10 Bills Arizona Lawmakers Should Have Passed but Didn't
The Arizona Legislature adjourned last week, and despite more than 200 bills being signed into law, very few will have any effect on most people.
There were some very good proposals that didn't pass, which probably would have made Arizona a better place to live and do business. Check out our picks for 10 bills that should have passed, but didn't:
10.) Legalizing Fantasy Sports
For whatever reason, it's illegal to win money by playing fantasy sports. A bill proposed this year would have changed that, but it didn't pass, so every time you've played a fantasy-sports game on ESPN or elsewhere, with a chance to win money, you were actually playing for a $0 jackpot as an Arizona resident.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, and Phoenix Suns all have license plates. The Coyotes do not, and the legislation to make a Coyotes license plate was defeated this year. Lame.
This would have worked just like the sex-offender registry -- you could have looked up someone by name, or looked up your address to see animal abusers who live near you. Why not?
An Arizona lawmaker was the first legislator in the country to propose a ban on texting while driving. He's been trying to pass it ever since, as 43 other states have implemented such bans. It didn't pass this year either.
Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have established regulations for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. The companies would have been as regulated as taxi companies are, but these drivers have been pulled over and fined just for operating. Isn't Arizona supposed to be a pro-business state?
Yeah, isn't Arizona supposed to be a pro-business state? Electric-car maker Tesla doesn't have dealerships, like traditional car-makers. But Arizona is one of only a few states where car-makers can't sell directly to consumers. Lawmakers didn't change that this year, even as Arizona's been considered as a site for one of Tesla's big new factories.
It seems like common sense that marijuana possession shouldn't be a felony offense. It also seems that decriminalization, which would have turned marijuana possession into a petty offense that would be punished with a fine, would be a nice middle-ground for Republicans and Democrats to meet. Nope. The bill wasn't even seriously considered.
While you're at it, why not Colorado-style legalization? It's moronic to think that you could be standing on the Arizona side of the Four Corners monument, and be committing a felony with a bag of marijuana. Six inches to the northeast, in Colorado, you're not even committing a crime. Arizona should join the 21st century some day. This bill wasn't even heard either.
After yet another year, the only results we've seen of SB 1070 are allegations of racial profiling, and millions of dollars of taxpayer money being used to defend the law in court. Every year since 2010, Democrats have tried for a repeal of SB 1070, and it never goes anywhere, due to a lack of any Republican support.
You probably didn't even hear about the bill proposed by several Democrats that would have banned employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity. That's probably because the Republican majority passed a bill that did nearly the opposite, and was only stopped due to a veto stamp of Governor Jan Brewer. If people want to call Arizona a "pro-business" state, then lawmakers should start acting like it.
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