PHOENIX – Bumper stickers used to be the go-to means of showing support for causes. These days, that happens more and more on special license plates issued by the state of Arizona.
With several dozen special plates already available, state lawmakers are pushing for even more. Through Tuesday, bills had proposed nine new special plates for causes such as training volunteer firefighters, supporting the LGBT community and promoting awareness of developmental disabilities.
Jean Anderson, a member of the Arizona Horse Council, said creating an “equine education association” plate would show support for horses and fund scholarships that advance equine education.
“We are lacking funds, and it would provide us with a steady income,” said Anderson, who raises horses in Rio Verde.
That bill, HB 2119, authored by Rep. Karen Fann, R-Prescott, was among several that won endorsements Jan. 30 from the House Transportation Committee. Fann’s bill also would would create a “developmental disabilities awareness” special plate.
Sierra Vista Fire Chief Randy Redman told the committee that a firefighter special plate would fund scholarships so those working for fire departments staffed by volunteers or serving Arizona’s smallest communities can attend the State Fire School offered once a year.
“There’s approximately 300 fire departments in this state, and the majority of those are the volunteer and smaller departments,” said Redman, who is working Rep. David M. Gowan Sr., R-Sierra Vista, on HB 2444.
It costs $25 for a vehicle owner to order or renew a special plate, of which $17 goes to a party designated in the legislation that created it. Each design must have a financial sponsor to cover the one-time, $32,000 cost for the state to process and print the plates.
Other proposed plates endorsed by the House Transportation Committee would promote motorsports, professional golf and Grand Canyon University.
Rep. Juan Carlos Escamilla, D-San Luis, voted against each of the measures, saying that with so many special plates available it’s difficult for the public and police to read them.
“There are too many out there, and there is a concern for public safety,” he said.
Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson, voted in favor but said this would be the last year she does so unless special plates are made to conform to a standard.
Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, authored a bill that would require a standard design for future special plates. It received a unanimous endorsement Tuesday from the Senate Transportation Committee.
Still waiting for hearings in the House were bills to create special plates honoring community colleges and Spanish missionary and explorer Father Eusebio Francisco Kino.
In the Senate, Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, has proposed an “equality for all” plate benefiting organizations that support members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. That bill had yet to be assigned to a committee.
While the demand for special plates continues, Jen Sweeney Marson, spokeswoman for the Arizona Association of Counties, said lawmakers need to address safety concerns raised by law enforcement.
“The special plates can make people feel good inside, but feeling good should never trump public safety,” she said.
• HB 2113: Arizona Motorsports
• HB 2119: Developmental Disabilities Awareness and Equine Education
• HB 2258: Father Kino
• HB 2271: Arizona Professional Golf
• HB 2384: Community College
• HB 2390: Grand Canyon University
• HB 2444: Firefighters
• SB 2384: Equality for All
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon