asu_march282012If Rep. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, had his way, Arizona would immediately halt production of more than 40 specialty plates currently in circulation, such as the Golden Rule plate that benefits a fund promoting the rule in schools and communities, and one promoting spay/neuter efforts for pets.

Currently . . .
Currently, drivers with specialty plates pay an extra fee which is $25 above the basic cost for a plate. Of that $25, the state keeps $8 for administrative costs and passes along the other $17 to sponsoring charities.

purpleheart_march282012Rep. Farley Calls It Insanity
Farley has been quoted as saying, “This would finally end the insanity.” He feels it is not government’s role to do fundraising for private groups, no matter how noble the cause. He cites the State of Maryland as an example where this type of fundraising has gotten out of hand. Maryland, according to Farley, currently has 700 specialty plates.

breastcancer_march282012Bill Proposed

Farley’s committee authored House Bill 2313, which would stop production of most existing specialty plates. It would allow those who now have such a plate to renew it but direct their fees to a separate fund instead of a charity, and it would prevent the issue of any new specialty plates as of January 1, 2013.

donatelife_march282012Many Opponents of the Bill
Opponents of the bill protest that this ban would cut off vital finds for many charities, including scholarships to ASU, much needed spay/neuter funds, etc.

pearlharbor_march282012Bill Passed House Transportation Committee

The House Transportation Committee passed the bill on a 4-2 vote, with both Republicans and Democrats saying the barrage of specialty plates detracts from the main reason for having a license plate: easy identification of a vehicle.
navajonation_march282012Bill Blocked

Later, the bill hit a snag at the House Government Committee, when the chairman, Rep. Michelle Ugenti, block action on the bill. Ugenti, of Scottsdale, is herself the sponsor of a specialty plate to honor Fallen Heroes, which was inspired by the actions of Pat Tillman.

fallenpolice_march282012Rep. Farley Hasn’t Given Up Hope
Farley hasn’t given up hope of limiting specialty plates. He is talking with a senator interesting in tacking the provision onto a bill that’s still alive in the Senate. This latest version, if it happens, would ban the plates going forward, but grandfather in the 60 plates currently in circulation.

azfirefighter_march282012For More Information

For more information, see the Arizona Republic articles of February 16 and February 24, 2012.
What You Can Do
If you feel strongly about this issue, make your voice heard by contacting your Arizona state legislators. Click on either Senate or “House” for a complete contact list.