To: Campus Community
Subject: Legislative Update
Date: April 7, 2015
The Arizona Legislature adjourned sine die at 3:37 a.m. on Friday, April 3, in the quickest session in more than 40 years. Clocking in at 81 days, the legislature concluded with various items that never made it to a final vote, including an Arizona Board of Regents-backed bill on commercial paper. The Arizona Capitol Times described the end of the session as "chaotic" and filled with delays. In an unusual move, the Arizona Senate made a move to adjourn while the House was still voting on legislation. SB1462, the legislation that would have allowed ABOR to issue commercial paper to the universities to finance short-term liabilities, was in the House docket for a vote, but would have required a final vote in the Senate. The Senate's move to adjourn ended any possibility for the bill to pass.
One issue that was resolved was Arizona's compliance with the federal Real ID Act. The UA specifically encountered problems with this when a professor was denied access to a federal building in Washington, D.C., last fall. Arizona had statutory provisions banning compliance with the act, which requires all states to issue driver's licenses that meet national security standards. Federal agencies are now requiring the use of these IDs for entrance into federal buildings. The most impactful aspect of the Real ID Act will begin in January 2016, when the Transportation Security Administration stops recognizing current Arizona-issued IDs at airports for domestic flights. The legislation passed at the Capitol gives Arizonans the option of obtaining a new, federally compliant ID. If a person chooses not to, they'll need to carry another form of ID recognized by the TSA, such as a passport or a military-issued Common Access Card.