By Terri Jo Neff |
Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law a bill which raises the passing score of the Arizona Civics Test from 60 to 70 percent while noting that Arizonans have “a real responsibility to equip the leaders of tomorrow with knowledge of our nation’s founding principles.”
House Bill 2632 was among several pieces of legislation the governor signed on Thursday and Friday. It allows students to take the mandated test as early as middle school and requires that schools make test score data publicly available online. The enhancements to the test become effective with the graduating class of 2026.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Quang Nguyen, said HB2632 is important to ensure future generations understand our government, history, and principles.
“There are far too many Americans who aren’t equipped with this vital information to make decisions,” said Nguyen (R-LD1). “We must have an appreciation of our federal structure, separation of powers and fundamental respect for natural rights.”
In 2015, Arizona became the first state in the country to pass the American Civics Act which requires high school students to pass a basic civics test before graduation. It was the first bill Ducey signed after becoming governor.
And in 2020, Ducey signed legislation to establish Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Celebration Day, a day in which most classrooms across the state devote to civics education.
The other bills signed by Ducey on Thursday were:
HB 2104 community property award; convicted spouse (Rep. Griffin)
HB 2108 taxi drivers; sex offenders prohibited (Rep. Biasiucci)
HB 2165 housing department; licensure; fingerprinting; penalties (Rep. Kaiser)
HB 2202 industrial commission; fee schedule; notice (Rep. Weninger)
HB 2434 surgical smoke evacuation; requirements (Rep. Shah)
HB 2480 vehicle serial numbers; removal; restoration (Rep. Carroll)
HB 2612 occupational regulation (Rep. Burges)
HB 2649 concurrent jurisdiction; Yuma proving ground (Rep. Dunn)
Then on Friday, the governor signed 17 more bills into law, including one which extends the temporary licenses of more than 2,000 health care workers until the end of the year.
Senate Bill 1309 was sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto, who called it a simple, but necessary move to provide licensing boards with time to process full licenses or reissue licenses of health care workers. About 1,200 of those temporarily licenses have been given to nurses, who are in high demand.
“If these licenses were to expire, our critical health professionals would need to scramble to get relicensed,” said Barto (R-LD15). “This proactive bill ensures a timely renewal process to keep more people employed.”
Ducey’s signing of SB1309 was also welcomed by Dawna Cato, CEO of the Arizona Nurses Association.
“With an existing shortage of nurses, now is not the time to let temporary health professional licenses expire,” said Cato. “The Arizona Nurses Association fully supports the signing of this bill into law, as it helps the board process license renewals and will keep more of our frontline nurses where we need them – taking care of us.”
The other bills signed by Ducey on Friday were:
HB 2053 Department of Environmental Quality; continuation (Rep. Griffin)
HB 2057 Water Supply Development Fund; revisions (Rep. Bowers)
HB 2085 nursing facility provider assessments; continuation (Rep. Osborne)
HB 2106 unlawful disclosure; images; definitions (Rep. Biasiucci)
HB 2171 salvage vehicle titles; insurance companies (Rep. Wilmeth)
HB 2344 Military Affairs Commission; continuation (Rep. Payne)
HB 2556 Water Infrastructure Finance; sunset repeal (Rep. Griffin)
HB 2629 property tax liens; expiration dates (Rep. Barton)
HB 2659 organ transplants; disabilities; discrimination; prohibition (Rep. Kaiser)
HB 2714 Office of Tourism; continuation (Rep. Kaiser)
SB 1081 PSPRS; advisory committee (Sen. Livingston)
SB 1084 public retirement systems; administration (Sen. Livingston)
SB 1160 AZ529 plan; advisory committee; membership (Sen. Leach)
SB 1206 license plate design and color (Sen. Pace)
SB 1234 Board of Nursing; continuation (Sen. Barto)
SB 1639 control substances; medical records integration (Sen. Pace)