June 2, 2004
Organizations smuggling people into this country will find their assets subject to government seizure under the terms of legislation signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Janet Napolitano.
The law allows civil racketeering actions to be brought against any group making more than $5,000 a month from running coyote operations.
Sen. Linda Aguirre, DPhoenix, said current laws permit the arrest of those captured running coyote operations. This law, she said, will enable the state to track and seize the financial gains.
Another provision says the state can go after the homes of any organization that smuggles more than 15 people a month. Seizure of other property, such as cars and trucks, would be allowed against any group smuggling at least three illegal entrants in a month.
Napolitano also signed legislation that expands sex offender notification laws to cover those convicted before June 1, 1996.
Arizona law permits those convicted of certain offenses to be labeled as sex offenders.
Communities where they live have to be notified, with the level of notice varying depending on risk to the community.
For the lowest level offenders, only law enforcement may be told; those at high risk of reoffending will have their pictures and addresses given to neighbors.
Until now that notification covered only those convicted after the law took effect eight years ago.
This law covers those whose offenses were committed before that time.
Also signed Tuesday is a law designed to give residents of homeowners associations more power to express their political beliefs.
The new law says an association can’t preclude posting a political sign within the period 45 days before an election.
Any limit on the size of the sign can be no more restrictive than permitted by local ordinance.
Residents who live in condominiums or townhomes where the lawn belongs to the association will have to be content to put their signs in the window.
Other bills signed Tuesday by the governor include:
• Placing restrictions on the ordering of cigarettes by mail, phone or Internet to ensure the recipient is at least 18 and the state collects its share of taxes.
• Allowing the surviving spouse of a fully disabled veteran to get the same exemption from paying the annual vehicle registration fee until that person remarries or dies.