Administrative Histories P-R

This list of Administrative Histories briefly chronicles the history and changes within agencies, boards and commissions of the Arizona state government.

Each administrative history includes:

  • The legal authority
  • Function
  • History
  • Sources where this information was located

For more information on Arizona state government history or on the entries in this collection, contact, or 602-926-3870.

List Provided by:

The State Library of Arizona
A  Division of the Arizona Secretary of State
Holly Henley, State Librarian

Agency Histories P-R (as of September 02, 2016)

Arizona State Parks Board Arizona Department of Racing
Personnel Board, State Radiation Regulatory Agency (ARRA) and Regulatory Hearing Board, Arizona
Postsecondary Education, Commission for Regulatory Review Council, Governor’s
Power Authority, Arizona Residential Utility Consumer Office (RUCO)
Prescott Historical Society Retirement System, Arizona State (ASRS)
Private Postsecondary Education, State Board for Department of Revenue
Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS)

Agencies by Title


Arizona State Parks Board


Established by an emergency act of the Legislature (Laws 1957, Ch. 99); the bill was signed by Governor McFarland on March 25, 1957. Current authority is found in A.R.S. §§41-511 to 41-511.23


According to the Arizona State Parks Board website, its mission is “Managing and conserving Arizona’s natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our Parks and through our Partners.”


The draft bill for the State Parks Board as approved by the Arizona State Parks Association and supported by the grazing and agriculture interests was introduced as House Bill 72 and as Senate Bill 61 in 1957 during the 23rd Legislature. In the House the bill was introduced by the Committee on Livestock and Public Lands. Because of the strong public support, House Bill 72 passed the House during the week of February 11, 1957. Senator Robert E. Morrow, an advocate of the state parks system who had first introduced state parks legislation five years earlier, guided the House bill through its passage in the Senate.

The legislation mandated the State Parks Board to “Select, acquire, preserve, establish and maintain areas of natural features, scenic beauty, historical and scientific interest, and zoos and botanical gardens, for the education, pleasure, recreation, and health of the people, and for such other purposes as may be prescribed by law.”


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State Personnel Board


The State Personnel Board hears appeals filed by covered state employees regarding dismissal, suspension or demotion. Statutory authority is found in A.R.S.§§41-781 et seq. The current State Personnel Board (Board) was established by Laws 1972, Chapter 141, and replaced the State Personnel Commission which had existed since 1968. Statutory authority has been amended a number of times since the Board was originally created.


The Board hears and reviews appeals relating to personnel actions taken against state employees, dismissals from state service, suspensions of more than 80 working hours and demotions resulting from disciplinary actions. The Board also hears and reviews complaints filed under the whistleblower statutes (A.R.S.§§38-531 et seq.).

The Board may uphold a disciplinary decision; recommend modification of an agency’s disciplinary action; or reverse a decision and return the employee to the same positon held before the dismissal or demotion. The agency involved can accept, modify or reverse the Board’s decision. An appeals process for decisions of the Board or the agency is provided in statute (A.R.S.§ 41-783). The Board consists of five members, appointed by the Governor to three-year terms.


The origin of the State Personnel Board can be traced back to 1968, when the State Personnel Commission was established as part of the State Personnel Administration (Laws 1968, Chapter 200). The Commission was authorized to develop and administer a program of personnel administration for the state; promulgate rules and regulations, including a classification plan for all positions in state service and provisions for competitive examinations for those positions; hear and review appeals; conduct investigations; and establish offices as needed to maintain an effective and economical program of personnel administration. The Commission was also authorized to meet with the Law Enforcement Merit System Council to discuss matters of mutual concern (See Law Enforcement Merit System Council, this document).

In 1972, the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) was created and assumed responsibility for the State Personnel Commission. The ADOA also assumed responsibility for several other agencies, including: the Department of Library and Archives; the Department of Public Buildings Maintenance; the Department of Finance; the Surplus Property Agency, the Board of History and Archives; and the Historical Advisory Commission. Property, funds and personnel related to those agencies were transferred to ADOA as well (Laws 1972, Chapter 141). ADOA was organized into six divisions, one of which was Personnel Administration and created the State Personnel Board, consisting of five members appointed by the Governor to five year terms. The chairman of the Board served as an ex-officio member of the Law Enforcement Merit System Council, without voting privileges. The effective date of the act was July 1, 1973.

Laws 2001, Chapter 21 provided the Board 45 days, rather than 30 days, to issue a decision and provide notice to affected parties.

Comprehensive personnel reform legislation adopted in 2012 modified certain provisions of the State Personnel Board (Laws 2012, Chapter 321).


  • Arizona Revised Statutes § 41-781 et seq.
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1968, Chapter 200
    • Laws 1972, Chapter 141
    • Laws 2001, Chapter 21
    • Laws 2012, Chapter 321
  • Master List of State Programs

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Commission for Postsecondary Education (Commission)


The predecessor to the Commission was formed by executive order and for a time, was part of the Arizona Board of Regents. The Commission for Postsecondary Commission was established as a statutory entity in 1994.  Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§15-1851 through 15-1856.


The Commission reviews public and private postsecondary education institutions to determine their eligibility for student financial monies; administers federal and state student financial assistance programs; provides a forum for public and private postsecondary institutions to discuss issues of mutual concern; coordinates studies of interest to postsecondary institutions; and provides information to the public on postsecondary education opportunities in Arizona. (Laws 2008, Chapter 235, Purpose clause)

The Commission is authorized to administer a number of student financial assistance programs including the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership grant, the Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarships Program, the Postsecondary Education Grant Program, and the Mathematics, Science and Special Education Teacher student loan program.

Arizona’s College Savings Plan is sponsored by the state and administered by the Commission.  This plan provides certain tax benefits to residents who establish a savings account designated for college expenses.  These plans, also known as 529 plans, are named after a section of the federal income tax code, and are sponsored by a number of states in partnership with financial institutions.


Executive orders

Governor Fannin designated the Arizona Board of Regents and the State College of Arizona as the Arizona State Commission for purposes of the Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963 (P.L. 88-204).  This designation was in place from 1964 to 1966.  In 1966, an emergency rule was adopted changing the name to the Arizona Commission for Higher Education, which existed until 1974.

In 1974, Governor Williams established the Arizona Commission for Post Secondary Education by executive order to develop comprehensive inventories and conduct studies regarding public and private postsecondary educational resources in Arizona.   The Commission consisted of 14 members, appointed by the Governor to three-year terms.  The 1974 Executive Order also transferred duties previously assigned to the Arizona Commission for Higher Education, including programs related to the Federal Higher Education Act of 1965.  (See Executive Order 74-5)

In 1977, Governor Castro placed the Commission under the general supervision of the Arizona Board of Regents.  (See Executive Order 77-7)  In 1988, Governor Mofford issued an executive order establishing the Commission as an advisory council under the general supervision of the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR); modified Commission responsibilities; designated ABOR as the administrator for federal and state student financial assistance programs; and updated references to the Federal Higher Education Act of 1965. (See Executive Order 88-23)

In 1991, Governor Symington placed the Commission under the general supervision of the Governor, rather than ABOR, and transferred responsibility for administration of related federal programs to the Commission. (See Executive Order 91-13)  Two years later, in response to federal requirements for each state to designate a state postsecondary review entity responsible for conducting institutional eligibility reviews, Governor Symington amended EO 91-13, continuing the Commission until December 31, 1994, “unless superseded by state legislation” thereby setting the stage for legislative establishment of an independent state agency. (See Executive Order 93-22)

The Commission for Postsecondary Education was established legislatively in 1994.

