A new Arizona law takes effect today that weeds out needless government red tape: Senate Bill 1221.
In 2003, the legislature repealed an exemption that had allowed gardeners to spray weeds without first having to obtain three separate licenses from the Structural Pest Control Commission (SPCC). Last year, the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter sued the SPCC over one of those licensing requirements that required 3,000 hours of experience to spray over the counter weed killer.
Senate Bill 1221 reinstates the exemption for these gardeners, with some limitations. For example, gardeners may only use herbicides available to the public and equipment holding eight gallons or less. Importantly, if the SPCC believes someone is violating the licensing laws, it must provide a written warning and notice of the law before imposing a fine. This is crucial given the SPCC previously handed out fines of up to $1,000 without warning.
Institute for Justice clients Gary Rissmiller and Larry Park-and others like them-are now free to provide customers with the best lawn and garden service possible, including the simple act of spraying for weeds.
Jennifer Perkins is an attorney with the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter and wrote this article at the Goldwater Institute's invitation.