Recent Arizona Law Changes

By Donald Loose

In Arizona, laws may be created, revoked or amended by ballot initiative, the legislature, or the courts.  In 2017, more than 300 new laws were passed in Arizona as a result of legislative action and ballot initiatives. Below is a list of Arizona’s most recent law changes that may impact or be of interest to you.      

Hot Cars

A new law protects people from civil liability when they break a window or otherwise enter an unattended vehicle to rescue an animal or a child.  The person must believe there is “imminent danger of physical injury or death.”  The person must also call police and stay with the vehicle until they arrive. 

Texting & Driving

Starting July 2018, minors will be banned from texting and driving while they have their learner’s permit and for the first six months after they receive a driver’s license.  Minors cannot be pulled over specifically for texting, but if they are stopped for violating another traffic law, they can also be cited for texting and driving.  In addition to this new law, several cities, including Phoenix, Tempe and Tucson, already enacted ordinances banning texting by all drivers.       


Local and state governments may not require background checks for the private sale of personal guns.  The new statute refers to the transfer of “personal property,” but it is understood that this broad language includes the sale of weapons in a private setting. 

Sick Pay

As part of a 2016 ballot initiative, voters passed a sick pay law for nearly all employees in Arizona.  Companies with 15 or more employees are required to pay a minimum of 40 hours of sick time annually.  Companies with under 15 employees must pay 24 hours.  The sick time can be used for a variety of reasons, including doctors’ appointments, domestic violence matters, and caring for a family member.

School Children

Two new laws were enacted regarding children at schools.  The first explicitly allows children to have and use sunscreen at school (previously, children needed a doctor’s note to take sunscreen to school, daycare, or camp).  The second provides a school employee may administer a rescue inhaler to anyone, including a student, if there are signs of respiratory distress. 

Homeowners’ Associations

Meetings of the board of directors or committees of the board of directors must generally be open to all members of the association.  A notice of the meeting must be provided at least 48 hours in advance, and an agenda must be available to all members attending.  There are some exceptions allowing for closed meetings, but specific statutory requirements apply to closed meetings.  A member may audiotape or videotape the open portions of any meeting without providing advance notice.    

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