State Legislative Principles

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City of Tempe 
2014 State Legislative Principles  
 

The citizens created the City of Tempe government through the adoption of the City Charter. Through this Charter, the citizens empower the City  government to provide services and generate revenue to pay for those services. The Mayor and Council determine policies for the City and serve at the pleasure of the voting public. It is this system that allows for local decision-making on issues that are local in nature and directly impact local citizens and businesses. 

The services provided by the City of Tempe encourage investment in the local economy, enable business development and support commerce within the community and the region. Additionally, City services help sustain safe neighborhoods and provide recreation opportunities that encourage families to live and work within the community. 

State legislation can impact the City’s ability to deliver many local services such as police, fire, transit, roadways, libraries, and parks. During the 2014 State Legislative Session, the City Council endorses the following principles when considering the City’s position on state legislative proposals: 

MUNICIPAL PRINCIPLES OVERVIEW 
• Preserve local authority – The City believes that the most effective, responsible and responsive government is the government closest to the people. The City supports legislative proposals that preserve or enhance the City’s ability to govern locally and opposes legislative proposals that reduce or restrict the City’s local authority. 

• Preserve existing revenue sources – The City supports legislative proposals that preserve or enhance existing revenue sources and opposes proposals that would reduce or restrict the use of existing revenues. 

• Maintain flexibility in service delivery – The City supports legislative proposals that enable the City to provide services desired by local residents and opposes legislative attempts to require additional services without providing revenue to fund any additional costs associated with the services.

• Preserve local investments – The City supports proposals that protect the City’s investment in infrastructure, capital, and enterprises. 

PLANNING AND GROWTH 
• Development fees – Oppose legislation that would limit or preempt the authority of cities to implement and collect reasonable development fees. 

• Land use planning – Preserve local authority to set land use and development policies, allowing the City to continue providing opportunities for citizen-driven planning while monitoring any legislation that may impact local planning authority. 

• Regulatory Reform – Oppose proposals that limit the City’s flexibility to adjust and improve programs and processes that support the existing framework for regulatory reform. 

• Water – Monitor proposals that would result in increased fees or reduced water availability for the City. 

TRANSPORTATION 
• Highway User Revenue Fund – Support legislation that reinstates the funding allocation to the City and oppose policies that further deplete City resources of road maintenance and infrastructure. 

• Regional Transportation and Transit – Support efforts to further the completion of the regional freeway system and City-endorsed transit projects. 

PUBLIC SAFETY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE 
• Weapons – Oppose legislation that limits local control in regulating weapons in public areas. 

• Peace Officer Bill of Rights – The City supports legislative proposals that clarify the existing Peace Officer Bill of Rights statutes without eroding local operational controls. 

• Retirement Eligibility – Maintain Arizona State Retirement System eligibility for non-public safety personnel working in the Fire Department. 

• Ambulance Services – Support policies that ensure reliable, high quality and cost-effective life-saving ambulance transport for Tempe residents, including equitable and efficient adjustments to the Certificate of Necessity process. 

• 9-1-1 Services – Oppose proposals that deplete funding and resources for Public Safety Answering Point equipment, updates or maintenance needs.

FISCAL POLICY, REVENUES & TAXES 
• Revenues – Maintain and recover state shared revenues. These revenues fund general operations such as public safety, parks and library services. 

• Mandates – Limit state unfunded mandates by supporting legislation that requires the legislature to conduct fiscal analysis and give consideration prior to imposing state mandates on local governments. 

• Taxes – Use great caution when evaluating policies that restructure sales, property and income taxes and be especially vigilant of shifting tax burdens that result from proposed changes. 

LOCAL OPERATIONS 
• Elections – Support legislation that maintains local decision-making for elections administration and oppose legislation that adversely impacts local candidates as a whole. 

• Tobacco Sales – Support legislation to retain the City’s ability to regulate tobacco sales and usage at the local level, including electronic cigarettes. 

• County Library Financing – Monitor any changes to the library financing plans and its effect on the City’s ability to provide library resources. 

• Air quality – Support state air quality measures required to meet federal air quality standards that are cost-effective and viable. 

• Supporting Partnerships – Monitor and consider support for policies that favorably affect the City’s municipal and educational partners. 

Accepted by the City Council on 12/2013.