Administrative Histories V-X

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 V-X (as of September 02, 2016)

Department of Veterans’ Services Water Commission, Arizona (AWC)
Veterinary Medical Examining Board, Arizona State Water Infrastructure Finance Program (WIFA)
Water Quality Appeals Board
Water Resources, Arizona Department of
Weights and Measures, Arizona Department of
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)

Agencies by Title


Department of Veterans’ Services


Creation of a Veterans Service Officer was made under the provisions of 1925 Session Laws Ch. 84; creation of Arizona Veterans’ Service Commission by the provisions of 1951 Session Laws Ch. 107; creation of separate Department of Veterans’ Affairs via 1999 Session Laws Ch. 164 §11. Current authority is found in A.R.S. §§ 41-601 to 41-611.


The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services provides direct services to veterans through the administration of 19 Veterans Benefits Offices throughout the state to help veterans connect with their VA benefits.  Two skilled nursing Veteran Home facilities in Phoenix and Tucson provide short and long term care.  There is one Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Sierra Vista with additional cemeteries planned in Northern Arizona and Marana.  A Fiduciary provides conservator and guardian services for incapacitated veterans.In addition, the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services provides critical, state-wide coordination and technical assistance to services and organizations serving veterans.  This includes activities such as coordinating services across private and public sectors in serving targeted populations such as veterans experiencing homelessness and women veterans, as well as building community capacity to address veteran employment and higher education.


Arizona has provided services to Arizona veterans since 1925, when it created the position of Veterans’ Service Officer to represent honorably discharged veterans or their survivors and secure any claims or benefits to which the veteran was entitled. This position was abolished in 1951 by Laws 1951, Chapter 107 and replaced by the five-member Arizona Veterans’ Service Commission. The Commission was authorized to appoint the Director of Veterans’ Affairs. In 1973 (Laws 1972, Chapter 142) the Commission was integrated into the Department of Economic Security. Primarily at the request of various Veterans’ organizations, the Governor reestablished the Commission as a separate agency in 1982. In 1999, the Legislature separated the Commission from the agency by making the Commission an advisory body and creating a separate Department of Veterans’ Services headed by a governor-appointed director.


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Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board (Board)


The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, the predecessor of the State Veterinary Medical Examining Board, was established in 1923.  Current statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§32-2201 et seq.FunctionThe Board regulates the profession of veterinary medicine in Arizona.  It licenses and regulates veterinarians, veterinary medical premises and crematories, and certifies and regulates veterinary technicians. The Board also reviews complaints made against licensees, conducts investigations and resolves complaints.  The Board consists of nine members, appointed by the Governor to four-year terms. Five members are licensed veterinarians, one is a certified vet technician and three are public members.  One public member represents the livestock industry. The Board is a 90/10 agency which means it retains 90 percent of the fees collected and remits 10 percent to the State General Fund. The Board relies primarily on licensing and certification fees (  Civil penalties are deposited in the State General Fund (Auditor General Performance Audit: 97-7).


The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, created in 1923, consisted of three members, appointed by the Governor to three-year terms.  The Board issued licenses to persons qualified to practice veterinary medicine in the state. Certain practitioners were grandfathered, and granted a license without having to take an examination.  The Board was required to issue an annual report by July 15 each year.  See Laws 1923, Chapter 15.In 1928 the state code relating to veterinary medicine was revised, and according to the Legislative Code Committee of the Eighth Legislature, “presented no changes in the law of substance.” See Proclamation calling the Eighth Legislature of Arizona into special session, dated November 9, 1928.Two measures were enacted in 1947.  The first provided per diem of $15 per day to Board members.  The second outlined requirements for a veterinarian from another state to obtain a reciprocity certificate.  It also allowed the Board to issue a temporary permit to practice veterinary medicine until the next Board examination was scheduled.  See Laws 1947, Second Special Session, Chapter 26 and Laws 1947, Chapter 123.

Laws 1953, Chapter 80 increased the fee to apply for a license to practice from $10 to $25 and required an applicant to receive at least a 70 percent average (rather than a 60 percent average) to pass the licensing examination.   The law also eliminated the reciprocal license and required that exams be scheduled at least twice a year, in January and June.  The license renewal fee increased from $2 to $10 and a late fee of $20 was authorized.The 1953 law also added due process provisions, requiring notice and an opportunity for hearing before the Board could revoke or suspend a license to practice.  It classified violations of the law as a misdemeanor, increased the fine to a minimum of $50 with a maximum of $200, and established a prison term of not less than 30 days with a maximum term of six months.An omnibus bill enacted in 1962 related to salaries and expenses for state officers and employees, increased per diem for Board members to $20 per day and included a supplemental appropriation of $150 to the Board for personal services.  See Laws 1962, Chapter 98.

