Latest laws address trespassing, 'living wages,' business rights - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

Latest laws address trespassing, 'living wages,' business rights

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Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 1:45 pm | Updated: 12:58 pm, Wed May 8, 2013.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation Monday making it easier for police to arrest those who remain on someone else's property.

Current law says a property owner must first post a "no trespass'' sign or ask someone to leave before police can act. This legislation allows the owner to call police and have a responding officer make the request.

Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, said some people are afraid to leave their homes to confront people on their property. She said this eliminates that need.

The final version is narrower than Griffin's original proposal. She wanted to make it a crime to remain on someone's property within 100 miles of the Mexican border without specific written permission.

Griffin denied that this was ever aimed specifically at those crossing the border illegally. She said the earlier version was drawn up "under a deadline.''

Law keeps cities from adding 'living wage' ordinances

Arizona cities will be forbidden from enacting the own "living wage'' ordinances.

A measure signed by the governor Monday spells out that issues of wages and fringe benefits are strictly matters of statewide concern. More to the point, it means that local communities cannot adopt requirements for employers within their jurisdictions to pay more.

There are no such living wage ordinances now in Arizona. But lobbyists for the restaurant industry said they fear that cities here might follow the lead of communities elsewhere in setting standards.

Rep. Tom Forese, R-Chandler, who sponsored the legislation, said it is aimed at precluding what happened in places like San Francisco which apply their own minimum wage to all employers within the city. Forese said his legislation, which takes effect later this year, is not meant to stop cities forcing those who have contracts with the city to pay their employees a certain amount.

In Tucson, for example, the current minimum is $11.07 an hour for jobs that do not include insurance, or $9.84 for jobs with a company insurance plan.

Businesses earn right to keep health and safety audit private

Without comment, Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation Monday allow firms that conduct their own internal health and safety audits to keep them secret, at least from those who might sue.

Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek, said the measure will encourage companies to do more than state and federal laws now require to check the safety of their workplaces as well as their products if they know that what they find will not be used against them in court. The only requirement is that a firm must actively work to resolve the problem.

Foes of the measure said they are not convinced that hiding internal reports from those who have been injured actually improves safety in the long run.

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