Session Laws

Laws 1994, Chapter 298 established a 16-member Commission, outlined its powers and duties, and created the Postsecondary Education Fund.  The purpose of the Commission was to “supervise, coordinate and review postsecondary education institutions to determine eligibility of those programs for federal student financial aid monies.”

Laws 1996, Chapter 354 modified Commission duties to allow the establishment of policy centers, to require studies of enrollment demand and to require coordination of curriculum and capital plans of public and private higher education institutions.

Laws 1998, Chapter 235 modified the responsibilities of the Commission, revised provisions regarding administration of the Postsecondary Education Fund and the Private Postsecondary Education Student Financial Assistance Program, and required the Commission to provide quarterly financial reports to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.  The measure also renamed the Postsecondary Education Voucher Pilot Program as the Private Postsecondary Education Student Financial Assistance Program.

Laws 1999, Chapter 21 renamed the State Student Incentive Grant program as the Leveraging Education Assistance Partnership (LEAP) in response to reauthorization of the federal Higher Education Act.

Laws 2003, Chapter 187 added a representative of an Arizona charter school to the Commission, increasing total membership to 17.

Laws 2004, Chapter 336 removed the representative of the State Board of Directors for Community Colleges from the Commission, changing the total membership to 16.

Laws 2007, Chapter 280 modified eligibility requirements for the Postsecondary Education Grant Program.

Laws 2008, Chapter 287, the budget reconciliation bill for education, modified eligibility requirements for financial assistance programs administered by the Commission and included sunset continuation language to continue the Commission until 2010.

Laws 2010, Chapter 332 required the Commission to administer the mathematics, science and special education teacher student loan program.

Laws 2011, Chapter 83 eliminated the requirement for the Commission to provide quarterly reports on fund deposits and expenditures to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.


Arizona Revised Statues

Session Laws

  • Laws 1994, Chapter 298
  • Laws 1996, Chapter 354
  • Laws 1998, Chapter 235
  • Laws 1999, Chapter 21
  • Laws 2003, Chapter 187
  • Laws 2004, Chapter 336
  • Laws 2007, Chapter 280
  • Laws 2008, Chapter 287
  • Laws 2010, Chapter 332
  • Laws 2011, Chapter 248

Executive Orders:  EO 74-5; EO 76-5; EO 77-7; EO 88-23; EO 91-13; EO 93-22.

Arizona Auditor General Performance Audit: Commission for Postsecondary Education, November 1997.  Report No. 97-19.

Arizona Auditor General Performance Audit and Sunset Review: Commission for Postsecondary Education, October 2007.  Report No. 07-09.

Arizona Documents Classification System, 1993.  Compiled by Elsa Black and Carl Cross,

Page 80.

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Arizona Power Authority


The Arizona Power Authority (APA) was created in 1944 to obtain Arizona’s share of hydroelectric energy generated on the Colorado River. It is administered by a five-member commission. Current statutory authority is found in A.R.S.§ 30-101 et seq.


The Arizona Power Authority manages Arizona’s allocation of hydroelectric power generated from the Hoover Dam. The power generated is delivered to several western states. Hoover Dam was constructed in order to control the Colorado River floods, provide storage and delivery of stored water among western states, and to generate electricity as a means to provide a source of funding for the project. The APA works with federal, state and non-governmental agencies to address regulatory and environmental matters related to electric generation and water use of the Colorado River.

For example, the APA participates in the Engineering and Operations Committee, a forum for the 15 agencies who purchase power from Hoover Dam, which reviews the plan of operation developed by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Western Area Power Authority. The APA has electric and transmission contracts with the Western Area Power Authority. The APA also participates in the Lower Colorado River Multi Species Conservation Plan, which is designed to create riparian, marsh and backwater habitat for fish, birds, mammals and plants.

The APA is a self-supporting agency, governed by a five-member commission, appointed by the Governor to six-year terms.


The APA was established by the Legislature in 1944 to obtain electric power developed from the mainstream of the Colorado River and to sell the power to qualified purchasers. Hoover power is produced by the Boulder Canyon Project hydropower plant, owned by the federal Bureau of Reclamation. Power is transmitted to Arizona, California and Nevada. Hoover Dam was dedicated in 1935 and the Hoover Power plant was in full operation in 1936. The APA first contracted for Arizona’s share of Hoover power in 1952.

Governor Sidney Osborn explained his reasons for signing the bill in a letter to Secretary of State Dan Garvey, dated March 27, 1944 which reads in part “….the Power Authority Act of 1944…marks..forward movement to derive benefit from hydro-electric energy…generated on the Colorado River.”  He believed it was vital to obtain the electric power allotted to Arizona by Congress.  He also stated “The Power Authority Act of 1944 may be regarded as supplementary to the recent Acts of the Legislature approving the Colorado River Contract and [Colorado River] Compact.  Those two measures address apportionment, storage and delivery of Arizona’s share of Colorado River water.   His three-page letter is found at the end of Laws 1944, Chapter 32, 2nd Special Session.  See also Laws 1944, Chapter 4, 1st Special Session and Laws 1944, Chapter 5, 1st Special Session.

Laws 1945, Chapter 14, First Special Session transferred the powers and duties of the Colorado River Commission related to power generated by the Colorado River to the Arizona Power Authority. Other responsibilities of the Colorado River Commission related to rights to the waters of the Colorado River were transferred to the State Land Commissioner in his capacity as State Water Commissioner. See history of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, elsewhere in this document.

Laws 1947, Chapter 139 modified the jurisdiction, powers and duties of the APA Commission; the issuance of power purchase certificates; power apportionment, sales and rates; and certain fiscal matters. In 1947, Congress changed the name of Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam, requiring conforming changes to state statutes.

Laws 1956, Chapter 151 addressed development programs to utilize power and construct water facilities; disposition of power and establishment of power rates; construction and maintenance of dams; and preservation of existing water rights.

Laws 1971, Chapter 49 established the Arizona Water Commission, replacing the Arizona Interstate Stream Commission. The Legislature included a statement of intent, explaining the measure is not intended to alter, amend or restrict the powers and duties of the APA. The Water Commission is required to coordinate and confer with the APA.

In 1974 the Legislature required the APA to encourage activities, including research and development, which would investigate solar, nuclear and geothermal energy. The APA was authorized to bargain for, take and receive the energy in its name on behalf of the state. See Laws 1974, Chapter 21.

In 1984, a plan to increase the capacity of existing generating equipment at the Hoover Dam Power plant was approved at the federal level. Rather than appropriate federal funds, Congress required prospective purchasers of the increased capacity and associated energy to contribute to financing the “Uprating Program.” The APA financed a portion of the Uprating Program by issuing bonds.


  • A.R.S.§ 30-101 et seq.
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1944, Chapter 4, 1st Special Session
    • Laws 1944, Chapter 5, 1st Special Session
    • Laws 1944, Chapter 32, 2nd Special Session
    • Laws 1945, Chapter 14, 1st Special Session
    • Laws 1947, Chapter 139
    • Laws 1956, Chapter 151
    • Laws 1971, Chapter 49
    • Laws 1974, Chapter 21
  • Arizona Power Authority 55th Annual Report – 2013
  • Master List of State Programs
  • US Bureau of Reclamation:

Related collections at Arizona State Archives

  • Record Group 75 – Arizona Power Authority
  • Record Group 25 – Colorado River Commission

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Prescott Historical Society


The Prescott Historical Society was established in 1964.  Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§41-831 through 41-834.