Laws 1967, Chapter 76 repealed and completely rewrote state laws regarding veterinary practice.  The law established the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board which replaced the State Board of Veterinary Examiners.  Records, property, equipment as well as unexpended and unencumbered funds were transferred to the new Board.  While the overall responsibilities of the Board remained essentially the same, some substantive changes were made regarding applications, examinations and temporary permits.  The number of Board members increased from three to five, and terms increased from three years to five years.  Per diem remained at $20 per day.  The fee for an original application was set at $100; the fee for renewal was $25 and a penalty fee for late renewals was set at $50.

Laws 1970, Chapter 15 addressed malpractice and penalties; allowed the National Board examination to be administered in place of a written exam by the Board, and clarified the license requirements for veterinarians who were employed by the state.An omnibus bill was enacted in 1978 which increased the number of Board members from five to seven; allowed the Board to establish continuing education requirements; allowed veterinary students in their last semester of study to work under the supervision of a veterinarian without having to obtain a license;  established a passing grade of at least 75 percent on both the National Board written exam and the practical exam; established requirements for a nonresident to obtain a permit and revised the licensure exemption for veterinarians who lived within 25 miles of the state border. The law authorized certification of veterinary technicians and outlined related application and licensure requirements.   The law also increased the fee for an ongoing license to practice from $100 to $150; and increased renewal and late fees.  The definition of unprofessional conduct was expanded to include use of dangerous drugs, gross incompetence, gross negligence, ethics violations, fraud and distribution of narcotics for illegal purposes.  The law revised requirements related to hearings and appeals; authorized the Board to appoint an investigator and classified violations as a class 2 misdemeanor.  Finally, the law provided protection from liability in cases where a veterinarian provided emergency aid gratuitously and in good faith.   See Laws 1978, Chapter 155.

Laws 1980, Chapter 205 established licensure requirements for veterinary premises, including application, fees, expiration, renewal, revocation, suspension and fines.  Veterinary premises include a building, office, hospital, residence, kennel, mobile unit or vehicle.  The law also provided a limited exemption from licensure for veterinarians who attended a college of veterinary medicine located outside the United States if that person worked under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian while completing requirements for state licensure. In addition, the law authorized the Board to inspect certain records, issue subpoenas and impose civil penalties in an amount up to $500.Laws 1984, Chapter 341 authorized the Board to employ personnel, eliminated the requirement to be a U.S. citizen in order to apply for a license, and modified requirements related to licensure, fees, and penalties.  See Arizona Auditor General Report No. 84-2.

Laws 1988, Chapter 186 increased the rate of compensation for Board members, increased veterinary technician certificate fees and prescribed additional grounds for disciplinary action.In 1989, omnibus legislation was adopted that modified requirements for licensure, examinations, inspections, civil penalties, disciplinary actions and dispensing drugs and devices.  The bill also rewrote the law related to premises licensure and provided the Board a limited exemption from the Administrative Procedures Act related to rulemaking requirements until July 1, 1990. See Laws 1989, Chapter 223.Laws 1991, Chapter 85 increased per diem compensation for Board members from $50 to $100; allowed the Board to employ hearing officers and other personnel for investigative, professional and clerical assistance; and authorized the Board to contract with other state and federal agencies.  The law also modified the licensure qualifications for veterinarians who are licensed in another state and set the application fee at $750.Laws 1992, Chapter 144 made various changes to licensing requirements and eliminated the exemption from state licensing requirements previously granted to graduates of foreign veterinarian colleges working under supervision of a state licensed veterinarian.

In 1995 the membership of the Board increased from seven members to eight, adding an additional lay person. See Laws 1995, Chapter 156.In April 1997, the Arizona Auditor General issued a performance that was critical of certain Board practices.  In November 1997, as part of the sunset review process, the Joint Committee of Reference recommended several modifications to the responsibilities of the Board, emphasizing disciplinary actions, investigations and records retention.  Legislation was enacted in 1998 stating the primary duty of the Board is to protect the public from unlawful, incompetent, unqualified, impaired or unprofessional practitioners of veterinary medicine. The legislation also increased the number of lay members on the Board, revised the powers and duties of the Board, and required, rather than allowed, the Board to appoint a committee to investigate charges and to consult with their Assistant Attorney General on questions of law arising from an investigation.  See Laws 1998, Chapter 170 and Arizona Auditor General Report No. 97-7.

