legislative issues

2021 APA Arizona Legislative Report

As an affiliate member of the Arizona Police Association, all NALEA members and associations get state level representation at the capitol.

One of the primary objectives and purpose of the Arizona Police Association is to protect the interest of Arizona Law Enforcement, Corrections, Detention, and Probation Officers in the legislative process on the State, Local, and National level. The Arizona State Legislature began its 55th session on January 11, 2021. There were over 1700 bills introduced, the most in history. Here are some of the law-enforcement-related bills that have been introduced and are being monitored by the Arizona Police Association (APA) and our lobbyist, Willetta Partners.

For further information and updates on these and other current bills, please check the Arizona Legislature’s bill status inquiry page at; https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview

At the end of the session, we will provide an update on the legislative session.

Legislation We Support

SB 1396 - PSPRS | Survivor benefits

Would amend the guideline for a surviving spouse’s pension from the Corrections Officer Retirement Plan (CORP) currently set at 40% of the deceased member’s average monthly salary, to that amount or four‑fifths of what the deceased member’s pension would have been on the date of death had the member been retired, whichever is greater.

HB 2295 - Law Enforcement Officers | Database | Rules

Would require that a prosecuting agency send a notice to a law enforcement officer at least 10 days upon considering placing them in a Rule 15.1 database (aka Brady list) and would allow them to appeal being placed in the database. It would also forbid an agency from using an officer’s placement in a Rule 15.1 database as the sole reason for demoting, suspending, or firing them.

HB 2348 - Failure to return vehicle | Offence | Repeal

Would repeal Section 13‑1813 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, which classifies as theft the unlawful failure to return a motor vehicle subject to a security interest.

HB 2462 - Civilian review board members | Training

Would require that, before a person becomes a member of a civilian review board that reviews the actions of peace officers, they must satisfactorily complete a community college police academy or 80 hours of specific training of which 20 hours must be simulated event law enforcement training.

HB 2504 - Appropriations | DPS | Salary increase

Would appropriate money from the state’s general fund for a salary increase for all Department of Public Safety employees.

HB 2505 - Appropriations | Corrections Officers | Salary increase

Would appropriate money from the state’s general fund for a salary increase for Department of Corrections officers and investigators, as well as for Department of Juvenile Corrections officers.

HB 2567 - Peace officers | Investigator membership requirements

Would require that at least two-thirds of the voting membership of any government committee, board or other entity that investigates law enforcement misconduct or recommends discipline be made up of AZPOST-certified law enforcement officers from the same agency, excluding AZPOST, as the officer who is subject to the investigation.

HB 2763 - County officials | Practice of Law

Allows county sheriffs deputies who possess an Arizona State Bar law license to practice law.

Legislation We Oppose

SB 1186 - Criminal street gang | Database | Appeal

Would require a local law enforcement agency to provide notice to a person (and their parent or guardian, if under 18) before designating them as a suspected gang member, associate, or affiliate in a shared gang database, and would allow the notified individual to appeal that designation.

SB 1419 - Highway video surveillance | Prohibited

Would prohibit the state and its agencies from conducting video surveillance on controlled access highways and sidewalks and would repeal statutes authorizing and regulating photo enforcement.

HB 2465 - Search warrants | Procedures | Notifications

Would amend statutes related to search warrants, including requiring judges to notify subjects of an ex parte order for a pen register or trap and trace device, and prohibiting a law enforcement agency from obtaining, using, copying or disclosing information related to a subscriber or customer from a provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service without a warrant.

HB 2591 - Peace Officer | Liability | Unlawful act

States that a peace officer who, in the performance of their duties or through the failure to intervene, deprives another person of any individual right is liable to the injured party for legal or equitable relief, and that qualified immunity is not a defense to this liability.

HB 2618 - Public nuisance | Noise | Evidence

Would require that prosecution for a public nuisance that involves noise must include an accurate recording and measurement of the noise by a peace officer or code enforcement officer.

HB 2764 - Sentencing | Concealed weapons permit | Surrender

Would require convicted felons to surrender their concealed weapons permit if their conviction makes them ineligible to possess it. If the felon does not surrender the permit, the bill requires the court to revoke it and the Department of Public Safety to locate the defendant and seize the permit. 

Lobbying services provided by Willetta Partners

Willetta Partners, Inc., is a premier government relations firm representing non-profits, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, as well as individuals and industry associations. Utilizing a bipartisan approach to problem-solving, Willetta Partners works closely with its clients to develop a range of options to achieve their goals. Whether an administrative solution exists or a change in law is required, the principals have a reputation for reliability and creativity to get the job done.

Willetta Partners employs all the traditional tools of public policy advocacy as appropriate: media, legislative lobbying, executive branch lobbying/agency intervention, as well as grassroots advocacy. Whatever course is necessary, Willetta Partners, Inc. is uniquely qualified to develop and execute a strategy that delivers results. Its proven track record sets Willetta Partners among the best lobbying and government relations firms in the state.

Tom Farley

Since 1997, Tom Farley has been the lead political strategist and lobbyist for the Arizona Association of REALTORS®. Before joining Willetta Partners, he became the CEO in 2008 for the association representing 40,000+ REALTORS® in Arizona at the state legislature, as well as Congress. Mr. Farley also ran Farley Public Affairs Group, a contract lobbying firm, prior to becoming CEO of the REALTORS® association representing a number of interests at the Arizona Capitol.

Tom has been appointed to several state commissions and committees on issues of land use water, taxation and regulation impacting the real estate industry and property owners. He is a member or sits on the board of directors of several organizations including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Tax Research Association and the Public Affairs Professionals Association.




Brian Tassinari

Brian Tassinari has 17 years of media and government relations experience in both the public and private sectors. Prior to forming Willetta Partners, Inc., Mr. Tassinari was a lobbyist and communications consultant with the firm Williams & Associates for nine years.

Before Joining Williams & Associates, Mr. Tassinari was the Director of Communications for the President of the Arizona Senate.

He began his career in politics in 1995 when he joined the staff of U.S. Senator William V. Roth, Jr. in Washington D.C. where he served as a Deputy Press Secretary for two years and Communications Director for another two years. In addition to serving as the Senator’s spokesman in the local and national media, Mr. Tassinari wrote speeches and position papers for Senator Roth. He also worked on legislation relating to transportation and telecommunications issues.





Michael Haener

Michael Haener has more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Willetta Partners, Inc., Mr. Haener was a lobbyist at Upstream Consulting. In addition, Mr. Haener worked as Deputy Chief of Staff for former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, where he worked to develop, advocate, and implement policy and programs on a broad range of issues from economic development to healthcare.

Mr. Haener also served as Director of Legislative Affairs and Communications Director for the Arizona Office of the Attorney General, Assistant to the Mayor of Phoenix, a Legislative Aide for a U.S. Senator and as an independent strategic policy and campaign consultant.

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