By Ben Giles | Arizona Capitol Times
A Senate panel has approved a bill expanding a law that allows the state to withhold money from government entities that don’t do as legislators please after its sponsor promised to scale back the scope of its application.
The Senate Government Committee voted, 4-2, on February 15 to advance SB1210, which, in its current form, would dramatically expand on a 2016 law that punishes cities, counties or towns found to have violated a state law or the Arizona Constitution. The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, would broadly apply to “any agency, board, commission or political subdivision of this state that has a governing body.”
Last year’s controversial law, which is already being challenged in court, requires the Attorney General to investigate a municipality or county upon the request of any legislator over allegations that it isn’t following a state law or the Arizona Constitution. If the allegation is proven true, the penalty is withholding the local government’s shared revenues, unless the local officials rectify the situation.