Arizona Legislative Season Ends With Some Insurance-Related Measures

By MELISSA DANIELS | May 22, 2018

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey took the final action of the state legislative session last week when he signed 55 new laws and vetoed seven others, including a measure that could have hiked drivers’ insurance rates.

The legislative session officially ended on May 4 when lawmakers adjourned. But the governor had until Wednesday to decide whether to sign or veto dozens of bills that were passed in the final days when lawmakers voted on a flurry of bills as well as a $10.4 billion spending plan for the state’s next fiscal year.

Overall this year, Ducey signed 346 bills and vetoed 23 others.

Here’s a look at some of the measures that Ducey signed or vetoed last week:

HB2422: Robot delivery devices

Arizonans could soon see meals and packages delivered to their doorstep by robot technology. Among the bills Ducey signed is a proposal sponsored by state Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, that outlines the regulation for personal delivery devices that would operate on sidewalks. They would have speed and weight restrictions and require insurance.

Townsend told The Associated Press that she was hopeful Ducey would sign the bill because of the opportunity for new technology to be developed in Arizona. But deployment could be a couple years out: Townsend said the companies who operate the delivery robots will have to execute testing and map the streets.

She also pointed out the benefits that the technology could bring to residents who are unable to leave their homes or live far from grocery stores.

“I think it’s a great balance of what’s needed, and they’re welcome here in this state,” she said.

Townsend also opposed to the notion that the technology would take away jobs from other delivery jobs; rather, she thinks it will create jobs for people to operate and maintain the technology.

HB2522: Penalties for car crashes

Ducey signed a bill that increases penalties car crashes that cause serious physical injury or fatalities. Courts will be able to suspend driving privileges for 180 days instead up to 90 days for violations that result in physical injury, and up to a year instead of 180 days for violations that result in death. It also increases a cap on restitution from $10,000 to $100,000, among other changes to how penalties are classified. Some Democrats voted against the measure.

HB2254: Minimum limits for vehicle insurance

Ducey also vetoed a measure that would’ve increased the minimum liability limits that Arizona drivers would have to carry on their car insurance. Starting in July 2019, drivers getting new car insurance policies would have had to carry higher minimum policies – one change would’ve hiked the limit for injury or death from $15,000 to $25,000. Ducey said in his veto letter that while he was open to the idea of revising minimum liability limits, he was concerned about increased premium costs for individuals who rely on affordable plans.

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