On June 23 the Arizona legislature passed the state budget for fiscal year 2023. In the late evening of June 24, they adjourned sine die. The $18 billion budget is the largest passed in state history. It contains several big-ticket items such as $1.25 billion to address state debt and pension obligations, $1 billion for transportation infrastructure, $1 billion for water infrastructure, and $1 billion in new K-12 spending.
The three public universities will receive approximately $257 million, of which, the University of Arizona will receive $126 million. This includes $14.7 million for UA’s 2022 New Economy Initiatives (Cooperative Extension, One-Health, Cancer Engineering). The NEI funding is set to be appropriated in fiscal year 2023, 2024, and 2025. In addition to NEI, UA College of Veterinary Medicine will receive $8 million in on-going funding to support operations and increase the number of in-state students. The UA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) will receive $2.5 million on-going and $2.5 million one-time. In 1981, the state moved the VDL into UA but did not provide capital or operating funding. The lab serves to protect the state from disease incursions by providing accurate, timely and cost-effective diagnostic and surveillance services. The budget also appropriates funding for several capital projects that will further UA’s land grant mission to bring education and cutting-edge research to every corner of the state.
In addition to approving the fiscal 2023 state budget, the legislature transmitted 392 bills to Governor Ducey. Below you will find a summary of key pieces of legislation that UA engaged on throughout the session. The general effective date for all bills that were signed into law is September 24, 2022.
HB 2322: HAZING; CLASSIFICATION; OFFENSE (Kavanagh)
Establishes hazing as a class 1 misdemeanor.
Describes hazing as a person intentionally or recklessly, for the purpose of pledging, initiating or enhancing membership, forces a minor to do the following:
- Violate state or federal law.
- Consume any food, alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages, or drugs.
- Endure physical brutality:
- Electric shock.
- Placing harmful substances on the body.
- Calisthenics or exposure to the elements.
- Endure mental brutality, sleep deprivation, confinement in a small space, exclusion from social contact, or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment.
- Endure sexual humiliation.
- Endure any other activity where it is reasonably likely a student will be physically injured.
Increases the criminal classification to a class 4 felony if hazing results in a person’s death. Establishes the crime of “hazing planning” or “organizing” as a class 2 misdemeanor.
Does not apply to reasonable and customary athletic, law enforcement, military training, contests, competitions, or events.
HB 2691: HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE; GRANT PROGRAMS (Osborne)
Appropriates $15M to Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) and the community colleges to establish the Arizona Nurse Education Investment Program to increase the capacity of nursing education programs. Funds will pay for salaries, training and operational costs needed to increase the number of faculty members to expand program capacity.
HB 2031: HIGHER EDUCATION; INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES (Udall)
Requires Arizona community colleges and universities accept the following as sufficient to designate an individual as an “individual with a disability”:
- Documentation that the individual has had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), including an IEP that is not current. Allows the university to ask for additional documentation from someone who had an IEP but was later evaluated and determined to be ineligible for services under the Disabilities Education Act.
- Documentation describing services or accommodation provided by a 504 plan.
- A plan or record of services for the individual from a private school, school district, department of education, or an institution of higher education in accordance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
- A record or evaluation from a relevant licensed professional stating that the individual has a disability.
- A plan or record of disability from another institution of higher education.
- A plan or record of disability due to services in the uniformed services.
Requires the university or community college to be transparent and explicit regarding information about the process by which the university or community college determines eligibility for accommodations for a person with a disability.
Requires the university or community college to disseminate the policy listed above to students, parents, and faculty.
HB 2453: GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES; MASK REQUIREMENT; PROHIBITION (Carter)
Prohibits a “governmental entity” from imposing any requirement to wear a mask or face covering on a governmental entity’s premises, except where long-standing workplace safety and infection control measures that are unrelated to COVID-19 may be required.
Defines “governmental entity” as the state and any political subdivision of this state, including the judiciary, that receives and uses state tax revenues.
HB 2498: COVID 19; VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS; PROHIBITION (Hoffman)
Prohibits any “government entity” from requiring a resident of Arizona to receive a vaccination for COVID-19 or any variant of COVID-19.
Defines “government entity” as the state and any political subdivision that receives and uses tax revenues, excluding health care institutions.
SB 1123: DISRUPTION; EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION; CONCEALED WEAPON (Roger)
Prohibits the governing board of any university, college or community college from enacting or enforcing any policy that prohibits the possession of a concealed weapon on campus by a person who possesses a valid permit to carry under Arizona law.
SB 1412: CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION; RACE; ETHNICITY; SEX (Udall)
Prohibits teachers, administrators, or other employees of a school district, charter school, or state agency involved with K-12 students from providing instruction that presents blame or judgment on the basis of race, ethnicity, or sex (Critical Race Theory). This includes instruction that is part of a teacher preparation program.
Subjects a teacher who violates this section to disciplinary action, including suspension or revocation of the teacher’s certificate. The court is authorized to impose a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per school district, charter school, or state agency where the violation occurs.
HB 2447: FIREARMS; UNIVERSITIES; COMMUNITY COLLEGES; CAMPUS (Nguyen)
Prohibits ABOR or a community college from adopting a policy that prohibits a faculty member or student from carrying a firearm on campus if the faculty member or student possesses a valid permit and submits a registration to UA administration indicating that the faculty member or student is armed and has a valid permit.
Requires the institution to adopt and enforce guidelines for using a firearm in an active shooter situation.
SB 1324: SMART AND SAFE FUND; DISTRIBUTION (Shope)
Modifies the distribution of the Smart and Safe Fund (Recreational Marijuana Fund) to include university police departments in the list of public safety entities that receive monies from the fund. Due to voter protection, this legislation required the affirmative vote of at least ¾ of the members in the House and Senate. UA will work to reintroduce this measure next legislative session.