Council Memo

Overview of the 2018 Legislative Session by Barry Aarons.


Department:City ManagerSponsors:


  1. Printout

Document Comments

Recommended Action: This item is for discussion only. No action will be taken.


Item Summary


Barry Aarons will present and discuss a recap of what occurred during the 2018 Legislative Session and any impacts that can occur on the City of Prescott. This will also allow for general direction to be given on items that the Council would like to see worked on during the legislative interim period. 


Meeting History

Jun 12, 2018 2:00 PM Video City Council Study Session Meeting
draft Draft

City of Prescott Lobbyist Mr. Barry Aarons reviewed the 2018 Legislative Session. Mr. Aarons completed his 48 consecutive session and shared this was one of the most interesting yet strangest session ever. A twenty eight (28) page report is available for the all the 1206 bills that were introduced. Mr. Aarons acknowledged City Attorney Jon Paladini for his availability at stakeholder meetings and it resulted in really good legislation and Tyler Goodman for his effort during the season.

The areas that dominated legislation were water conservation to deal with issues related to the Colorado River, allocation issues, groundwater management updates and the 25- year sunset that is currently on the books for recharge. Unfortunately, it failed to center on CAP governance which was a mistake in Mr. Aarons opinion. The CAP proponents went out there and did a great job.

The second issue that got a lot of attention was the Opioid Crisis and they did pass legislations which provided some reforms with regard to monitoring of doctors, opioid prescribing authorities, and uses of Naloxone, a Good Samaritan law. The problems were not solved through legislature but efforts and both parties worked strongly on the crisis.

Another issue was school safety. After the shooting in Florida in 2018, all states decided they wanted to do something. Unfortunately, there were too many conflicting opinions with guns and bills never passed. The good news is the legislature appropriated $12 million dollars to be used for certain types of counseling. However, treating Mental Health Disorders is one key method to help.

The next was Prop 301 extension education. 6/10's of one percent dedicated to education yet they put it all together and said it is the right thing to do. There was also the Red for Ed Movement. This was an effective carnival and a public display that actually moved a legislation and Governor. The legislature doesn't set salaries. They authorized funding up to a total of a 20% increase by 2020.

With regard to how the budget ended up there is a structural surplus of $150 million. There is the rainy day fund which is under 500 million dollars right now and the cash carry forward is going to be roughly 250 million dollars into the next year. This will help with the increase for education.

Other issues pioneered by cities and towns however there was a House Bill HB2602 regarding permits, licenses and denials where they wanted to put language in Title 41 that it was State regulatory statute and cities did not like this because they did not want to regulations through the Governor's Regulatory Review Panel.

There were private school regulating bills where negotiations occurred to one acre which is more workable for planning and zoning departments.

One important bill that Mr. Paladini played a large role in was the Sober Living Bill. The numbers have been reduced. The Department of Health Services will have to draft some rules. On June 26, 2018 participation in the rule making process will occur.

The Air BNB taxes bill now requires all companies to register to pay their taxes a year from now.

The additional money for PSPRS, Noel Campbell played a major role in this. The final million dollars of the 5 million allocated and additional 1 million will be allocated.

We got $30 million allocated to cities and counties for HURF money. He doesn't know how DOT will allocate to the cities.

Elections: the political situation is volatile. There is some uncertainty from now until August 28 to see what things will look like in the House and the Senate.

a memorial bill passed to change the 1,500 flight rule. We weren't successful and recommends Council and staff to go back to DC. There is money being appropriated for Department of Transportation DOT Air Transportation Funds. If they pass that, we could possibly get some federal and state DOT funds.

Councilman Goode said he will continue to work on the 1,500 flight hour rule. Councilman Goode inquired about the money for education and that it is inflation protected which will continue to grown. Mr. Aarons said they did not restrict the monies from growing and they protected the inflation factor for more money to automatically flow for K-12. They also did the DEA (District Educational Assistance) money which will assist with fiscal.

Mr. Aarons spoke to the renewable energy initiative and what affect it may have on municipalities. Specific power distribution can create disproportionate circumstance. He does not have a client in it and will study and bring back more information to the Council.

Councilman Goode asked with regard to reform changes on the water policy. What steps should be taken for the City of Prescott?

Mr. Aasrons said there are four things that the state has to do.

1. Have a drought contingency plan

2. Ground water 1980 Groundwater Act needs to be adjusted.

3. 25 year sunset on affluent and recharge water needs to be extended or remove the sunset entirely

Legislators are aware of this and keeping up on the issues.

Councilman Blair said they have sent several letters.

Mayor Pro Tem Orr said that Mr. Aarons has helped the city with the strategic plan. On PSPRS has there been any movement as far as additional reform? Mr. Aarons said across the board there is still significant concern. It could not move forward because of Red for Ed. Some items got swept due to the Red for Ed increases.

Councilman Sischka asked where is the money coming from for Red for Ed. Mr. Aarons said the base budgets indicated that the budgets were willfully understated. However revenue growth is how they came up with the funding.

Councilman Sischka asked Mr Aarons if Red for Ed didn't come up, would there have been money for the Hotshots. Mr.Aarons said that is a tough questions. When Red for Ed came, it turned everything upside down. It is hard to indicate whether it would have happened or not.

City Attorney Jon Paladini said the Department of Health Service DHS may put together a committee to draft rules for the Sober Living bill. Mr. Aarons agreed that the city should participate in the rules.

Mayor Mengarelli thanked Mr. Aarons for all of his hard work.