The Society is responsible for preserving and maintaining the Sharlot Hall Museum, the territorial gubernatorial mansion located in Prescott, Arizona and other historical collections. The Society is authorized to purchase, receive, hold, lease and sell property for the benefit of the state and the use of the Society.

A fifteen-member Board of Trustees (Board) administers and holds in trust property acquired by the Society.  The Board is authorized to employ a director, archivists, researchers and other personnel as needed.  The Board may also employ the services of professional consultants on a fee basis within the limits of legislative appropriations.  The Board is elected from members of the Society to three-year terms.



The Prescott Historical Society was established as a state agency in 1964 to operate the Sharlot Hall museum and territorial gubernatorial mansion.  The Society and its Board of Trustees also maintains historical collections and makes the collections, materials and data available to the public. The Society is supported by state and private funds.

Session Laws

Laws 1964 Chapter 50 established the Prescott Historical Society, outlined its powers and duties,  provided for a Board of Trustees, authorized the Society to maintain certain historical properties and historical collections and allowed the Society to collect fees for pamphlets, books, bulletins, and reports published by the Society.  The measure also authorized the Society to collect fees for items acquired for resale and exhibits loaned to other museums or societies.

Laws 2004, Chapter 55 allowed the Society to charge fees for making historical collections, materials and data available to the public.


Arizona Revised Statutes

Session Laws

  • Laws 1964, Chapter 50
  • Laws 1996, Chapter 91
  • Laws 2004, Chapter 55

Sunset Review of the Prescott Historical Society of Arizona, Committee of Reference Report, December 2015.

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State Board for Private Postsecondary Education (Board)


The State Board for Private Postsecondary Education was created by Laws 1970, Chapter 86. Current authority for the Board can be found in A.R.S. §§32-3001 et seq.


The Board is responsible for licensing and regulating private, postsecondary education institutions, both vocational and degree granting. The Board can retain personnel to carry out their duties, investigate complaints against license holders, compel attendance or testimony on matters within their jurisdiction, and take disciplinary action.  The Board also administers the Student Tuition Recovery Fund.

The Board accepts various monies (federal, private grants, gifts) that remain in the Board for Private Postsecondary Education Fund and do not revert to the State General Fund at the end of the year.

The Board is made up of seven members appointed by the Governor to four year terms. Five of the Board members must be executives or managers from private educational institutions (2 vocational, one granting associate’s degrees, and two granting baccalaureate or higher degrees). The remaining Board members must be citizens of Arizona, occupied in commerce or industry for at least three years. Board members serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Board is required to meet at least four times a year.


Laws 1970, Chapter 86 created a State Board for Private Technical and Business Schools (originally found at A.R.S. §§ 15-931 et seq.), specifically exempting religious and other private academic schools from its control. This essentially meant what might be called trade, technical, or vocational schools would be under the purview of Board, but not more academically focused or college preparatory institutions. Other aspects of the original Board and its powers largely mirror the 2015 Board: a seven member board; licensure, subpoena, and investigatory powers; and the right to discipline institutions found to be in violation of the law.   The measure also established a fund consisting of 90 percent of all fees collected to be used to defray Board expenses and prosecute violations of the law.

Laws 1981, Chapter 1 recodified A.R.S. Title 15 (the education code), which resulted in transferring and renumbering the Board statutes to Title 32 (professions and occupations).  The recodification did not change the meaning or substance of the law.

Laws 1984, Chapter 146 made significant changes and created the modern incarnation of the Board by transferring powers, equipment, employees and monies from the State Board of Private Technical and Business Schools to its successor agency, the State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.  In addition, the Board now had licensing and oversight authority for not just vocational schools, but private degree granting institutions as well.

Laws 1985, Chapter 338 required an annual report to be published, containing placement rates and salaries earned by students completing vocational programs during the prior fiscal year.  Private vocational program licensees were required to provide specific information to the Center for Vocational Education in order to prepare the report.  The first report was due by March 1, 1986.  Note: The requirement for the Board to provide information was deleted by Laws 2000, Chapter 92.

Laws 1986, Chapter 164 modified the powers of the Board relating to investigations and disciplinary actions.

Laws 1987, Chapter 270 increased license fees and established a sliding fee scale based on annual gross tuition revenue that applied to renewals of a private vocational program license. Increases were subsequently enacted in 1991 and 1996.  See Laws 1991, Chapter 89 and Laws 1996, Chapter 67.

Laws 1989, Chapter 195 and Laws 2005, Chapter 204 made changes to disciplinary actions and remedies available to the Board, significantly adding to the types of disciplinary action available to the Board. Laws 2005, Chapter 204 added a number of actions that could result in disciplinary action, including harming students or sexual misconduct.

The Student Tuition Recovery Fund was also created by Laws 1989, Chapter 195 and administered by the Board.  A per-student assessment was authorized in order to provide a source of revenue for the Fund.  The Fund was created to protect students against instances where an institution ceased operations before fulfilling contractual obligations or fully providing the services for which a student had prepaid their tuition.  Institutions that are accredited regionally or by a specialized agency recognized by the United States Department of Education are exempt from the per-student assessment. This exemption tends to remove most academic institutions from consideration since regional accreditation is typically a baseline requirement for other institutions (i.e. a graduate school) to accept your credits. Students were able to apply for relief of their actual damages from the Fund.

Laws 1990, Chapter 361 expanded grounds for disciplinary action to include false or misleading advertisement, solicitation or recruitment practices.

Laws 1993, Chapter 195 increased the per-student assessment, used to provide revenue for the Student Tuition Recovery Fund, from a maximum of $4 to a maximum of $10 per student.  The law also provided immunity to Board members and employees from personal liability with respect to Board-related actions taken in good faith.

Laws 2000, Chapter 92 was an omnibus bill which addressed licensing, fees, bonding, civil penalties, administration of and claims against the Student Tuition Recovery Fund.

Laws 2008, Chapter 211 exempted licensed nursing schools and licensed drivers’ education schools from Board oversight.  Laws 2011, Chapter 141 exempted training programs for managers and caregivers in assisted living facilities from Board oversight.

Laws 2014, Chapter 213 allowed the Board to enter into intergovernmental agreements  to manage reciprocity agreements with regard to private postsecondary distance education programs.


  • Arizona Revised Statutes
    • §32-3001 et seq.
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1970, Chapter 86
    • Laws 1981, Chapter 1
    • Laws 1984, Chapter 146
    • Laws 1985, Chapter 338
    • Laws 1986, Chapter 164
    • Laws 1987, chapter 270
    • Laws 1989, Chapter 195
    • Laws 1990, Chapter 361
    • Laws 1991, Chapter 89
    • Laws 1993, Chapter 195
    • Laws 1996, Chapter 67
    • Laws 2000, Chapter 92
    • Laws 2005, Chapter 204
    • Laws 2008, Chapter 211
    • Laws 2011, Chapter 141
    • Laws 2014, Chapter 213

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Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS)


Established in 1968, the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) administers the statewide retirement program for public safety personnel who are regularly assigned hazardous duty while employed by the state of Arizona or its political subdivisions. Statutory authority is found at A.R.S.§§38-841 et seq.


PSPRS provides a uniform, statewide retirement system for public safety personnel (municipal firemen and policemen, employees of the Arizona Highway Patrol, and other public safety personnel) who are employed by the state of Arizona or a political subdivision. The PSPRS is funded through cost-sharing contributions from the member and member’s employer.

PSPRS is a defined benefit plan, administered at the local level according to statute (A.R.S.§38-847). Each Local Board determines any questions of eligibility for membership, service credits, or benefits via hearing.

