The 53rd Legislature, First Regular Session of the Arizona State Legislature began on January 9, 2017.  The following chart outlines the Board-approved 2017 State Legislative Agenda as well as other relevant state legislative bills and issues that CAP is tracking, through April 6, 2017. 

Legislative Agenda
Item and CAWCD Position
Bill Summary and Status

Arizona Water Resources

Continue to support water conservation and similar efforts that protect the water elevation in Lake Mead and help to avoid Colorado River shortage, including implementation of the Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Contingency Plan, or DCP. 

Support legislation as needed to implement multistate agreements relating to the Colorado River, including the DCP.

Continue to promote CAP’s Protect Lake Mead campaign to raise awareness and support for cooperative efforts that are aimed at improving water elevations in the reservoir.

SJR 1001 (Colorado River allocation; management)
HJR 2003 (Colorado River allocation; management.)

CAWCD Position:  Monitor.

SJR 1003 (lower Colorado basin; forbearance authority.)
HJR 2002 (lower Colorado basin; forbearance authority)
CAWCD Position (SJR 1003/HJR 2002):  Support. 

SJR 1001 (Colorado River allocation; management), sponsored by Sen. Gail Griffin, is a placeholder bill that would allow DCP-related language to be added if an agreement is reached during session. An identical bill HJR 2003 (Colorado River allocation; management.), sponsored by Rep. Brenda Barton, was introduced in the House.

Status: H.J.R. 2003 and S.J.R. 1001 were not heard in committee. 

SJR 1003 (Lower Colorado Basin; forbearance authority), sponsored by Sen. Gail Griffin, authorizes the ADWR Director to enter into agreements related to Minute 32x implementation on behalf of Arizona. HJR 2002 (lower Colorado basin; forbearance authority), sponsored by Rep. Brenda Barton, is identical to SJR 1003.

Status: On February 28, the Senate passed H.J.R. 2002 unanimously, 30-0, and the Governor signed the resolution on March 2. 

Arizona Water Resources 

Continue to collaborate with various stakeholders on efforts to address in-state and interstate water resources.

Monitor legislative actions that directly impact CAP water supplies and operations.

Monitor legislative efforts that encourage in-state water conservation activities, including the use of residential rainwater harvesting systems.

H.B. 2330 (water augmentation systems; tax credit)
CAWCD Position:  Monitor. 

H.B. 2330 (water augmentation systems; tax credit), sponsored by Representative Noel Campbell, establishes an individual income tax credit for installing a residential water augmentation system in tax years 2018 through 2025.

Status: H.B. 2330 was held in the House and is dead. 

Multi Species Conservation Program (MSCP) Funding

Support the Arizona Game and Fish Department's efforts to collect and maintain revenues sufficient to continue its annual contribution toward the costs of the MSCP.

Monitor legislative and executive proposals that impact dedicated annual state funding of the MSCP.

Status:  No update to report. 

Funding of State Water Agencies and Commissions 

Support the efforts of the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and the Arizona Water Protection Fund Commission to secure sufficient state General Fund appropriations in order to carry out statutory functions.

Monitor legislative actions that propose to use funds available to the Arizona Water Banking Commission for other purposes. 

Proposed legislative transfers of $1,411,400 from the Arizona Water Banking Fund in the Governor’s FY2018 budget.
CAWCD Position:  Oppose.

S.B. 1124 (Arizona water protection fund; appropriation)
CAWCD Position:  Support 

In his budget released on January 13, Governor Ducey proposed an increase to ADWR’s FY 2018 budget of approximately $2.9 million over FY 2017 levels.

As in prior years, the Executive’s budget proposes the following transfers from the Arizona Water Banking Fund in FY 2018: $1,211,400 to support ADWR; and $200,000 to help pay for the Arizona Navigable Stream Adjudication Commission’s legal fees.

Status: CAP staff continues outreach efforts with Legislators to express the Board’s concern about continuing the Water Bank transfer in FY 2018. 

S.B. 1124 (Arizona water protection fund; appropriation), sponsored by Sen. Gail Griffin, would appropriate $500,000 in General Fund monies to the Fund in FY 2018. 

Status: S.B. The House Land, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee passed the bill, 7-0, on March 9, and the Appropriations Committee passed the bill, 12-0, on March 15. S.B. 1124 awaits a vote by the full House.

As with last year’s bill to fund the Water Protection Fund, S.B. 1124 likely will be held in the House and, the appropriation—to the extent there is support—will be included in the state budget.   

Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) 

Monitor any proposed CAGRD-related legislation to ensure its operations are not adversely impacted. 

Promote awareness of CAGRD’s statutory functions, operations, and funding to inform lawmakers of its critical contribution to Arizona’s water management and economic development. 

Status: No update to report. 

H.B. 2112 (multi-county water district; directors; election)
CAWCD Position:
February 2: Oppose.
March 2: Monitor, with the condition that an amendment to remove the partisan election provision is adopted. 

H.B. 2112 (multi-county water district; directors; election), sponsored by Representative Mark Finchem, would modify the election structure of the CAP Board of Directors by requiring that candidate’s names be included on the general election ballot with party designation. The bill also would prohibit a CAP employee or spouse of an employee from serving on the CAP Board.

Status: On March 13, the Senate Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee amended the bill to remove the partisan election provision. The bill, as amended, still prohibits an employee or an employee’s spouse from serving on the CAP Board. H.B. 2112 awaits floor action in the Senate.   

