Sep 26, 2022 - Politics

New laws from Arizona's 2022 legislative session go into effect

Illustration of the Arizona State Capitol with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Saturday was the general effective date for laws passed by the legislature this year. We took a look at some of the more significant ones, including new statutes on elections, education, COVID-19 restrictions and more.

Education: High school social studies courses must now offer comparative instruction that shows how totalitarian ideologies like communism conflict with American principles like freedom and democracy.

  • Parents will now have access to school library collections and will be able to find out what books their children have checked out. Another law ensures parents have access to their children's school records.
  • Schools must set aside one to two minutes at the beginning of the day for a moment of silence.

Transgender kids: Public schools must require transgender students to participate only on athletic teams that correspond with their biological gender, and gender reassignment surgery is now prohibited for people under 18 years of age.

Motorcycles: Riders can now drive between cars — a practice known as lane filtering — but only in stopped traffic and at speeds no greater than 15 mph.

HOAs: Homeowners associations can no longer prohibit people from using artificial grass on their property or from displaying political signs.

1 big backlash: Lawmakers passed several measures aimed at preventing future occurrences of some of the restrictions state and local governments imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

  • Hospitals must allow patients to have daily in-person visits from at least one person of their choosing.
  • Businesses can no longer be ordered to close in response to an emergency.
  • Schools and other government institutions can no longer require children to wear masks for any reason without parental permission.
  • They also can't require students to get COVID vaccinations without their parents' approval.

Not so fast: Several laws may be temporarily or permanently blocked due to lawsuits or other actions.

  • Save Our Schools Arizona on Friday submitted nearly 142,000 signatures to refer an expansion of the state's school voucher-style Empowerment Scholarship Account program to the ballot. If at least 118,823 are valid, the law will be suspended unless voters approve it in the 2024 election.
  • Election laws imposing new proof-of-citizenship requirements for "federal-only" voters, requiring counties to scrutinize citizenship status and purging non-active voters from the state's list of people who automatically receive early ballots in the mail have been challenged in court.

A federal judge blocked a law requiring people to stand at least 8 feet away while filming police officers.


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