The Board of Trustees provides oversight for investments and accounts for contributions received from, and benefits distributed for, each local board pursuant to A.R.S.§38-848.  Although the Board is not responsible for the actions or omissions of the local boards, it has the authority to seek review or rehearing in order to protect the System as a whole. The Board of Trustees is made up of seven members, appointed by the Governor to five-year terms.


The PSPRS was created by Laws 1968, Chapter 85 in response to widely varying retirement benefits available to public safety personnel under local, municipal, and state retirement programs. Effective July 1, 1968, it put “public safety personnel who are regularly assigned hazardous duty in the employ of the state of Arizona or a political subdivision” in the PSPRS and took possession of the assets and liabilities accumulated under existing local, municipal, and state retirement systems, placing them in a special fund created for that purpose. Prior service credit was also transferred at the time of the PSPRS’ creation.

When created, the PSPRS standardized employee contribution rates, benefits eligibility, types of benefit protection, and benefit formulas and provided a pension at the normal retirement age; in the case of accidental disability; or after 25 years of service. The pension amount was determined by taking 50% of a person’s average monthly compensation, less 50% of the amount of their Social Security benefit. Service greater than or less than 25 years increased or decreased the pension pay out as well.

Terminating service for any reason other than death meant the accumulated contribution was paid out in a lump sum. An annuity could be created instead of receiving the lump sum, provided the employee had at least 10 years of service. Additionally, pensions were provided for widows as well as guardians of eligible children of deceased members.

The system was to be administered by local boards for the Highway Patrol (later the Department of Public Safety), each county, each municipal fire department, and each municipal police department. An exception was made for state employees who were not in the Highway Patrol which required the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) board (rather than a separate local board) to administer hearings and claims for those state employees. Membership and eligibility requirements to serve on a local board were outlined in the legislation.

Local boards were tasked with creating and enforcing rules and regulations for the system, as well as providing a forum for grievances and hearings. Local boards did not handle any investing, though they were expected to review the performance of the fund manager and provide annual reports on their own actions as requested. They were also responsible for appointing a physician or clinic to act as a medical board for disability claims, as well as providing physical exams for new employees.

A fund manager oversaw the actual investments of the PSPRS. The fund manager actually consisted of three members, appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate. The fund manager had sole and full discretion over investments, but could not invest too heavily in any one corporation or type of security. A report of contributions to the fund by employers and overall financial behavior of the fund was required from the fund manager.

Since the PSPRS was established, a number of legislative enactments have modified the formula to determine annual benefits and to establish the years of service required in order to receive a pension. Below are some major changes. The reader should consult the PSPRS Annual Reports for year by year changes.  For example:

Laws 1971, Chapter 74 removed the amount of social security received from the pension calculation.

Laws 1971, Chapter 143 reduced the number of years required to be eligible for a pension from 25 to 20 years of creditable service.

Laws 1983, Chapter 300 allowed a member to receive up to 70% of their average monthly compensation, increasing the cap from the previous 60%.

Statutory requirements related to creation and appointment to Local Boards changed over time.  Below are some major changes; however the reader should consult the PSPRS Annual Reports or other sources for year-by-year changes.

Laws 1972, Chapter 163 removed the requirement of Senate approval for the governor appointed members of the Department of Safety local board.

Laws 1980, Chapter 146 created a disability board of appeals, but was repealed 3 years later.

Laws 1982, Chapter 4 allowed a mayor or chief local official to appoint a designee as the chair of a local board, contingent on the approval of the respective governing body. Laws 1982, Chapter 111 provided the Governor no longer appointed three PSPRS members to make up state agency local boards, but three citizens instead. Two PSPRS members are elected to join them, at which time all five members vote on a chairman.

Laws 2010, Chapter 118 empowered the fund manager to appoint members of a local board if all vacancies have not been filled within 60 days of an employer’s effective date of participation in the PSPRS.

Many changes and additions have been enacted regarding the groups participating in the PSPRS.  As a result, additional local boards have been created for: the Department of Public Safety, the Game and Fish Department, the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University (Laws 1982, Chapter 111); Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (Laws 1986, Chapter 88); police officers and firefighters employed by a nonprofit running a public airport (Laws 1988, Chapter 19); firefighters employed by fire districts (Laws 1989, Chapter 197); police officers employed by a community college district (Laws 1990, Chapter 411); county sheriff’s offices, county attorney offices, the Department of Law, and Indian reservation police and fire fighting agencies (Laws 1992, Chapter 341); Department of Administration (Laws 1994, Chapter 130; removed by Laws 2011, Chapter 27); Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (Laws 1995, Chapter 205); Arizona Department of Agriculture (Laws 1999, Chapter 327); county parks departments and the Arizona State Parks Board (Laws 2001, Chapter 353).

Laws 2010, Chapter 200 renamed the PSPRS Fund Manager as the Board of Trustees, and modified the structure of the Board by increasing the number of members from five to seven and increasing their terms from three years to five years.


  • A.R.S.§§38-841 et seq.
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1968, Chapter 85
    • Laws 1971, Chapter 74
    • Laws 1971, Chapter 143
    • Laws 1972, Chapter 163
    • Laws 1980, Chapter 146
    • Laws 1982, Chapter 4
    • Laws 1982, Chapter 111
    • Laws 1983, Chapter 300
    • Laws 1986, Chapter 88
    • Laws 1988, Chapter 19
    • Laws 1989, Chapter 197
    • Laws 1990, Chapter 411
    • Laws 1992, Chapter 341
    • Laws 1994, Chapter 130
    • Laws 1995, Chapter 205
    • Laws 1999, Chapter 327
    • Laws 2001, Chapter 353
    • Laws 2010, Chapter 118
    • Laws 2010, Chapter 200
    • Laws 2011, Chapter 27
  • Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System annual reports (consult for year by year changes). See

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Arizona Department of Racing (1982-2015)

Arizona Racing Commission (1949 – present)

See Department of Gaming

Authority – Transferred

The Arizona Racing Commission was established in 1949 (Laws 1949, Chapter 61).  In 1982, the Legislature established The Arizona Department of Racing (Laws 1982, Chapter 310). The 1982 law was designed “to regulate the racing industry in Arizona for the protection of the public peace, safety and welfare through the strengthening of the Arizona Racing Commission and creation of an Arizona Department of Racing administered by a director with significant business and administrative experience.”   Responsibilities for racing, pari-mutuel wagering, boxing and mixed martial arts were transferred to the Arizona Department of Gaming in 2015. Statutory authority for racing and pari-mutuel wagering is found in A.R.S. §§5-101 et seq. and authority for boxing is found in A.R.S. §§5-221 et seq.


According to the Arizona Department of Racing website, the department’s mission was “To regulate and supervise pari-mutuel racing and wagering conducted in Arizona in order to protect racing participants and the wagering public.” In 1992, the agency’s responsibilities were expanded to include the regulation and supervision of boxing and mixed martial arts events conducted in Arizona to protect all participants in those events.

According to the State Auditor General’s office, “The Arizona Department of Racing and the Arizona Racing Commission together regulate pari-mutuel horse and dog racing and wagering in Arizona, although the Department provides direct day-to-day oversight of racing activities.”


In 1949, the Legislature created the Arizona Racing Commission and legalized pari-mutuel waging. The Legislature created the Arizona Department of Racing in 1982 to regulate and supervise pari-mutuel racing and wagering conducted in Arizona in order to protect racing participants and the wagering public. Until 2015, the Department was responsible for regulating all commercial and county fair horse racing meetings, Greyhound racing meetings, and pari-mutuel wagering. Additionally, the Department was responsible for collecting pari-mutuel taxes and other fees for distribution to the State General Fund and eight statutorily established funds. Before the Department was created, the Arizona Racing Commission performed those regulatory activities.

In 1992, Department responsibilities were expanded to include boxing and mixed martial arts.   The Boxing Commission was formed to provide physical and financial protection to participants and those interested in the sport.  The Boxing Commission retained jurisdiction over boxing contests and licensing, while the Department assumed responsibility for financial and accounting functions.  The measure authorized the Department and the Boxing Commission to enter into an intergovernmental agreement to provide office space, communications services and administrative support.  See Laws 1992, Chapter 337.

In 2015, the Legislature transferred the responsibilities of the Arizona Department of Racing to the Department of Gaming.  The consolidation conveyed regulatory authority for horse racing, dog racing, harness racing, pari-mutuel wagering, boxing and mixed martial arts to the Department of Gaming, effective July 3, 2015.  See Laws 2105, Chapter 19.


Arizona Revised Statutes

Session Laws

  • Laws 1949, Chapter 61
  • Laws 1982, Chapter 310
  • Laws 1992, Chapter 337
  • Laws 2015, Chapter 19

Related collections at Arizona State Archives: RG 190 – Racing Commission

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Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (ARRA) and Radiation Regulatory Hearing Board (Board)

(Sunset and audit reviews of these bodies are generally conducted together)


The Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (ARRA) was originally known as the Arizona Atomic Energy Commission, and was established by Laws 1964, Chapter 30. Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§30-651 et seq.

The Arizona Radiation Regulatory Hearing Board (Board) was added by Laws 1980, Chapter 206, and is part of the structure of ARRA. Statutory authority for the Board is found at A.R.S. §30-653 and §30-655


ARRA is responsible for protecting public health and safety by regulating, inspecting and licensing the use and sources of radiation statewide. ARRA is also responsible for performing any administrative and enforcement duties assigned to Arizona by the Southwestern Low-level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact. The agency is currently led by a director, appointed by the Governor, to administer the agency and serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

The Radiation Regulatory Hearing Board, consisting of five members appointed by the Governor, reviews orders of the director and/or agency. ARRA is authorized to develop and enforce rules and regulations for controlling ionizing and nonionizing radiation. The Board reviews and approves rules and substantive policy statements adopted by the agency.

ARRA is divided into six program areas:

  • Radioactive Materials (RAM): issues licenses and inspects medical, industrial, and academic users of radioactive materials.
  • XRay Compliance (XRAY): registers and inspects x-ray producing machines statewide.
  • Non-ionizing Radiation Compliance (NIR): registers and inspects non-ionizing radiation devices, such as certain types of lasers, tanning beds, and radiofrequency devices; also licenses laser technicians for cosmetic procedures.
  • Radiation Measurements Laboratory (RML): monitors radiation levels around the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, and is responsible for public information and technical guidance on measuring radon statewide.
  • Emergency Response (ER): prepares for and responds to radiation accidents statewide; includes training for police, fire, and medical personnel.
  • Medical Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners (MRTBE): licenses professionals practicing in various specialties of medical imaging and therapy using ionizing radiation statewide; hears complaints against licensees, investigates allegations, and conducts administrative adjudication.


The Arizona Atomic Energy Commission (Commission) was the precursor to ARRA and was created by Laws 1964, Chapter 30. The Legislature’s declaration of policy recognized the benefits of developing and using atomic energy and ionizing radiation for the public health and welfare, but also recognized the dangers associated with radiation and its sources. The declared public policy of the state was to encourage the development of radiologic technologies, while also prohibiting and controlling unnecessary radiation. Therefore, the Commission was established to take over some responsibilities of the United States Atomic Energy Commission; to adopt rules, regulations, and standards for the use and sources of atomic energy and ionizing radiation; to conduct studies and disseminate information; and coordinate with other states and the federal government.

The Commission originally consisted of the director of the Arizona Development Board, the commissioner of the State Health Department, and ten additional members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The ten additional members were from industry, with education and training in the fields of radiology, pathology, medicine, other healing arts, health physics, or related sciences. The appointed members served staggered five year terms. The Commission was authorized to appoint a director, subject to approval by the governor, to serve at the pleasure of the Commission and governor. The director assisted the Commission in administering and enforcing statutory requirements, as well as the rules and regulations adopted by the Commission.

Laws 1970, Chapter 70, changed the Commission membership and qualifications. Under this law, the Commission was to consist of the executive director of the Department of Economic Planning and Development, the commissioner of the State Department of Health, and ten additional members. The additional members were still appointed by the Governor with approval of the Senate, but were now required to have a minimum of four years of education or experience in the use or control of atomic energy or radiation. They also were required to be associated with at least one of the following fields: medicine including radiology, radiation protection, higher education, nuclear services, manufacturing, electric power generation, agriculture, mining, or other commerce.

Laws 1978, Chapter 160, authorized the Commission to charge fees for licenses and established a radioactive material processing operations license fund. Chapter 160 also provided the Commission with the authority over all radioactive waste materials in the state, the authority to acquire property for radioactive waste materials storage and created the Radiation and Perpetual Care Fund.  Monies in the Fund were to be used for decommissioning, stabilization, control, storage or disposal of radioactive material.

Laws 1980, Chapter 206 abolished the Commission, and created the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency and the Radiation Regulatory Hearing Board, transferring duties, funds, personnel, records, equipment and contracts. The powers and duties of the new agency were largely the same as the Commission’s had been, however the internal structure changed. ARRA was now led by a director, appointed by the Governor, and given the authority to administer and enforce statutes, rules and regulations.   The measure also renamed the Radioactive Material Processing Operations License Fund as the Radiation Regulatory License and Registration Fund.

Instead of a commission, the new agency included a five-member Board, appointed by the Governor to five year terms. Board members were required to have at least four years of education or experience in the use or control of atomic energy or radiation. One member was required to be an expert in medicine or health, another member to be an expert in nuclear energy, and the remaining three were public members otherwise qualified to serve on the Board. The Board was authorized to conduct hearings, review orders of the director or agency and consider appeals by a party adversely affected by an order of the director or agency. The Board was also authorized to review rules and regulations promulgated by ARRA and make recommendations to the agency and the Legislature.

Laws 1980, Chapter 206 also added authority for ARRA to impose routine enforcement actions, civil penalties, and escalated enforcement actions, for violations of rules, regulations, or license requirements imposed by ARRA.

Laws 1984, Chapter 380 adopted the Western Low-level  Waste Disposal Compact, designated ARRA as the agency responsible for administering and enforcing any duties assigned to Arizona by the Compact and established the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Low-level Waste to review proposals under consideration by the Board and to monitor actions of member states.

Laws 1986, Chapter 279 deleted the Radiation Regulatory License and Registration Fund, transferred all unexpended and unencumbered monies to the State General Fund and redirected license fees to the State General Fund.

Laws 1987, Chapter 369 added several statutory provisions relating to disposal of low-level radioactive waste, licensing requirements, permits, fees, surcharges, decommissioning, funding and liability.  The law also required the Director of ARRA to submit recommendations for siting a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility in Arizona and authorized the Director to contract with an operator if the site was approved by the Legislature.  Note:  This provision, and its related $200,000 appropriation, was repealed the following year by Laws 1988, Chapter 291.

Laws 1988, Chapter 290 repealed the ratification of the Western Low-level Waste Disposal Compact and enacted the Southwestern Low-level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact. ARRA remained the designated agency to administer and enforce Arizona’s assigned duties under the Compact.