H.B. 2317 (partisan offices; districts; cities; schools)
CAWCD Position:  Oppose. 

H.B. 2317 (partisan offices; districts; cities; schools), sponsored by Representative Jay Lawrence, would require that candidate’s names for the CAP Board of Directors be included on the general election ballot with party designation. It also would require a primary election for the CAP Board. The bill additionally applies party designation requirements for candidates for other offices, including mayor or city or town council. 

CAP currently reimburses Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties for the administrative costs of conducting the CAP Board’s general election every two years. Consequently, the bill has a fiscal impact to CAP of up to $1.1 million.    

Status: H.B. 2317 was not heard in committee and is dead. 

H.B. 2128 (JLAC; auditor general)
CAWCD Position:  Monitor + Seek Amendment. 

H.B. 2128 (JLAC; auditor general), sponsored by Representative John Allen, makes multiple changes to state statute relating to agency sunset review procedures. In addition, the bill adds the following statutory authorities to the Arizona Auditor General that would have applicability to CAP:

  • conducting investigations of political subdivisions;
  • interviewing employees in the course of official duties and examining records that are protected under attorney-client privilege; and,
  • attending executive sessions. 

For investigations, the bill provides access to records and communications protected under attorney-client privilege. The bill specifies that, in granting access, the privilege is not waived, but it is unclear how the Auditor General would use the information. 

Status: On March 8, the Senate Government Committee adopted an amendment that clarifies the following:

  • OAG may attend executive sessions only in the course of performing an audit, which does not apply to CAP; and,
  • OAG may request information protected by attorney-client privilege only in the course of performing an audit, which does not apply to CAP.  

In addition, the Senate adopted a Floor Amendment to remove all provisions relating to attorney-client privilege in order to address lingering concerns from other stakeholders. H.B. 2128 passed the Senate, 19-8, on April 5, and awaits House action on the Senate amendments. 

S.B. 1210 (state law; violations; political subdivisions)
CAWCD Position:  Monitor + Seek Amendment. 

S.B. 1210 (state law; violations; political subdivisions), sponsored by Sen. Steve Smith, would require the Attorney General to investigate, at the request of a Legislator, alleged violations of state statute or the Arizona Constitution by a political subdivision, which would include CAP. The bill establishes penalties for violations and, for political subdivisions like CAP, includes the withholding of monies that would otherwise be distributed by a county treasurer or the state treasurer. In 2016, the Legislature enacted these provisions but they only applied to counties, cities and towns. 

The bill provides for the withholding of any state or county monies collected for a political subdivision should a legal dispute arise with the Attorney General, but before fully adjudicated by the courts. A bond, equal to monies paid to the political subdivision in the preceding six months, is also required to be posted by a political subdivision should a special action be filed with the courts.

The bill lacks clarity and adequate due process, and its provisions could prevent CAP from directing the state treasurer in the management of its funds. Status: Staff has discussed CAP’s concerns with the bill’s sponsor and is working with him to narrow the bill’s scope.

Status: S.B. 1210 was held in the Senate and is dead.   

S.H.B. 2143 (public contracts; procurement)
CAWCD Position:  Monitor + Seek Amendment. 

H.B. 2143 (public contracts; procurement), sponsored by Representative Vince Leach, permits tax-levying districts such as the CAP to use its own employees to perform construction for certain activities without advertising for bids, including water works, provided the total cost of the contract does not exceed $25,000. The bill also expands the provision to include contracts for reconstruction and maintenance activities,

H.B. 2143 would reduce CAP’s ability to manage its maintenance scheduling and labor resources by requiring all construction and maintenance activities, including equipment and material costs, that exceed $25,000 be competitively bid. CAP’s current dollar amount trigger, which is based on an inflation index, is $226,033. This has the practical effect of having to request bids for most canal maintenance work that has historically been performed by CAP employees, resulting in a significant disruption of CAP staffing and scheduling for required maintenance. 

Status: H.B. 2143 was not heard in committee and is dead. 

S.B. 1478 (occupational safety and health omnibus)
CAWCD Position:  Support. 

S.B. 1478 (occupational safety and health omnibus), sponsored by Sen. Steve Smith, makes various changes to occupational safety and health statutes that do not have a direct impact on CAP. However, the bill also codifies a “model system” to promote effective worksite-based safety and health that corresponds to the state’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), which CAP has been a participant since 2006.  

CAP participates in VPP, including maintaining its status with the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) and fostering a safety culture commensurate with the VPP’s performance-based criteria. The cooperative effort between CAP and ADOSH, which underlies VPP, has allowed for progress to be made on employee safety in the form of significantly reduced injuries and illnesses and improved workplace morale.

Status:  S.B. 1478 passed House Commerce Committee, 5-2, on March 7.  The bill, however, failed in a 25-31 vote by the full House on March 21. Objections to the bill were unrelated to the VPP provisions. 

Upon reconsideration, the House passed S.B. 1478, 35-24, on April 5, and the bill was transmitted to the Governor on April 6.  

If you have any questions or would like more information regarding any of the issues contained in this tracker, please contact CAP Legislative Affairs Manager, Jeff Gray at 623-869-2425.

To learn more about Arizona's State Legislature and the various bills being considered, please go to