of a license, certificate or registration issued in Arizona. As amended would include commercial driver’s licenses, licensed practical nurses.

Original Sponsors: Rep. Sonny Borrelli, R-Dist. 5;  Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Dist. 27, et al

Major Actions:  17 Jan 2013-First Read and assigned to House PSMRA Committee and House Rules Committee. 13 Feb 2013-“Strike Everything” amendment adopted in House PSMRA Committee making it into a bill on military applicants; license requirements, with same purpose as above. Given a “Do Pass Amended” recommendation 8-0. 18 Feb-Ruled Proper and Constitutional in House Rules Committee 9-0.

HB 2094- technical correction; national guard

Amends A.R.S. 26-117 relating to the National Guard.  A vehicle bill.

Original Sponsor: Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Dist. 28

Major Actions:  

HB 2391- income tax exemption; veterans' pensions

Would exempt an honorably discharged veteran’s military retirement pay from Arizona State income tax.

Original Sponsors: Rep. Justin Pierce, R-Dist. 25; Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Dist. 27, et al

Major Actions:  23 Jan 2013-First Read and assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Appropriations Committee, and the House Rules Committee.

HB 2420- G.I. bill tuition gap program

Would require the Commission for Postsecondary Education to create a program to assist qualified military veterans in completing an associate or bachelor’s degree if their federal benefits for such purpose runs out.

Original Sponsors: Rep. Sonny Borrelli, R-Dist. 5;  Rep. Jonathan Larkin, D-Dist. 30

Major Actions:  23 Jan 2013- First Read and assigned to House PSMRA Committee, House Appropriations Committee, and House Rules Committee.

HB 2431- state guard; firearm; equipment

Would permit persons eligible for service in the Arizona State Guard, in accordance with all other laws, to purchase semiautomatic handguns, semiautomatic rifles and pump shotguns with standard military or law enforcement magazine capacities.  Would also allow those weapons to be configured with flash suppressors, pistol grips, vertical fore grips, detachable magazines, bayonet lugs, bayonets, collapsible or folding stocks, carrying slings, aiming systems, lights and any other firearm mounted equipment in use by the Armed Forces of the United States or any Arizona law enforcement agency.

Original Sponsor: Rep. Carl Seel, R-Dist. 20

Major Actions:  

HB 2433- Arizona state guard; age

Would remove the upper age limit of 45 years of age for service in the Arizona State militia.

Original Sponsor: Rep. Carl Seel, R-Dist. 20

Major Actions:  23 Jan 2013- First Read and assigned to House PSMRA Committee, and House Rules Committee. 20 Feb 2013-Given a “Do Pass” recommendation in House PSMRA Committee 6-1-1 absent.

HB 2448- technical correction; military affairs

Amends A.R.S. 26-117 relating to military affairs.  A vehicle bill.

Original Sponsor: Rep. Justin Olsen, R-Dist. 25

Major Actions:  

HB 2451- military justice; technical correction

Amends A.R.S. 26-1003 relating to the uniform code of military justice.  A vehicle bill.

Original Sponsor: Rep. Justin Olsen, R-Dist. 25

Major Actions:  

HB 2466- posttraumatic stress; training; police; judges

Would require specific training for all justices, judges, justices of the peace, magistrates and law enforcement officers to recognize and understand posttraumatic stress disorder including specific information on active and non-active duty military personnel suffering from PTSD.

Original Sponsor: Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Dist. 6

Major Actions:  23 Jan 2013- First Read and assigned to House PSMRA Committee, and House Rules Committee. 20 Feb 2013-Failed to pass in House PSMRA Committee 3-4-1 absent.

HB 2468- discounted hunting licenses; veterans; soldiers

Allows for a reduced fee Class G general hunting license for honorably discharged veterans resident, including Guard and Reserve, for at least a year before application.  Fee reduction based on years of service.

Original Sponsor: Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Dist. 6

Major Actions:  23 Jan 2013- First Read and assigned to House PSMRA Committee, and House Rules Committee.

HB 2470- veterans; job opportunities; award

Would require the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services to “develop and implement a hiring our heroes award” recognizing Arizona businesses that provide job opportunities to veterans and hold an annual awards diner to recognize Arizona businesses.

