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State Legislative Principles

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City of Tempe 2020 State Legislative Principles  

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 Tempe City Council has identified safety, strong community connections, quality of life, sustainability, and financial stability as priorities in the delivery of City services.

The importance of state legislation is that it can impact the City’s ability to deliver on its strategic priority commitments, including the provision of many local services such as police, fire, transit, roadways, libraries, and parks.

During the 2020 State Legislative Session, the City Council endorses the following principles when considering the City’s position on state legislative proposals:


  • Preserve local decision-making – The City advocates 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. 


  • Economic development – Support legislation that enhances City supported economic development conditions.
  • 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 decision-making 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. 
  • Local Water Decisions – Support proposals that strengthen the City’s water management strategies and oppose those that lessen the ability of the City to proactively manage its water resources.
  • Statewide Water Management – Support proposals that improve the state’s overall management of Colorado River water and groundwater with processes that engage municipal stakeholders and benefit municipal water users.
  • Infrastructure – Support legislation that would heighten the City’s ability to provide infrastructure to attract economic development.



  •  Transportation Funding – Support legislation that strengthens the funding to the City and oppose policies that deplete City resources for road maintenance and infrastructure, including policies that affect the Highway User Revenue Fund. 
  • Regional Transportation Projects and Planning – Support efforts to further develop and maintain the regional freeway system and City-endorsed transit projects.


  • Weapons – Oppose legislation that limits local decision-making in regulating weapons in public areas.
  • Ambulance Services – Support policies that ensure reliable, high quality and cost-effective life-saving ambulance transport for Tempe residents.
  • 9-1-1 Services – Oppose proposals that deplete funding and resources for reliable Public Safety Answering Point equipment, updates and maintenance needs.
  • Availability of Records at Care Facilities – Support proposals that enable Fire Medical Rescue responders to have accurate and timely patient information when responding to calls at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
  • Statutory Clarification – Support statutory language that clarifies legislative intent regarding pension eligibility and definitions of supervision and pensionable work.
  • Municipal Court – Oppose legislation that negatively affects municipal court operations and/or judicial independence


  • Revenues – Maintain and recover delinquent 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.
  • Transaction Privilege Tax – Monitor proposals that modify state and local tax revenue generated from sales, including online sales.
  • Housing Trust Fund – Support additional funding into the Arizona Housing Trust Fund.


  •  Elections – Support legislation that maintains local decision-making for elections administration.
  • 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.
  • Human Services Resources – Support for resources and streamlined distribution methods to support human services needs, including drug misuse prevention and treatment efforts.
  • Support Inclusivity – Evaluate legislative proposals for the promotion of equitable treatment, focusing on the prevention of disparate impact and disparate treatment of local residents regardless of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, familial status, age, disability, or United States military veteran status.
  • Supporting Partnerships – Monitor and consider support for policies that favorably affect and adequately fund the City’s municipal, educational and economic development partners.

Reviewed by the Tempe City Council November 2019