Laws 1992, Chapter 35 gave ARRA the authority to regulate mammography. The law also changed the Board qualifications to require one member to be an expert in medicine or health, one member to be an expert in nuclear energy, one member to be an expert in mammography, and the remaining two members to be public members who are otherwise qualified.

Laws 1996, Chapter 153 changed the powers and duties of the Board by requiring the Board to review rules, regulations and substantive policy statements promulgated or adopted by ARRA. The law also required ARRA to submit reports on inspection and enforcement activities to the Legislature by July 1, 1998.

Laws 2003, Chapter 104 removed the requirement for the agency to make annual reports to the Governor and Legislature.


  • Statutes
    • A.R.S. §§30-651 et seq.
    • A.R.S. §30-722
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1964, Chapter 30
    • Laws 1970, Chapter 70
    • Laws 1978, Chapter 160
    • Laws 1980, Chapter 206
    • Laws 1984, Chapter 380
    • Laws 1986, Chapter 279
    • Laws 1987, Chapter 369
    • Laws 1988, Chapter 290
    • Laws 1992, Chapter 35
    • Laws 1996, Chapter 153
    • Laws 2003, Chapter 104
  • Reports
  • ARRA Official Website:

Related Sources

  • Arizona Administrative Code, R12-1-101 et seq.

Related collections at Arizona State Archives

  • RG 13 Atomic Energy Commission
  • RG 14 Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency

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Governors’ Regulatory Review Council (GRRC)


The Governor’s Regulatory Review Council was created in 1986 to review proposed rules that are submitted by agencies, boards and commissions.  Statutory authority for GRRC is found at A.R.S.§§41-1051 et seq. The Arizona Administrative Procedure Act governs the GRRC process (A.R.S.§§41-1001 et seq.). The Secretary of State is responsible for publishing the Arizona Administrate Code and the Arizona Administrative Register, which are the authoritative sources for Arizona administrative rules.


GRRC reviews and either approves or rejects proposed rules submitted by agencies. The review is governed by specific statutory requirements. GRRC reviews preambles and statements regarding the economic impact of the proposed rule on small businesses and consumers;  assesses whether a rule is clear, concise and understandable; determines if the rule is within the agency’s statutory authority and if the benefits of the rule outweigh the cost (Auditor General Performance Audit). If the rule does not meet statutory criteria, GRRC returns it to the agency for further consideration.

Before submitting a rule to GRRC for review, an agency must follow specific steps outlined in statute, which include: opening a docket; publishing the proposed rule and providing a notice to the public; soliciting public comment; and drafting and submitting the final proposed rule to GRRC.

GRRC is also responsible for working with agencies to conduct a periodic review of existing rules. Agencies are required to review existing rules at least once every five years to determine if the rules should be amended or repealed. The agency must submit a written report of its findings to GRRC for approval. Failure to file the Five Year Review Report by the deadline established by GRRC results in automatic repeal of the rules subject to review (A.R.S. §41-1056).

GRRC consists of seven members, six members appointed by the Governor and an ex-officio member representing the Arizona Department of Administration who serves as chairman.



GRRC was established by Executive Order in 1981 to examine proposed administrative rules that were predicted to have an economic impact. In 1986, GRRC was statutorily created and authorized to review all proposed rules. The role of GRRC was expanded in 1995 to include final approval of all proposed administrative rules unless the proposed rule was statutorily exempt from the process (2006 Auditor General Performance Audit). Revisions to administrative procedure and measures relating to regulatory reform have been introduced periodically.


The Administrative Procedure Act of 1952 required each agency to file a certified copy of every rule in effect at the time with the Office of the Secretary of State. All subsequent rules were to be filed with the Secretary of State who was required to keep a permanent register of the rules. At least 20 days prior to adoption of new rules, the agency was required to file a notice of the proposed action with the Secretary of State. The notice had to include certain information, including the time, place and nature of the proceedings; a summary of the rule or the proposed rule in its entirety; and the procedure for a person to comment. All agency rules had to be compiled by the Secretary of State at least every two years and made available to interested persons at a price that covered the cost of publication (Laws 1952, Chapter 97).

Laws 1972, Chapter 9 required the Arizona Attorney General to review and approve a state agency rule before it could be adopted.

Laws 1976, Chapter 82 required the Secretary of State to publish all administrative rules and regulations on file in the office at least once each quarter. The measure also required the Secretary of State to publish a digest containing a summary of each notice of proposed adoption, amendment or repeal at least once a month. The digest was available by subscription or for single copy purchase. Finally, the measure limited the validity of a rule adopted under an emergency to no more than 90 days after its filing with the Secretary of State.

Laws 1982, Chapter 109 required an agency to determine if a proposed rule would affect small businesses and outlined methods for the agency to consider in order to reduce the impact.

The Arizona Administrative Procedure Act was substantially revised in 1986. The measure established the GRRC and transferred the responsibility to review and approve proposed rules from the Arizona Attorney General to the GRRC. The Secretary of State was authorized to prescribe a uniform numbering system, form and style for all rules filed and published. In addition, each agency was required to review its existing rules at least once every five years and provide a written report of its findings and recommended actions to GRRC (Laws 1986, Chapter 232).

Regulatory reform was a central theme in the Arizona legislature in the 1990s. Laws 1994 Chapter 363 established a 15-member Joint Legislative Study Committee on Regulatory Reform and Enforcement to examine the “extent to which state government has adopted unnecessary, costly, duplicative or overly burdensome rules and licensing requirements that adversely affect the interest of the state economy and state residents.” A final report was due to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate and the Governor by December 15, 1995. See the “Ad Hoc Regulatory Reform and Enforcement Study Committee Report” available at the Arizona Memory Project website. Subsequent reports are also available.

Laws 1995, Chapter 251 established the 11-member Administrative Rules Oversight Committee, charged with the responsibility to review all proposed or adopted rules to be sure they are consistent with statute and legislative intent. The measure authorized the Committee to provide comments and testimony to GRRC. The Committee is required to issue an annual report to the Legislature containing recommendations to alleviate duplicative or onerous rules and substantive policy statements. The Committee is staffed by Legislative Council.

Laws 1998, Chapter 57 provided that failure to file a five-year review report by the deadline established by GRRC would result in the rules scheduled for review to expire and be removed from the register.

Laws 2010, Chapter 287 modified conditions for GRRC review and approval of a final rule and revised the information to be included in an economic, small business and consumer impact statement. Laws 2010, Chapter 309 allowed GRRC to consider an early review petition of a proposed rule.


  • Arizona Revised Statutes
    • A.R.S.§§41-1001 et seq.
    • A.R.S.§§41-1051 et seq.
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1952, Chapter 97
    • Laws 1972, Chapter 9
    • Laws 1976, Chapter 82
    • Laws 1982, Chapter 109
    • Laws 1986, Chapter 232
    • Laws 1994, Chapter 363
    • Laws 1995, Chapter 251
    • Laws 1998, Chapter 57
    • Laws 2010, Chapter 287 and Chapter 309
  • Arizona Auditor General Performance Audit Report 96-5 and 06-01.
  • Ad Hoc Regulatory and Enforcement Study Committee Report – 1995. Arizona Memory Project:

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Residential Utility Consumer Office (RUCO)


The Residential Utility Consumer Office was established in 1983.  Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§40-461 et seq.


RUCO represents the interests of residential consumers and advocates on their behalf in regulatory proceedings that involve public service corporations before the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).  RUCO conducts a preliminary review of each utility rate increase application submitted to the ACC to determine the impact on residential consumers.  RUCO is authorized to intervene as an advocate for consumers and to testify at ACC hearings. The Director of RUCO is appointed by the Governor and must have knowledge of the regulation of utilities, and possess management and administrative experience.  The Director serves at the pleasure of the Governor.