Original Sponsor: Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Dist. 6, et al

Major Actions:  23 Jan 2013- First Read and assigned to House PSMRA Committee, and House Rules Committee.

HB 2484- veterans; hiring preference; tax credit

Would require the Arizona Department of Administration and the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services to “coordinate to develop and implement procedures that provide veterans with access to an employment announcement 72 hours before public dissemination of the employment announcement”.

Further, it would establish a tax credit up to four thousand dollars for taxpayers who hire an honorably discharged unemployed veteran. Amendment adopted in House PSMRA to specify that tax credit is made for hiring unemployed veterans.

An amendment adopted in House PSMRA to additionally require the Arizona Department of Administration to establish a goal of awarding 1.5% of state contracts to veteran-owned businesses increasing 3% or more for each year after the first year and require the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services to establish a registry of veteran-owned businesses and verify the veteran status and eligibility of businesses seeking to be considered for the registry.

Original Sponsors: Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Dist. 19; Rep. Sonny Borrelli, R-Dist. 5; et al

Major Actions:  29 Jan 2013- First Read and assigned to House PSMRA Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, and House Rules Committee. 20 Feb-Two amendments explained above adopted in House PSMRA Committee and given “Do Pass Amended” recommendation 7-0-1 absent.  

HB 2548- veterans special plates; design

Would create a special disabled veteran license plate.  

Original Sponsors: Rep. Ethan Orr, R-Dist. 9, et al

Major Actions:  6 Feb 2013-First Read and assigned to the House Transportation Committee and House Rules Committee.

HB 2612- auto title loans; military members

Would limit the amount of interest charged to an active duty military member in secondary motor vehicle finance transactions to 36% APR.  

Original Sponsors: Rep. Debbie McCune-Davis, R-Dist. 30, et al

Major Actions:  13 Feb 2013-First Read and assigned to House Commerce Committee, House Financial Institutions Committee and House Rules Committee.

HB 2614- collection agencies

Would require collection agencies to abide by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act among other things.  

Original Sponsors: Rep. Debbie McCune-Davis, R-Dist. 30, et al

Major Actions:  13 Feb 2013-First Read and assigned to House Commerce Committee and House Rules Committee.

HCM 2001- PFC Sylvestre Herrera; military service

Urges the Congress of the United States to introduce and enact into law the portions of what is known as the DREAM Act relating to military service.

Original Sponsors: Rep. Catherine Miranda, D-Dist. 27; Rep. Sonny Borrelli, R-Dist. 5; et al

Major Actions:  

HCM 2004- veterans’ home; tribal lands

A concurrent memorial urging Congress to enact legislation that would extend construction reimbursement and per diem to veterans’ homes build on tribal lands.  Currently, the rules applying to States and territories being reimbursed and receiving per diem for veteran homes by VA do not apply to tribal governments.

Original Sponsors: Rep. Albert Hale, D-Dist. 7

Major Actions:  5 Feb 2013-First and Second Reading waived.  Unanimously adopted by House and transmitted to the Senate. 19 Feb 2013-First Read in Senate and assigned to Senate Government and Environment Committee.

HCR 2001>- technical correction; state lands; price NOW: Vietnam veteran’s memorial day

A “Strike Everything” amendment changed this resolution into a resolution to change the date of the observance of Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Day from each 21 March to each 30 March.

Original Sponsors: Rep. Sonny Borrelli, R-Dist. 5

Major Actions:  20 Feb 2013-“Strike Everything” amendment explained above adopted in House PSMRA Committee and given a “Do Pass Amended” recommendation 7-0-1 absent.

HCR 2009- unmanned aircraft systems

Supporting the aggressive pursuit of Arizona being selected as one or more national test ranges for unmanned aircraft systems in shared national airspace as authorized under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act and begin range operations in 2013.

Original Sponsors: Rep. Thomas Forese, R-Dist. 17

Major Actions:  29 Jan 2013- First Read and assigned to House PSMRA Committee and House Rules Committee. 6 Feb 2013-Given a “Do Pass” recommendation in House PSMRA Committee 8-0. 21 Feb 2013-Passed House 58-1-1 not voting and transmitted to the Senate.

Originally posted to Baja Arizona Kossacks on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:03 PM PST.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos.

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