Laws 2001, Chapter 144 modified examination requirements and replaced the specific exam that a candidate must pass by substituting the National Board Examination for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination.  The law also modified the composition of the investigative committee to two veterinarians and three public members and changed reporting requirements regarding animal abuse.Laws 2004, Chapter 215 authorized the Board to license, regulate and inspect facilities that provide animal cremation services. The law also revised regulations for veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary premises.Laws 2010, Chapter 182 modified veterinary licensure and technician certification, revised reporting requirements related to animal abuse, and addressed investigations of misconduct and violations of law.

Laws 2011, Chapter 209 changed the term for Board members to four years (from five years), and modified the membership by adding one certified veterinarian technician in place of a public member. The law also modified the makeup of the investigative committee and allowed the Board to issue a decree of censure and to impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation.Laws 2012, Chapter 181 allowed the Board to establish a substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation plan for veterinarians and veterinarian technicians and to contract with a private organization to implement the plan.  The law allowed the Board to allocate up to five percent of licensing renewal fees to fund the plan.

Laws 2014, Chapter 51 authorized the Board to issue a ‘faculty member license’ and outlined specific requirements and limitations.  The law also allowed the Board to issue an emergency temporary permit to an out of state veterinarian who volunteers their services during a declared state of emergency.


  • Arizona Revised Statutes
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1923, Chapter 15
    • Laws 1947, Second Special Session, Chapter 26 and Laws 1947, Chapter 123
    • Laws 1953, Chapter 80
    • Laws 1962, Chapter 98
    • Laws 1967, Chapter 76
    • Laws 1970, Chapter 15
    • Laws 1978, Chapter 55
    • Laws 1980, Chapter 205
    • Laws 1984, Chapter 341
    • Laws 1988, Chapter 186
    • Laws 1989, Chapter 223
    • Laws 1991, Chapter 85
    • Laws 1992, Chapter 144
    • Laws 1995, Chapter 156
    • Laws 1998, Chapter 170
    • Laws 2001, Chapter 144
    • Laws 2004, Chapter 215
    • Laws 2010, Chapter 182
    • Laws 2011, Chapter 209
    • Laws 2012, Chapter 181
    • Laws 2014, Chapter 51
  • AZ Auditor General Performance Audit, Report No. 84-2, State Veterinary Medical Examining Board.
  • AZ Auditor General Performance Audit, Report No. 97-7, Veterinary Medical Examining Board. Agency website:

Related collections at Arizona State Archives

  • Record Group 87 – Veterinarian Medical Examiners

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Arizona Water Commission

Authority (Transferred)

The Arizona Water Commission was created by Laws 1971, Chapter 49. The AWC assumed the responsibilities previously held by the Interstate Stream Commission, assumed the responsibility for supervision of dams, previously held by the State Highway Engineer, and assumed the  responsibility for licensing and regulation of weather control and cloud modification operations previously held by the State Land Department.  Water resource data and findings derived from surveys and investigations conducted by the State Land Department and the U.S. government were also transferred to the AWC.

In 1980, the Arizona Department of Water Resources replaced the AWC.


The Arizona Water Commission was created in 1971 “to place within one state agency, the responsibility for the development, cooperation, coordination and approval of plans for the future use of waters of the state, for devising means and plans for development, conservation, utilization of all waters now within, or which may at a future date come within state jurisdiction, and for supervision of dams under jurisdiction of the state.”  (Legislative intent, Laws 1971, Chapter 49)  The Legislature was careful to state the measure was not meant to amend the duties of the Arizona Power Authority, the Department of Game and Fish or the State Land Department with respect to issues outside those responsibilities specifically transferred to the AWC.


Legislation enacted in 1971 outlined specific duties of the AWC including the authority to: appoint a state water engineer, employ geologists, hydrologists, consulting engineers and legal counsel; defend the state’s rights to interstate streams; negotiate and cooperate with the federal government and other states concerning matters within the AWC jurisdiction; manage state watersheds; prepare plans for development and conservation of the state’s surface water and groundwater, including irrigation, drainage, diversion, flood control and storage; measure and survey water resources of the state; maintain records of stream flow, groundwater levels and water quality; recommend state regulations to promote and protect rights and interests in waters of the state; enter into contracts  with other state agencies regarding state water plans; and ensure the safety of state dams and reservoirs.   The AWC also assumed responsibilities, previously held by the Interstate Stream Commission, related to use of the waters of the Colorado River.

Laws 1973, Chapter 94 required AWC to evaluate the adequacy of water supplies for new subdivisions and to provide that information to the Arizona Real Estate Commission.  The information was also required to be included in promotional material for the new subdivision.

Laws 1977, Chapter 29 established a 25-member Groundwater Management Study Commission to develop a comprehensive long-range plan for groundwater management.  In 1980, Governor Bruce Babbitt issued a call for a special session of the Legislature to adopt a code to regulate and control the use of groundwater and to establish a new agency to administer the state’s water laws.

Laws 1980, Fourth Special Session, Chapter 1 created the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and transferred the authority, powers, duties and responsibilities of the Arizona Water Commission and the State Water Engineer to the newly created Department.  The law addressed surface water, groundwater, dams and reservoirs and also authorized the Director of ADWR to act on behalf of the state with regard to issues related to the Colorado River.

Histories for the Interstate Stream Commission, the State Land Department and the Department of Water Resources are located elsewhere in this compilation.


Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 45

Session Laws

Laws 1971, Chapter 49

Laws 1973, Chapter 94

Laws 1977, Chapter 29

Laws 1980, Fourth Special Session, Chapter 1

Arizona Department of Water Resources website:

Related collections at Arizona State Archives:

RG 59 – State Land Department

RG 75 – Arizona Power Authority

RG 141 – Interstate Stream Commission

RG 142 – Department of Water Resources

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Water Infrastructure Finance Program (WIFA)


The Water Infrastructure Finance Program (WIFA) was established in 1998 to provide a source of funding for public water treatment projects.  It replaced the Wastewater Management Authority, which had been created in 1989, and assumed its responsibilities.  Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§49-1201 et seq.


WIFA provides financial assistance and low-interest loans for construction and improvement of drinking water systems, wastewater treatment and water reclamation systems.   WIFA is authorized to issue water quality bonds and water supply development bonds on behalf of communities, to enter into short-term emergency loan agreements, and to administer federal grants.  WIFA receives funding from several sources, including federal grants, bond proceeds, loan repayments and fees.  WIFA administers the Clean Water Revolving Fund; the Drinking Water Revolving Fund; the Hardship Grant Fund; and the Technical Assistance Program.A 12-member Board of Directors governs WIFA.  Seven members are appointed by the Governor to terms of five years and the other board members represent five state agencies: the Department of Environmental Quality, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the State Treasurer, the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Department of Water Resources.


Laws 1989, Chapter 280 established the Wastewater Management Authority of Arizona (WMA) and allowed cities, town, counties and sanitary districts to borrow money or receive financial assistance from the WMA.  The law authorized the WMA to issue bonds, make loans to political subdivisions, guarantee debt obligations to finance wastewater treatment projects, administer grants, and enter into capitalization grant agreements with the US Environmental Protection Agency.  The law also outlined loan repayment agreements, established a seven-member Board of Directors and created the Wastewater Treatment Revolving Fund, administered by the Board, to receive federal grant and state matching monies.

Laws 1998, Chapter 72 repealed the WMA and established WIFA.  The law outlined powers and duties of the Authority, created a 12-member Board authorized to issue bonds for drinking water projects, wastewater treatment projects and nonpoint source projects, and required annual audits and reports.   The law also established the Clean Water Revolving Fund, the Drinking Water Revolving Fund and the Hardship Grant Fund outlining their purpose, revenue sources and uses.Laws 1999, Chapter 295 authorized the Board to serve as fund manager for the Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund, used to remediate contamination at certain sites.

Laws 2002, Chapter 141 authorized the Board to provide technical assistance to counties with a population of less than 500,000 (in addition to political subdivisions, Indian tribes and community water systems).Laws 2005, Chapter 63 authorized the WIFA Board to enter short-term emergency loan agreements with political subdivisions or Indian tribes under specific conditions related to a national disaster or catastrophic event.

Laws 2005, Chapter 64 established the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality as having primary responsibility to administer Arizona’s Safe Drinking Water Act and water quality projects.Laws 2007, Chapter 226 established the Water Supply Development Revolving Fund to provide loans to water providers for planning or design of water supply developments.  The law contained a conditional enactment clause which required passage of SB 1575, relating to water adequacy provisions.  SB 1575 was enacted as Laws 2007, Chapter 240.

Laws 2014, Chapter 212 limited use of monies in the Water Supply Development Revolving Fund to areas outside active management areas.  The law also established the Rural Water Supply Development and Contamination Prevention Legislative Study Committee and allowed the committee to consult with the Arizona Department of Water Resources, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and WIFA as needed.  The Committee was required to provide a report containing findings and recommendations to the Legislature and the Secretary of State by November 1, 2014.


  • Arizona Revised Statutes §§49-1201 et seq.
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1989, Chapter 280
    • Laws 1998, Chapter 72
    • Laws 1999, Chapter 295
    • Laws 2002, Chapter 141
    • Laws 2005, Chapter 63 and Chapter 64
    • Laws 2007, Chapter 226
    • Laws 2014, Chapter 212
  • Master List of State Programs:  2014-2016.
  • Arizona Auditor General Performance Audit: Water Infrastructure Finance Authority Report No. 13-08.  September 2013.