RUCO is required to maintain a record of all contacts made by consumers regarding quality or quantity of service in order to determine areas of general concern.  RUCO is authorized to direct consumers to other agencies for assistance, including the Consumer Services section of the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Funding for RUCO is provided through an assessment levied by the ACC against each public service corporation, according to A.R.S. §40-401.01.


Laws 1983, Chapter 308 established RUCO to “represent the interests of residential utility consumers in regulatory proceedings involving public service corporations before the Corporation Commission.”  The Corporation Commission sets rates for electricity, gas, telecommunications, water and sewer utilities.  The RUCO Director was authorized to appear on behalf of consumers before the ACC as a party in interest.  A Residential Utility Consumer Board (Board) was established at the same time, consisting of five members appointed by the Governor to five-year terms.  The Board was required to advise RUCO on all matters relating to public service corporation rate cases, and also had the authority to require the RUCO Director to withdraw any court action within five days of its filing.  An annual report of activities and accomplishments was required to be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature by November 1 of each year.

Laws 1987, Chapter 222 required RUCO to record all contacts made by residential utility consumers in order to determine areas of general concern.  The measure also allowed RUCO to direct consumers to other agencies for assistance.

Laws 1994, Chapter 73 exempted member-owned, nonprofit cooperative corporations from the annual assessment levied by the ACC.  Prior to this enactment, only those corporations not holding certificates of convenience and necessity were exempt from the assessment.

Laws 2001, Chapter 133 repealed the RUCO Board and deleted statutory references to the Board.

Laws 2003, Chapter 104 repealed the requirement for RUCO to submit a report by November 1 of each year describing the activities and accomplishments of the office.


  • Arizona Revised Statutes
    • §§40-461 through 40-464
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1983, Chapter 308
    • Laws 1987, Chapter 222
    • Laws 1994, Chapter 73
    • Laws 2001, Chapter 133
    • Laws 2003, Chapter 104
  • Auditor General Performance Review of the Residential Utility Consumer Office and Residential Utility Consumer Board.  Reports No. 1986-6; 1989-6, 1999-10.
  • RUCO website:

Related collections at Arizona State Archives

  • Record Group 29 – Arizona Corporation Commission.  Related information may be included in this collection since RUCO represents consumers in regulatory proceedings before the Arizona Corporation Commission.

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Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS)


The Arizona State Retirement System was created in 1953, providing retirement and other benefits for state employees, university faculty and employees of the state’s political subdivisions (Laws 1953, Chapter 128). Teachers joined the ASRS on January 1, 1955. Statutory authority is found in A.R.S.§§ 38-711 et seq. Article 29 of the Arizona Constitution outlines conditions related to funding, assets and membership of public retirement systems. The constitutional amendment was approved by voters in the general election held November 3, 1998 (Laws 1998, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1009).


The ASRS provides retirement and other benefits, including survivor and disability benefits and health insurance, for most public sector employers in Arizona. Eligible employees include those who are employed by the state of Arizona as well as employees of state universities and colleges, public school districts, charter schools, all 15 counties, most cities and towns and a variety of special districts. A nine-member board, appointed by the Governor to three-year terms, is responsible for preservation and protection of the retirement trust fund. The Board also supervises the administration of the ASRS by its director.

The current ASRS defined benefit plan became effective July 1, 1971. ASRS invests assets in equities, bonds, and real estate. Each member and employer contributes an amount set by statute. When system members retire, their account balance is converted into a guaranteed annuity that pays a specified benefit on a monthly basis.

The ASRS is divided into three major programs:

Member Services – also includes financial and information services;

Administration and Support – includes the Director’s office, legal, internal audit and    administrative services; and

Investment Management – responsible for oversight of the investment of ASRS assets.


Laws 1912, Chapter 95, outlined a method to provide a pension for teachers who had 25 years or more of service in Arizona public schools.  The annual pension was set at $600 and was paid quarterly from the School Fund of the State of Arizona.  From 1912 to 1943, specific conditions and qualifications relating to age and years of service were modified from time to time.

Laws 1943, Chapter 61 established the Teachers Retirement System and repealed related provisions of Arizona’s 1939 code (§54-1008).  When ASRS was established in 1953, teachers were provided an opportunity to join, and voted to do so in 1954 (effective January, 1, 1955).

The ASRS was created by Laws 1953, Chapter 128 “…to effect economy and efficiency in the state service by providing a means whereby employees who become superannuated may, without hardship or prejudice, be replaced by more capable employees…” in order to supplement federal Social Security.  Eligibility for the program typically required at least ten years “creditable service” and began at age 60 or 65, depending on how a member chose to have their retirement fund disbursed. Members of the ASRS were required to contribute three and one-half percent of their total wages.  (Note: the contribution rate is adjusted annually.)

A State Retirement System Board of five members was also established.  Members were appointed by the Governor to five-year terms.  Board members were prohibited from having an interest in any investments made by the Board, borrowing money from the ASRS, or becoming an endorser or surety for any investment made by the Board.

The Board was authorized to conduct all business on behalf of the ASRS, enter into contracts, invest funds, purchase annuities, and appoint individuals for the general administration of the ASRS on their behalf. They were also granted the authority to adopt, amend, or rescind regulations to administer the ASRS and were required to submit an annual report to the Legislature and the Governor.


The following paragraphs provide information on numerous statutory changes adopted since the agency was established in 1953.  Most address benefits, eligibility, formulas, years of service and administrative issues.  Although these paragraphs do not represent a comprehensive listing or discussion of all amendments adopted over the years, they do provide a sampling of significant changes.  The reader is encouraged to check current statute and conduct additional research as needed.

Laws 1953, Chapter 128, Section 16 addressed acceptable investment instruments, all of which were government bonds. This section also authorized the board to contract with a private legal reserve insurance carrier after the ASRS had been operational for three years to provide the benefits of the ASRS, provided said insurance carrier had already been in operation for at least ten years.

Laws 1955, Chapter 104 increased the number of members on the Board to seven.

Laws 1957, Chapter 96 updated and revised provisions regarding acceptable investment instruments, allowing investment in private entities in addition to government issued bonds. The qualifying period to receive ASRS was also reduced from ten years to five years of creditable service. A death benefit was created for those who had paid into the system, including those who had not had completed five years creditable service.

Laws 1965, Chapter 87 ensured that members of the ASRS would see the full balance of their retirement account pass to their beneficiary or estate and addressed temporary disability benefits as well.

Laws 1970, Chapter 136 abolished the existing ASRS Board and created a new board, an investment advisory council, and five new subsidiary boards. The subsidiary boards each represented different groups of state employees. The new ASRS Board no longer had the authority to determine how ASRS funds were invested; an investment management organization was created to be the sole arbiter of when and how ASRS funds were invested. The investment advisory council was created at that time and met once a quarter.

Laws 1972, Chapter 51 set a compulsory retirement age of 70 for most state employees and officers, though that was changed to age 65 by Laws 1974, Chapter 120.  The measure provided for certain exceptions.

Laws 1975, Chapter 53 removed the administrator and finance manager positions and replaced them with a Board-appointed director position.

Laws 1981, Chapter 284 created an early retirement option for ASRS members, allowing a person who was least 50 years old with at least 5 years of creditable service to receive a reduced (by up to 65%) pension.  The law also established an Elected Officials Retirement Plan (EORP) and provided for transition of members and monies into EORP.

