Legislative Update 3/27/17
Week eight of the 2017 Legislative Session begins today. This is the 50rd day of the session.
Body Camera Bills
Senator Ford’s bill requiring the use of body worn cameras by all law enforcement departments (SB176) was passed out of the Senate Government Affairs Committee on March 22nd. The bill was amended to include marshals. The bill contains a provision allowing a board of county commissioners in all seventeen counties to enact or increase the fee for 911 service at a rate not to exceed $1. The bill also allows for proceeds from this fee to be used to purchase and support body worn cameras and related equipment. There is no provision for an incorporated city to impose a fee for this purpose.
Another bill relating to body camera funding, SB88 introduced by Senator Kieckhefer, was heard in Senate Government Affairs on March 22nd. This bill contains a provision enabling local governments, including incorporated cities, to apply to the Interim Finance Committee for an allocation from the Contingency Account in the State General Fund to purchase body cameras and support equipment. There is no guarantee that the IFC would grant the request but at the least our incorporated cities have an avenue to seek funding for the soon to be mandated body cameras.
This is going to be marijuana week in the Legislature. Several marijuana related bills will be heard this week. On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear the following bills:
SB329 – Revises various provisions relating to marijuana concerning health and regulation.
SB341 – Revises provisions relating to marijuana establishments and medical marijuana establishments.
SB344 – Revises various provisions relating to the labeling, packaging and advertising of marijuana.
SB374 – Prohibits certain entities from taking action against persons who engage in certain lawful activities relating to marijuana.
SB378 – Revises provisions relating to controlled substances.
Senate Bill 302 was heard last Friday in the Senate Judiciary. This bill provides an early start for recreational marijuana sales. The bill would grant temporary licenses to existing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana. Any moratoriums enacted by a local government prohibiting recreational marijuana dispensaries would remain in effect. The bill also contains a provision for a 15% excise tax on the sale of recreational marijuana. Ten percent of the proceeds would go to the state with the remaining 5% going to local governments. We are working with legislators and our friends at NACO to flush out the details of how this revenue will be distributed.
Another marijuana bill, Senate Bill 375, would authorizes agreements between the Governor and Indian tribes in this State relating to the regulation of the use of marijuana.
Local Government Day at the Legislature will be held on April 27th. We will be planning activities and meetings for the day. We will be co-hosting a Legislative Reception that evening at the Governor’s mansion with our friends from NACO. Please plan on attending and helping our legislators understand municipal concerns and issues.