Related collections at Arizona State Archives

  • Record Group 142: Department of Water Resources
  • Record Group 147: Department of Environmental Quality
  • Record Group 161: Commission on the Arizona Environment

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Water Quality Appeals Board


Laws 1986, Chapter 368, established the Water Quality Appeals Board.  Current statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§49-321 through 49-324.


The purpose of the Water Quality Appeals Board is to provide an opportunity for a person to appeal a decision made by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) regarding water quality control, aquifer protection permits or pesticide contamination prevention.  An aquifer protection permit is required for impoundments, solid waste disposal facilities, mine tailings, injection wells, underground storage facilities, point source discharges to surface water, sewage treatment facilities and wetlands used to treat wastewater for underground storage of water.  Any person adversely affected by an action may file an appeal and any interested person may intervene in the appeal.  The Board reviews evidence, hears arguments and issues a decision within a specified time frame. Final decisions of the Board may be appealed to Superior Court.

The Board is established within the Arizona Department of Administration and consists of three members, appointed to three-year terms by the Governor.   One member must be an attorney licensed to practice in Arizona and all members must have the technical competence to perform the duties of the Board.


The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 addressed water pollution.  Broad amendments to the 1948 law were adopted in 1972, commonly known as the Clean Water Act, which regulated discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States; set standards and addressed point and non-point sources of pollution.

The Legislature adopted comprehensive legislation in 1986, establishing the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality in order to “….consolidate and focus responsibility for environmental management and administration of water quality, air quality, solid waste and hazardous waste regulation with the goal of increasing effectiveness, efficiency and public acceptance of environmental regulation.” (Laws 1986, Chapter 368, Section 153; purpose clause.)  The Water Quality Appeals Board was established as part of the 1986 measure and outlined the method to appeal ADEQ decisions.

Laws 1998, Chapter 57 was an extensive measure which modified the administrative appeals process for a number of state agencies, including the Water Quality Appeals Board.


Arizona Revised Statutes

Session Laws

Laws 1986, Chapter 368

Laws 1998, Chapter 57

History of the Clean Water Act,

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Arizona Department of Water Resources


Established by Laws 1980, Chapter 1, 4th Special Session, effective June 12, 1980. Statutory authority is found in A.R.S. Title 45; §45-101 et seq.FunctionThe Department administers all state water laws, except those related to water quality, which come under the jurisdiction of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.Created in 1980, the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) assumed the responsibilities of the Arizona Water Commission and the State Water Engineer relating to surface water, groundwater and dams and reservoirs.

Statute provides the Director of ADWR with general control and supervision of surface water (including appropriation and distribution) and groundwater (with exceptions spelled out in statute, court judgments or decrees). The Director is also authorized to act on behalf of the state on issues related to the Colorado River. (See A.R.S.§§45-103 and 45-107.)The Department also explores methods to augment water supplies and promote conservation.Arizona’s water supplies include surface water, including Colorado River water as well as in-state rivers; groundwater and reclaimed water.


The Arizona Territorial Legislature adopted the 1864 Howell Code, which established the doctrine of prior appropriation for surface water, used to allocate the right to use surface water for a beneficial use.   (“First in time, first in right”)Laws 1919, Chapter 164 created the State Water Code and created the office of the State Water Commissioner, who was appointed by the Governor to a six-year term.In 1922, the seven basin states negotiated a compact dividing the Colorado Basin into an upper basin and a lower basin and allocated 7.5 million acre feet to each basin.  Arizona was allocated 2.8 million acre feet of water but refused to ratify the compact until 1944.Laws 1943, Chapter 28 transferred the responsibilities of the State Water Commissioner to the State Land Commissioner and Laws 1945, Chapter 14, 1st Special Session transferred the authority to administer Arizona’s rights to Colorado River water to the State Land Commissioner.

In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s the Legislature struggled to resolve issues related to groundwater use.  In 1948 the Critical Groundwater Code was adopted, which prohibited drilling new irrigation wells in ten areas of the state designated as ‘critical groundwater areas.”  The 1948 Code did not regulate pumping from existing wells however, allowing groundwater use to continue at historic levels.  In response to criticism of the 1948 Code, a second groundwater study commission was formed in 1951.  None of the recommendations were enacted and the commission was abolished.In 1977, a 25-member Groundwater Management Study Commission was appointed to develop a comprehensive long-range plan for groundwater management by December 31, 1979 (Laws 1977, Chapter 29).

