Gov. Brewer vetoes bills regarding adoption, religious prop. tax - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Gov. Brewer vetoes bills regarding bail agents, adoption, religious property taxes

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Bail agents' rules: Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill that made numerous changes to state law governing bail agents, saying the changes would make it harder to regulate agents and allow them to pocket more money from clients.
 
Brewer's Wednesday veto letter says one provision in HB2553 would allow bail bond agents to essentially write penalties into their contracts and collect them. Current law only allows bail agents to collect actual and reasonable expenses.
 
Brewer also objected to a provision cutting from 3 to 1 the number of years bail agents must keep records. She says that would have made investigations more difficult. She also said the law shifted the costs of a Department of Insurance review from the agents to the department. That's different than other firms licensed by the agency.


Adoption bill: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill that would have allowed foster children to be adopted while their birth parents were still fighting to keep them.
 
Brewer said in a veto letter Wednesday that parents sometimes successfully appeal parental rights terminations and she was wary of encouraging adoptions during that process.
 
Brewer said she appreciated the bill's intent, but was uncomfortable with the impact House Bill 2144 could have on children.
 
She also slammed a provision that would have kept caseworkers from disclosing information about an adoption hearing.
 
The bill received bipartisan support from the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Among the bill's many provisions, it would have allowed adoptions during the appeals process if the foster child had been living with the prospective adoptive parents for at least six months.


Religious property tax bill: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill that would have expanded property tax exemptions for religious organizations, while also signing another bill that blocks unemployment benefits for church workers.
 
Both measures were top priorities for conservatives during the 2013 legislative session that ended Friday and had support from the influential Center for Arizona Policy.
 
Brewer said in a veto letter Wednesday that the property tax bill was undefined and could create more confusion. House Bill 2446 would have allowed churches to avoid paying property taxes on vacant land, a practice already in place in Maricopa County.
 
Property used for worship is currently tax-exempt.
 
Brewer also took action Wednesday on House Bill 2645, which exempts religious organizations from providing unemployment benefits to teachers or child care providers.


Bill allowing new Coconino College taxes: Gov. Jan Brewer has flexed her fiscal conservative muscles by vetoing a bill that would have allowed Coconino Community College to seek voter approval to permanently increase its primary property tax rate.
 
HB2125 was designed to help the Flagstaff-based community college get past a funding crunch brought about by an unusually low property tax levy.
 
In Brewer's veto letter Wednesday she said the college can seek voter approval for a secondary property tax levy. She also wrote that while she appreciates the college's financial struggles she said granting one jurisdiction what she called unprecedented taxing authority will prompt other taxing agencies to seek similar treatment.

 

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