House allows guns anywhere in cars
Without debate, the House on Tuesday voted 37-23 for legislation allowing people to have guns anywhere in their vehicles, open or hidden, whether or not they have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Current law generally requires those without a state permit to have all guns visible. There are already some exceptions for weapons in trunks and glove boxes.
Backers of HB2389 said there is no reason to make criminals of people who put a gun on a seat where it might be inadvertently covered. But the bill is opposed by the state Department of Public Safety amid concerns about criminals and gang members hiding weapons beneath the seat.
The bill now goes to the Senate.
Measure aims to halt 'day laborers'
People who stand on or near streets or sidewalks to seek work would be guilty of trespass under the terms of legislation given approval Tuesday by the House.
HB2412 is aimed at "day laborers" who gather near home improvement stores and other locations. Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said these people, many of whom are illegal immigrants, impede traffic.
Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a similar measure last year. Kavanagh said he has made changes designed to deal with her objections.
The 37-22 vote sends the bill to the Senate.
Senate approves change for primaries
The Senate gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a measure that would allow independents to vote in the 2012 presidential preference election.
Current law limits participation in the quadrennial event to those who are registered with recognized parties. Rep. Ken Cheuvront, D-Phoenix, said that disenfranchises the more than one out of every four Arizonans who choose not to affiliate with those parties.
SB1015, which still needs a final Senate vote, does have an escape clause: Parties could still notify the Secretary of State's Office they don't want independents voting for who should head the national ticket.
Other state laws already allow independents to vote in the September primaries for state and local elections.
House vetoes ban on people holding signs
The House voted Tuesday to bar cities from prohibiting individuals from standing on street corners and holding signs.
HB2066 stems from a fight between Scottsdale and a firm that pays people to hold signs directing passing cars to nearby businesses and real estate developments. Scottsdale interprets its sign code to ban any sort of signs on public sidewalks, even if being held by individuals.
This measure, which needs a final vote before going to the Senate, allows cities to impose "reasonable time, place and manner regulations ... related to public safety purposes."
House votes to prevent Real IDs
Ignoring the wishes of Gov. Janet Napolitano, the House voted Tuesday to bar her or her state agencies from participating in the federal government's Real ID program.
Federal law doesn't force states to alter driver's licenses to make them compliant with Real ID rules, including standards to check the identification of holders and make the documents more secure.
But at some point any licenses which do not meet the standards will not be accepted to board aircraft or enter certain federal facilities.
Napolitano wants Arizona to join the program if questions of who picks up the cost, estimated at an additional $8 per license, can be worked out. But Rep. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley, said she is concerned the licenses will become de facto national identification cards, complete with a national database.
A final roll-call vote on HB2677 is needed before the bill goes to the Senate.
Bill would show state contracts
The public would get an easy way to see where state funds are being spent under the terms of legislation given preliminary approval Tuesday by the Senate.
SB1235 requires the Department of Administration to create a searchable database on the Internet of all contracts. Individuals would be able to find out how much money is being paid to various private firms and what they are supposed to be doing for that cash.
The measure, which needs a final vote before going to the House, prohibits the publication of personal addresses and phone numbers of those who are getting paid, as well as any confidential data.