AZ Legislature Week In Review – Week Ending May 17

This session has already gone much longer than is warranted, but no end in sight, although it now appears that it is likely we will see adjournment next week. Still the reason for the long session is the difference of opinion regarding the state budget. It seems that the governor and Democrats are dead set on capturing the Trump tax cuts for the benefit of the state treasury instead of the intended beneficiaries, namely the tax payers. For a more detailed discussion and a call to action regarding this, go to http://bit.ly/2VKCHQB

Elsewhere, action on important or controversial pending bills has come to a near standstill. Most action this week involved primarily housekeeping type bills. Here are two examples.

SB1154 – GOWAN: Moves the primary election from the 10th Tuesday before a general election to the 1st Tuesday in August, beginning in 2020. This should not be a controversial bill, and it was not in the senate, where the last vote was a near unanimous 24-2-4. For some strange reason, the vote in the house was a near partisan 39-21-0. It has been transmitted to the governor for his signature.

SB1349 – LIVINGSTON:  Expands the definitions of qualified higher education expenses and qualified withdrawal to conform to the federal Internal Revenue Code (IRC). In other words, this bill conforms AZ’s 529 program to the Federal Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017. Prior to 2017 this program allowed tax payers to open tax deferred savings accounts for the purpose of providing funds to pay for higher education expenses. In December, 2017 the feds expanded the definition of qualified withdrawal from the plan to include primary and secondary education. This bill reflects that change in definition. SB1349 has been transmitted to the governor. For a related ADI article on this, go to http://bit.ly/2HDbplj

Links to bills mentioned in this report:

SB1154 – primary date; first August Tuesday

SB1349 – family college savings program