In June, 1980 Governor Babbitt issued a call for a special session to adopt a code to regulate and control the use of groundwater.Laws 1980, Chapter 1, 4th Special Session transferred responsibility to administer Arizona water laws from the State Land Department to a new agency, the Department of Water Resources. The 1980 Groundwater Management Act created four Active Management Areas with specific management goals and requirements to address groundwater overdraft.  Among other provisions, the act imposed restrictions on drilling new large wells within an AMA and required new subdivisions to demonstrate that a 100-year assured water supply is available to support the development.  The act also addressed water conservation and transportation of groundwater.Sources

  • A.R.S.§§45-101 et seq.
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1919, Chapter 164
    • Laws 1943, Chapter 28
    • Laws 1945, Chapter 14, 1st Special Session
    • Laws 1977, Chapter 29
    • Laws 1980, Chapter 1, 4th Special Session
  • ADWR website: (History of Water Management in Arizona)

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Arizona Department of Weights and Measures (DWM)


Transferred July 1, 2016Until June 30, 2016, statutory authority for the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures is found at A.R.S. §§41-2051 et seq.  Powers and duties will be transferred to the Arizona Department of Agriculture and the Arizona Department of Transportation effective July 1, 2016 and statutory authority will be found in Title 3 (Agriculture) at A.R.S. §§3-3401 through 3-3515, and Title 28 (Transportation) at A.R.S. §§28-9501 through 28-9526.


The DWM serves as the custodian for the measurement standards used in Arizona and licenses commercial devices used to sell commodities by weight or measure.  DWM conducts inspections of regulated facilities to ensure compliance with state laws related to weights and measures; inspects commercial devices (scales, meters) and regulated facilities; investigates complaints; and pursues enforcement actions as necessary.  The Department also licenses vehicles-for-hire (livery services, taxis, limousines).


Weights and measures regulatory functions were initially assigned to the Office of the State Inspector of Weights and Measures and City Sealers in 1912.  In 1974, the Legislature transferred the responsibilities to the State Weights and Measures Division within the Arizona Department of Administration.  In 1987, those responsibilities were transferred to the Department of Weights and Measures when it was created as a stand-alone agency.  Effective July 1, 2016, the DWM will be abolished and the majority of its functions will be transferred to the Division of Weights and Measures Services within the Arizona Department of Agriculture.  Regulation related to for-hire transportation (taxis, limousines, livery vehicles) will be transferred to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).  See Laws 2015, Chapter 244.

Session Laws

Laws 1912, Chapter 91 acknowledged the state would use the standard weights and measures received from the federal government, as certified by the National Bureau of Standards.  The law “created the office of the State Inspector and city sealers; defined powers and duties; provided for inspection and sealing of weights, measures and devices; defined standards to be used, regulated weighing and measuring of merchandise and commodities sold and offered for sale in the state; and provided penalties for violations of the law.” The law classified violations as a misdemeanor, and established a civil fine between $5 and $250The State Inspector,  appointed by the Governor, was authorized to collect fees, and to inspect, test and seal (indicating certification) scales and measuring devices at least once every two years.   The Inspector was required to take charge of the standards, keep them in a fireproof state building or safe, and have them recertified by the National Bureau of Standards once every 10 years.The law specifically addressed the sale of coal, wood, ice, meat, butter, coffee, tea, cereal, produce, vinegar and oils, as well as bottles used for distilled water, milk and cream.  (Petroleum products, lubricating oil and cotton were added to the list of commodities in 1927 and poultry was added in 1933.  See Laws 1927, Chapter 16; Laws 1927, Chapter 54 and Laws 1933, Chapter 8.)

A second measure enacted in 1912 required the State Inspector to test the accuracy of each meter used to measure water, electricity or gas furnished to a consumer.  The State Inspector and City Sealers worked under the direction and control of the Corporation Commission with regard to the sale of water, electricity and gas.  The Inspector was also required to maintain a record of owners of meters and inspections, and to make the information available to the public.  The responsibilities of the City Sealers were similar to those of the Inspector.  Responsibility was divided between the two, based on population and political boundaries.  See Laws 1912, First Special Session, Chapter 52.

Laws 1927, Chapter 16 required a public weighmaster to weigh cotton.  A weighmaster was required to file a performance bond of $1,000; obtain a seal from the State Inspector and to maintain records.  A second law enacted in 1927 prescribed a standard grade for gasoline and other  petroleum products used to fuel cars, tractors and motor boats; prescribed conditions of sale for lubricating oils used in engines; and required the University of Arizona to analyze samples provided by the State Inspector.  Violations were classified as a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum fine of $500 and up to six months imprisonment.  See Laws 1927, Chapter 54.

