Creates Better Protections for Individuals with Disabilities, Students, Pets, Homeowners
Governor Doug Ducey ceremonially signed five bills that create better protections for those with disabilities, students and pets.
“Our goal should always be to serve the people who hired us – the men and women of Arizona,” said Governor Ducey. “Today’s ceremonial bill signing marks five important bills that give a voice to those that are often voiceless: individuals with disabilities, our students, and everyone’s favorite family member – our pets. It’s no wonder these five pieces of legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. Thank you to the elected officials, community leaders and advocates who supported this legislation.”
The legislation signed today will:
- enhance protections for equal access to care;
- defend youth against the dangers of hazing;
- ensure fairness in homeowners insurance for pet owners;
- bring our pets home sooner; and
- safeguard minors from dangerous animal fights.
Equal access to care
Under Governor Ducey’s leadership, Arizona has remained a land of opportunity. Part of that freedom means those with disabilities should have equal access to health care including organ transplants.
For many of these individuals, these transplants can be a matter of life or death. H.B. 2659, sponsored by Rep. Steve Kaiser, will help ensure individuals with disabilities are not denied an organ transplant based solely on their disability. It goes a step further to protect those with disabilities by prohibiting healthcare providers from refusing to place the individual on a waitlist for a transplant or giving them a lower priority on the transplant list.
“No one with disabilities should be discriminated against, especially in the process of receiving life-saving organ transplants,” said Rep. Kaiser. “No one should be denied medical services solely on their disability. I was honored to sponsor this critical bill that protects Arizonans. Thank you to Governor Ducey for his dedication to equal access to health care.”
Criminal offenses for hazing
Further protecting vulnerable populations, the governor signed H.B. 2322 which better defends youth from the dangers of hazing and helps to secure educational institutions as a place for students to grow and learn.
Sponsored by Rep. John Kavanagh, the legislation redefines hazing in statute and establishes criminal offenses for hazing.
“Hazing is a serious problem. It can start as innocent and mild, but it can escalate to be extremely harsh and cause injury,” said Rep. Kavanagh. “Before H.B. 2322, there was no law against hazing. Now, dangerous hazing will be illegal and help keep people from harm. Thank you to Governor Ducey for his support.”
The bill will help keep clubs and organizations on Arizona’s college and university campuses as valuable experiences for students with lifelong skills and lessons.
Supporting and protecting Arizonans and animals
The governor also took action on three bills sponsored by Rep. Kavanagh that concern beloved members of our families – our pets.
“Our pets are part of our families and these bills are plain good policy to help protect them,” said Rep. Kavanagh. “With the governor’s signing, we are ensuring fairness for insurance, eliminating horrendous animal fighting and bringing our pets home with better microchip scanning procedures.”
H.B. 2626 ensures all found stray dogs and cats are scanned for microchips.
It is currently common practice for places like pounds, animal shelters and veterinarians to scan for microchips and locate the owner. This legislation codifies it into law to connect more families with their lost pets.
H.B. 2323 supports homeowners and combats discrimination of their pets. Arizonans with certain dog breeds face barriers when applying for homeowner’s insurance — even if their pet isn’t aggressive.
The bill acknowledges that a dog’s breed does not determine behavior by prohibiting insurance companies from considering only a dog’s breed in an application for homeowner’s insurance. It also requires a court to consider a dog’s behavior when determining whether it is vicious or aggressive.
H.B. 2324 further protects minors from being exposed to dangerous animal fights. In Arizona, it’s already against the law to conduct or attend these fights. This legislation goes further, making it a class-one misdemeanor to cause, allow or assist a minor in attending an animal fight.