- Associated Press - Saturday, February 20, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Bills that would ban red light cameras and expand prescription painkiller monitoring moved forward this week in the Arizona Legislature. Meanwhile, proposals to limit the number of special license plate designs and force gated communities to let in people serving legal paperwork died.

Here are highlights on those and other votes:

- House Bill 2026: Ban on cities charging taxes on two or fewer residential leases

The full Arizona House rejected an effort backed by Republican leaders that would have banned cities from charging taxes on rental income if the landlord owned two or fewer single-family homes. The bill by Rep. Darin Mitchell, R-Litchfield Park, sparked a fight between Republicans who have served on cities councils and other GOP members who are pushing for lower taxes. This year’s bill was killed during floor debate Thursday on a 22-36 vote.

- Senate Bill 1088: Legal paperwork served to gated communities

The Arizona Senate voted 9-18 to kill a proposal from Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, that would have required gated communities and apartment complexes to let in people serving legal paperwork. Kavanagh said people who do the work, known as process servers, are crucial to the legal system.

- House Bill 2540: Photo radar ban

A House panel on transportation advanced a bill that would ban photo radar across the state, including red light and speed cameras run by municipalities. The measure by Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, squeaked through the committee on a 5-4 vote with a Republican, Rep. Karen Fann of Prescott, breaking rank to vote against it. The Senate passed a smaller ban on photo radar along state highways on a 16-12 vote Monday. That measure would only affect the communities of El Mirage and Star Valley.

- House Bill 2445: Auto insurance renewal

A bill that removes limits on how an auto insurance company can decide not to renew a customer’s auto insurance failed on a tight 29-29 vote Thursday. But it will come up for a second House vote next week under rules allowing reconsideration. Republican Majority Whip David Livingston of Peoria pitched the bill as a way to allow insurers to drop coverage for people who move out of state. But Democratic Rep. Debbie McCune Davis said the bill blew up a carefully crafted deal from years ago, when the Legislature required drivers to buy insurance in exchange for a provision limiting cancellations. She persuaded Republican Rep. John Ackerley of Tucson to join all Democrats in rejecting the proposal.

- Senate Bill 1283: Monitoring program for controlled substances

A Senate panel on health approved a proposal Wednesday that would expand the state’s voluntary program monitoring prescription painkillers. Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, is sponsoring a proposal that would require doctors to check a state database before prescribing drugs that contain opioids or types of tranquilizers. Kavanagh said it’s designed to stop drug abusers from gaming the system and would help reduce overdose deaths and addiction rates.

- Senate Bill 1001: Standard design for special license plates

The Senate rejected a move to set a standard design for specialty license plates. Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, sponsored the bill in an annual effort to reduce the number of Arizona Department of Transportation designs. Farley said the state’s 48 different plates make it difficult for police and crime victims to identify vehicles. The bill failed 13-16.


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