Laws 1935, Chapter 96 required retention of weight certificates and records of public weighing for at least five years.Laws 1974, Chapter 200 established the State Weights and Measures Division within the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) and transferred the powers and duties of the State Inspector of Weights and Measures to the Division.  The law generally tracked existing responsibilities as it established statutory authority for administration, provided for regulation and enforcement of weights and measures; outlined objectives and duties of the Division; created  the metrology lab; addressed sale of commodities; provided for licensing, testing, and certification of devices used for commercial purposes; prescribed a schedule of fees for various measuring devices; and required licensing for weighmasters, service agencies and servicemen.Laws 1975, Chapter 146 allowed, rather than required, the Division to establish standards for cost-per-unit information.  The law specified use of such information was not mandated.

Laws 1976, Chapter 69 exempted weighing devices used for non-commercial purposes from licensure and fees.  The law also exempted a device used to measure five gallons or less from regulation if the device carried a proper mark, as established by the National Bureau of Standards.Laws 1979, Chapter 88 allowed the Division to establish standards for retail sale of gasoline, motor fuel oil and antifreeze; established penalties for failure to pay fees when due; provided for potential revocation of license; and addressed concurrent jurisdiction of the Attorney General and the county attorney.

Laws 1981, Chapter 103 corrected defective enactments from 1975, 1976 and 1979.Laws 1987, Chapter 314 created the Department of Weights and Measures (DWM) as a stand-alone agency with a Governor-appointed Director.  The law transferred powers, duties and rules, including personnel, records, furnishings, equipment, and unexpended monies from ADOA Division of Weights and Measures to the new Department.  The law also required the DWM to develop and implement a pilot program to privatize weights and measures services, to be presented to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee by August 1, 1987 for approval.  A report on the effectiveness of the pilot program was due to the Legislature by December 31, 1988.Three measures were enacted in 1990 relating to the DWM.

Laws 1990, Chapter 39 prescribed duties of the DWM regarding sampling and testing of gasoline and labeling of oxygenated fuels sold in nonattainment areas.  Laws 1990, Chapter 135 incorporated conforming changes to DWM statutes as a result of the federal name change from the National Bureau of Standards to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  Finally, Laws 1990, Chapter 331 added sampling and testing of used oil to the DWM responsibilities and allowed collection of fees to cover the cost of testing.  The measure included a purpose clause explaining the Legislature’s recognition of the need to recycle used oil into useful products.Two measures were enacted in 1991 relating to DWM.

Laws 1991, Chapter 174 modified department responsibilities with respect to establishing standards for liquid fuels, including standards and test methods relating to vapor pressure for gasoline and oxygenated fuels.  Laws 1991, Chapter 220 required DWM to establish by rule, labeling standards for tanks and containers of liquid fuel and used oil.  The law created the Used Oil Fund and provided for deposit of used oil fees and testing fees to be deposited into the Used Oil Fund, rather than the state General Fund.  Monies in the fund were to be used to cover the cost of monitoring, testing, investigations and enforcement as well as capital obligations required for sampling and testing activities conducted by DWM.Two measures were enacted in 1992 relating to DWM.

Laws 1992 Chapter 176 established civil penalties for violations of statutory requirements of up to $500 per infraction and up to $5,000 for each 30 day period. The law also modified responsibility regarding standards for vapor pressure for gasoline blends containing alcohol.  Laws 1992, Chapter 299 was a comprehensive environmental/air quality bill.  It required DWM to test vapor recovery systems at least once each year and outlined responsibilities with regard to new gasoline vapor control requirements.  DWM and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) were required to work together to adopt emergency rules and to prepare a report on reformulated gasoline, fuel standards, used oil and retrofit programs.  The report was due to the Governor and Legislature by January 15, 1993.

Laws 1996, Chapter 258 transferred responsibility for the used oil program from DWM to ADEQ.Laws 2001, Chapter 164 specified licensing requirements and qualifications for public weighmasters, deputy weighmasters and for service agency licenses.  The measure also established a fee for mechanized and electronic counting devices.Laws 2002, Chapter 104 established standards, labeling requirements and reporting requirements for sale and production of biodiesel fuel.

Laws 2006, Chapter 98 established standards, labeling, and reporting requirements for production and sale of ethanol blend 85 (E85).Laws 2008, Chapter 254, established the biofuels conversion program within the Commerce Department.  Biofuel is defined as a fuel derived from biological material, such as plant or animal matter, which can be used for heating or as a motor fuel.  The law established labeling standards and requirements for its sale.Laws 2014, Chapter 132 addressed DWM responsibilities related to Stage II vapor recovery systems which are designed to prevent gasoline vapor from escaping into the environment when motorists refuel their vehicles.  Because most vehicles manufactured since 2006 have an onboard vapor recovery system, states are no longer required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to maintain a Stage II vapor recovery system.  The law authorizes DWM to work with other state agencies to establish standards to decommission the systems.

