Arizona Legislative Briefs

Pay caps

Representative Bob Thorpe introduced legislation, HB2273, that establishes a compensation cap for public employees in an effort to curb excessive public employee salaries.

HB2273 would cap the annual salary and benefits package for public employees at four times the median family income for Arizona.

Arizona Representative Dr. Randall Friese complained bitterly about the budget during the floor discussions on Friday. Friese, who earns $404,000 as a professor of surgery,

Tax on coal

Rep. Mark Finchem’s legislation that will have an effect on rural communities by repealing the Transaction Privilege Tax on coal passed out of committee on Wednesday.

HB2003 will exempt the sale, storage, use and consumption of coal from Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) and use tax.

Finchem has argued on behalf of Peabody Energy/Arizona Western Coal Company that the repeal could save the Navajo Generating Station. However there is little support for keeping the plant open due to a drop in natural gas prices and the high cost of maintenance.

Mike Hummel, deputy general manager of SRP, the plant’s operator, said in a press release that because natural gas has become a viable long-term and economical alternative to coal power, and SRP has an “obligation to provide low-cost service” to more than 1 million customers, it would be irresponsible to pass the “higher cost of operating NGS” onto customers.

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February 2018