[COMMENTARY] Arizona Legislature says let municipalities protect their citizens

A natural gas line that spans the Colorado River between Arizona and California. Photo by Charles O’Rear | U.S. National Archives / Arizona Mirror

By Diane E. Brown | Arizona Mirror

Arizona officials are often quick to tell the federal government to stay out of state business. However, when it comes to local government, Arizona legislators are often quick to interfere in municipal business. This hypocrisy needs to stop. 

Arizona PIRG supports local, state and federal laws that protect consumers and protect our democracy. If a government body that is closer to the people it represents wants to enact a policy that is more protective for its citizens, it should have that ability. Yet our legislature is fast-tracking bills that would once again toss away the fact that Arizona is a Home Rule state, which grants authority to certain municipalities.

If adopted, Senate Bill 1222 and House Bill 2686 would prohibit municipalities and counties from denying a utility a permit, even for safety or public health reasons. The legislation is written so broadly that it would outlaw a locality’s ability to adopt or amend ordinances or implement other measures that would allow for community oversight.

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February 2020
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