Two different session laws capped ASRS earnings for individuals. Laws 1985, Chapter 196 prohibited bonuses from being included in the calculation of an ASRS member’s earnings. Laws 1985, Chapter 294 capped the annual dollar amount on annuities.

A study of the “mortality, disability, service and other experiences of the members, participants and employers participating in the system and plan” was required at least every five years by Laws 1991, Chapter 270.

Laws 1995, Chapter 134 placed the director of the ASRS on a series of one year contracts. The board has the option to reappoint the director each year and may still fire the director for cause at any time.  The law also amended provisions related to purchase of service.

Laws 2006, Chapter 12 repealed statutes allowing creation of a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP).

In 2008, several measures addressed divestment of retirement funds (Laws 2008, Chapter 1; Laws 2008, Chapter 29 and Laws 2008, Chapter 201).

Laws 2009, Chapter 36 addressed several issues including service purchases, return to work, dual employment, the long-term disability program, transfer of service from a charter city to ASRS, the retiree accumulated sick leave (RASL) program.

Laws 2010, Chapter 50 established conditions for new ASRS members who joined on or after July 1, 2011.  Those conditions relate to the benefit formula, average monthly compensation and refunds of employer contributions.

Laws 2011, Chapter 26 changed the 50/50 split for employer and employee contribution rate to 47% for employers and 53% for employees.  Laws 2012, Chapter 304 reversed the contribution split put in place in 2011.

Legislation adopted in 2011 created a waiting period of 27 weeks for a new employee to be eligible for ASRS membership (if membership criteria is met); established new retirement ages for new employees; established new requirements to purchase service credits; established an alternate contribution rate for members who return to work after retiring; and created a Defined Contribution and Retirement Study Committee with a final report due by December 31, 2012.  (Laws 2011, Chapter 277 and Laws 2011, Chapter 357)  Note: An Arizona Court of Appeals ruling in May 2104 concluded that statutory limits to purchase service for members with a membership date prior to July 20, 2011 are unconstitutional.  ASRS now allows those members to purchase any and all eligible service.

Amendments related to naming spouses as beneficiaries were adopted in 2006, 2012 and 2013.  (Laws 2006, Chapter 103; Laws 2012, Chapter 88 and Laws 2013, Chapter 110)


  • Arizona Constitution, Article 29
  • A.R.S.§§ 38-711 et seq.
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1953, Chapter 128
    • Laws 1954, Chapter 116
    • Laws 1965, Chapter 87
    • Laws 1970, Chapter 136
    • Laws 1974, Chapter 120
    • Laws 1975, Chapter 53
    • Laws 1981, Chapter 284
    • Laws 1985, Chapter 196
    • Laws 1985, Chapter 294
    • Laws 1991, Chapter 270
    • Laws 1995, Chapter 134
    • Laws 2006, Chapter 12
    • Laws 2006, Chapter 103
    • Laws 2006, Chapter 309
    • Laws 2008, Chapter 1
    • Laws 2008, Chapter 29
    • Laws 2008, Chapter 201
    • Laws 2009, Chapter 36
    • Laws 2010, Chapter 50
    • Laws 2011, Chapter 26
    • Laws 2011, Chapter 277
    • Laws 2011, Chapter 357
    • Laws 2012, Chapter 88
    • Laws 2012, Chapter 304
    • Laws 2013, Chapter 110
  • Master List of State Programs
  • ASRS website:

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Arizona Department of Revenue


The Arizona Department of Revenue was established in 1973 to administer Arizona’s tax laws (Laws 1973, Chapter 123, effective July 1, 1974). Statutory authority is outlined in two titles of Arizona Revised Statutes: Title 42 – Taxation and Title 43 – Taxation of Income.


The mission of the Arizona Department of Revenue is to serve the people of Arizona by administering tax laws with integrity, fairness and efficiency. The Department administers and enforces collection of individual and corporate income tax, transaction privilege (sales), use, luxury, withholding, centrally-assessed property, estate, fiduciary, bingo, and severance taxes. The Department oversees county assessors in the administration of locally-assessed property taxes.
The director is appointed by the Governor, serves as a member of the Governor’s cabinet and is responsible for the direction, operation, and control of the department. The chief deputy director and deputy director assist the director in the day-to-day operations of the department. The chief deputy director serves as acting director when the director is absent. The problem resolution officer acts as the taxpayer advocate within the Department. The senior internal auditor oversees the internal audit team and serves as a liaison with external auditors and the chief human resources officer.

The Department is organized into eight divisions, each managed by an assistant director. Divisions include: Administrative Services, Audit, Collections, Taxpayer and External Services, Information Technology, Process Administration, Property Tax, and Tax Policy and Research. Each division performs specific functions which are integrated to achieve the department’s major objectives of tax collection and processing, enforcement of tax laws, and accurate valuation of property.


The State Tax Commission was established in 1912 to assess and equalize taxes; to exercise general supervision of the state’s taxation system; and to advise and direct Assessors, County Boards of Equalization and County Boards of Supervisors regarding assessment of real and personal property. The Governor appointed three members to the Commission, who also served as ex-officio members of the State Board of Equalization (Laws 1912, Chapter 23).

In 1912, the State Board of Equalization (SBE) was incorporated into the State Tax Commission and in 1967 the SBE duties were transferred to the newly created State Board of Property Tax Appeals. In 1973 the State Board of Property Tax Appeals was renamed the State Board of Tax Appeals. (Arizona State Archives finding guide – Record Group 80.)

From 1935 to 1949 the State Tax Commission regulated horse and dog racing, granted racing licenses and established rules for use of pari-mutuel machines. In 1949, the Arizona Racing Commission was created and assumed racing-related responsibilities from the State Tax Commission. (Arizona State Archives finding guide, Record Group 80.)

The Arizona Department of Revenue was created in 1973 and assumed the responsibilities of the Department of Property Valuation and the Estate Tax Commissioner as well as certain functions of the of the State Tax Commission. The State Board of Tax Appeals was established in 1973, assuming the functions of the State Board of Property Tax Appeals and serving as the appellate board for other taxes. The Department also assumed responsibility for the Division of Unclaimed Property (Laws 1973, Chapter 123, Sections 1, 170 and 171). The effective date of the act was July 1, 1974.

Laws 1978, Chapter 213 repealed and rewrote Title 43 (Taxation of Income) to adopt the provisions of the federal Internal Revenue Code in order to calculate Arizona adjusted gross income tax liabilities for individuals and to calculate taxable income for corporations, trusts, estates and partnerships. The 1978 enactment included a savings clause for “The Income Tax Act of 1933” and “The Income Tax Act of 1954” in order to provide a transition from the old laws to the new law. The 1978 measure was effective for tax years beginning January 1, 1979.

Note: Title 42 was reorganized and renumbered in 1979 (Laws 1979, Chapter 199) and Title 43 was rewritten and renumbered in 1978 (Laws 1978, Chapter 213).


  • Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 42 – Taxation (ARS § 42-101 et seq.)
  • Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 43 – Taxation of Income ARS §43-101 et seq.)
  • Session laws: Laws 1912, Chapter 23
  • Laws 1973, Chapter 123
  • Laws 1978, Chapter 213
  • Laws 1979, Chapter 199
  • Master List of State Programs
  • Joint Legislative Budget Committee: The Joint Legislative Budget Committee Tax Handbook provides a description of each state tax and certain other revenue categories; a history of the collections and distributions for each revenue category; and includes summaries of all statutory revisions.

Related collections at Arizona State Archives:

  • Record Group 80 – State Tax Commission
  • Record Group 84 – Territorial Board of Equalization
  • Record Group 169 – Department of Revenue

Agencies by Title