Laws 2015, Chapter 244 abolishes the DWM and divides responsibilities between the Arizona Department of Agriculture and the Arizona Department of Transportation. Effective July 1, 2016, the majority of DWM functions will be transferred to the Division of Weights and Measures Services within the Arizona Department of Agriculture.  Regulation of for-hire transportation (taxis, limousines, livery vehicles) will be transferred to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).


  • Arizona Revised Statutes
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1912, Chapter 91
    • Laws 1912, First Special Session, Chapter 52
    • Laws 1927, Chapter 16 and Chapter 54
    • Laws 1933 Chapter 8
    • Laws 1935, Chapter 96
    • Laws 1974, Chapter 200
    • Laws 1975, Chapter 146
    • Laws 1976, Chapter 69
    • Laws 1979, Chapter 88
    • Laws 1981, Chapter 103
    • Laws 1987, Chapter 314
    • Laws 1990, Chapter 39, Chapter 135, and Chapter 331
    • Laws 1991, Chapter 174 and Chapter 220
    • Laws 1992, Chapter 176 and Chapter 299
    • Laws 1996, Chapter 258
    • Laws 2001, Chapter 164
    • Laws 2002, Chapter 104
    • Laws 2006, Chapter 98
    • Laws 2008, Chapter 254
    • Laws 2014, Chapter 132
    • Laws 2015 Chapter 244
  • Master List of State Programs 2014-2016.
  • Department of Weights and Measures website:
  • Guidance on Removing Stage II Gasoline Vapor Control Programs from State Implementation Plans and Assessing Comparable Measures.   EPA-457/B-12-001.  August 7, 2012.

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Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)


The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) was created by Laws 1952, Chapter 104. Current authority for WICHE can be found A.R.S. §§15-741 et seq.


WICHE oversees the Compact for Western Regional Cooperation in Higher Education; currently 15 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) and 1 U.S. territory (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) belong to the Compact.

WICHE helps these states share higher education resources, often in the form of initiatives. These initiatives can focus on one or more states and a wide range of topics. One current initiative created an Internet Course Exchange (ICE), allowing students at WICHE ICE schools to take online courses from any other WICHE ICE member institutions. Another focuses on attracting and retaining psychologists in Alaska as part of a broader plan to increase and train the mental health workforce in Western states.

WICHE is based in Boulder, CO and composed of 3 gubernatorial appointments from each member state, 1 of whom must be an educator engaged in higher education. Terms are for 4 years and the body must meet at least once a year. Any vote requires at least one representative from each state and territory and a simple majority to pass. Additionally, a chairman and vice-chairman are elected from among the commissioners. The Commission can also make personnel decisions to carry out the purpose of the Compact.WICHE is also empowered to place Arizona students in higher education programs outside of the Compact states and territories (A.R.S. § 15-1743). This does, however, require a written agreement between WICHE and the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR).Arizona students interested in placement in a graduate or professional school in a Compact state must be processed and certified by ABOR, at which time their names and other required data will be passed on to WICHE by Arizona’s Commission members.


The Compact for Western Regional Cooperation in Higher Education was created because many of the member states and territories lacked a sufficient number of students to make providing a full range of graduate and professional education programs feasible. Arizona formally enacted the Compact in law on March 25th, 1952 (Laws 1952, Chapter 104). Many of the signatory states and (then) territories faced a problem that many still wrestle with today: too few students to justify all of the graduate and professional programs needed in their states. The Compact created a way for these often large, but sparsely populated, states and territories to educate and retain professionals.

Session Laws

Laws 1953, Chapter 59 added the process for certifying Arizona students to participate, as well as repayment requirements. Upon graduation, students could forgo repaying the costs of the program they attended via the Compact by practicing their profession in Arizona; for every 2 years worked in Arizona, 1 year of school fees was forgiven. Those who failed to graduate, or did not practice their profession in Arizona, were required to repay the full amount.

Laws 1958, Chapter 92 updated the certification process and the requirements for forgiving their education costs, allowing those serving in a high need area in Arizona to have a year of education costs forgiven for every 6 months worked.Laws 1976, Chapter 9 empowered WICHE to place Arizona students in institutions outside of the Compact states and territories.

Laws 1981, Chapter 1 renumbered the Compact and WICHE-related statutes.

Laws 1983, Chapter 188 created a Collections Revolving Fund which was used to enforce contracts with students, including court costs, filing fees, etc.Sources

  • Arizona Revised Statutes
    • §15-741 et seq.
  • Session Laws
    • Laws 1952, Chapter 104
    • Laws 1953, Chapter 59
    • Laws 1958, Chapter 92
    • Laws 1981, Chapter 1
    • Laws 1983, Chapter 188
  • WICHE website (

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