New law aims to stem theft of metals

Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill aimed at stemming the outbreak of metals thefts.

It is already a crime to steal the items. And there are requirements for scrap- metal dealers to keep certain records.

The new law also makes it illegal to have possession of items knowing or having reason to know that the items were stolen. It also criminalizes purchasing metal of another knowing it was stolen.

The law is a response to the rampant theft of particularly copper wire and pipes from homes, businesses, electrical transformers and park and street lights.

Music therapists lose bid for certification

A bid by music therapists to get state recognition was quashed Tuesday by Brewer.

The legislation sponsored by Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, would have the state certify individuals who had certain training and experience.

Barbara Else, a Tucson music therapist, said some hospitals and facilities allow only certified therapists to practice there. Without certification, she said, some patients cannot get access to the specialized care music therapists can provide.

Brewer said the legislation appears to be a one-way street: The Health Department would be required to issue a state certification to those who qualify but would have no authority to revoke that certification or impose penalties on those who act outside the scope of their practice.

"Further, there is no background-check requirement despite the fact that music therapists often work with vulnerable children and adults," the governor wrote.

Brewer vetoes easing of fireworks penalties

Calling it a matter of public safety, Brewer vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have eased the penalty for those who use fireworks when and where they have been banned.

Arizona legalized things like sparklers and smoke devices in 2010.

Cities can ban their use, but not their sale. Counties cannot restrict the use of these items except during periods of declared high fire danger.

Violations of the law are misdemeanors, with a possible 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. This legislation would have eliminated any possibility of incarceration, with a $300 maximum fine.

"This bill's language does not take into account different regional circumstances and local safety and fire concerns regarding the use of fireworks," Brewer wrote in her veto message. "The risk and danger from fires started by fireworks are much greater in Arizona's rural areas."

Arizona has never allowed firecrackers or any device that shoots into the air.

Law aids elected folk seeking another office

Brewer signed legislation Tuesday to ease the path of elected officials who want to seek another office.

A 1980 voter-approved measure prohibits anyone serving in elective office from running for another post before the last year of his or her term.

But Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said the law is full of loopholes, including one that lets someone form an "exploratory committee" at any time saying they are weighing whether to run for another office. They then can gather nominating signatures and solicit campaign contributions, but not formally announce for office.

This new law, which takes effect later this year, permits them to make a formal announcement.

Capitol Media Services

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