Governor Ducey Kicks Off Victims’ Rights Week With Signing Ceremonies For Two Victims’ Rights Bills

Emily Parkin

Bills Will Help Protect Arizonans From Antisemitic Crimes, Strengthen Emergency Orders Of Protection

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today held a ceremonial signing for two bills aimed at strengthening protections for Arizona crime victims.

The bill signings kick off Arizona Crime Victims’ Right Week, which recognizes Arizona’s national leadership in establishing constitutional rights for crime victims.

H.B. 2675

House Bill 2675, sponsored by Representative Leo Biasiucci of Lake Havasu City, requires the Arizona Department of Public Safety to collect information about criminal offenses that reveal any evidence of prejudice based on antisemitism. 

“Antisemitism remains a serious problem in our state and around the country,” said Governor Ducey at the signing ceremony. “I’m hopeful this legislation will help us fight antisemitism. We must continue to do all we can to protect Arizonans from antisemitism and ensure those of the Jewish faith are treated with respect, dignity, and humanity. Thank you to Rep. Biasiucci for sponsoring this legislation and leading on this issue.”

There were 733 acts of antisemitism nationwide in 2021, with 34 of those incidents in Arizona.

The bill also adds the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism to Arizona statute. By further defining antisemitism in statute, criminal justice agencies will be enabled to determine when crimes are committed out of prejudice.

“This critical legislation will confront antisemitic crimes, bias and discrimination,” said Rep. Biasiucci. “With a standard definition of antisemitism, our state law enforcement will be empowered to stop these horrible incidents. Under Governor Ducey’s leadership, Arizona has taken many actions to protect Arizonans from antisemitism. Today is another step in the right direction.”

H.B. 2604

The Governor also held a ceremonial signing for H.B. 2604 today, which increases the duration of an order of protection, allowing victims of a crime additional time to take measures for safety. The legislation was signed into law Friday.

“We want to ensure all victims can receive support in every corner of our state,” said Governor Ducey at the ceremony. “The bill in front of us is the latest action we’re taking to protect Arizonans who are victims of crime. With this law, victims can feel safe and secure for

longer without having to repeat the same judicial process. I want to thank Rep. Shawnna Bolick for sponsoring this legislation and advocating for Arizonans who are victims of crime.”

H.B. 2604 was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill further protects victims of crimes by doubling the duration of an order of protection to two years and increasing the duration of an emergency order to seven days.

“Victims of a crime should feel protected by their state and not live in fear for their safety,” said Rep. Shawnna Bolick of Phoenix, who sponsored the bill. “It was an honor to sponsor a bill that defends victims’ rights and helps to secure their safety. Thank you again to Governor Ducey for his continued commitment to crime victims.”

The Governor was joined by Senators Sonny Borrelli, David Gowan and Victoria Steele, and Representatives Walt Blackman, Paul Boyer, Alma Hernandez, Daniel Hernandez, Jennifer Jermaine, Robert Meza and Quang Nguyen, as well as House Speaker Rusty Bowers.

Additional Bills Signed

The Governor also signed 15 additional bills today, including:

S.B. 1157 asbestos claims; required information; liability (Leach)

S.B. 1163 individualized investigational treatment; availability; prohibitions (Barto)

S.B. 1311 health care workers; assault; prevention. (Barto)

H.B. 2159 law enforcement officers; polygraph; examinations (Kavanaugh)

H.B. 2203 special purpose banks; comparable; rights (Weninger)

H.B. 2410 environmental programs; amendments (Griffin)

H.B. 2411 coal combustion residuals program (Griffin)

H.B. 2449 care facilities; clergy visitation (Nguyen)

H.B. 2498 COVID-19; vaccination requirements; prohibition (Hoffman)

H.B. 2507 religious services; essential services (Toma)

H.B. 2579 residential zoning; park model trailers (Cook)

H.B. 2591 border security fund; administration (Grantham)

H.B. 2674 housing supply study committee (Kaiser)

H.B. 2616 mask mandates; minors; parental consent (Chaplik)

H.B. 2731 regulatory sandbox; expansion (Kaiser)

BACKGROUND

Arizona has a history of protecting men and women who are victims of crime. Arizona Crime Victims’ Rights Week is April 24 to April 30.

Just this month, Governor Ducey signed legislation to ensure victims of a sexual crime are not charged for any part of the medical or forensic examination related to the crime, fulfilling a priority outlined in his January State of the State Address

Arizona was one of the first states in the nation to establish a Victims’ Bill of Rights, protecting the rights of victims to justice and due process. 

Last year, Governor Ducey invested $1.2 million in the Victims Compensation and Assistance Fund to assist hundreds of Arizonans who are victims of crime and need financial support for counseling and other necessary services. 

In 2021, Arizona passed H.B. 2428 which requires a crime victim’s private identification and location information to be redacted from records disclosed to the defendant’s attorney or attorney’s staff.

In 2019, the Governor signed H.B. 2466, which strengthens protections for victims of child sexual abuse by extending the amount of time victims have to pursue civil action against perpetrators.

In 2019, Governor Ducey established the Justice for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse Task Force to provide recommendations to the state for further reforms to ensure victims are entitled to safety, healing, justice and restitution. One of these recommendations was S.B. 1660, which was signed into law in 2021. The law requires the Department of Child Safety (DCS) to ensure a child who is eight years of age or older receives materials and resources about sexual abuse, child sex trafficking and exploitation within 30 days of placement in out-of-home care.

In 2017, Governor Ducey signed legislation establishing time limits, standards and reporting requirements for the processing of rape kits to ensure all future kits are tested.

In 2016, Governor Ducey signed legislation protecting child victims who use therapy dogs. The bill requires courts to allow victims under 18 years of age to have a therapy dog accompany them when testifying in court.

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https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2022/04/governor-ducey-kicks-victims-rights-week-signing-ceremonies-two-victims-rights

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