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Arizona State Legislature
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Forty-eighth Legislature - First Regular Session
  Marsha Arzberger

Marsha Arzberger
Minority Leader

District 25

1700 W. Washington
Room 213
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone Number: (602) 926-4321
Fax Number: (602) 417-3146


Personal Information:

Home City:Willcox
Family businesses farm/ranch (retired); former Assistant for Special Projects, Arizona Board of Regents
Member Since:
January 2001
Party: Democrat

Marsha Arzberger

Senator Marsha Arzberger

State Senator, District 25


website --




Personal –

            Marsha Arzberger

            Age 67; born St. Joseph, Missouri (1937).  Raised on a farm in Missouri.

            Arizona resident since 1967


Family –

Married, husband Gus Arzberger.  The Arzberger family homesteaded in the Kansas Settlement southeast of Arizona in 1908.

            Two children; two step-children; five grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren


Occupation –

            Farmer/Rancher (retired); Arizona Board of Regents 1993-2000, Assistant to the Director for Special Projects (higher education analyst); former Dean of Draughon’s Business College and professor Oklahoma Junior College of Business and Technology; Registered Medical Laboratory Technologist


Elected –

            State Senate 2000-2001, District 8; State Senate 2003-2004, District 25

            Elected Precinct Committeeperson 1982-1996


Education –

Bachelor of Science in Education, Northwest Missouri State University (With Honors)

Master’s in Public Administration, Arizona State University (With Distinction)

Graduate work toward a second Master’s degree in Political Science, ASU


Background & Experience –

·           Marsha was raised on a farm in Missouri and worked her way through college with scholarships

·           Dean of Draughon’s Business College in Kansas City, MO; Professor, Oklahoma Junior College of Business and Technology

·           Farmer / Rancher, partner with husband Gus in family farm and ranch businesses and owned and managed apartments

·           Arizona Board of Regents (1993-2000), Assistant to the Director for Special Projects, focusing on higher education research.  Coordinated the 2000 Higher Education Arizona Town Hall Background Report and authored two chapters.

·           Registered Medical Laboratory Technologist


Appointments & Boards –

·           Appointed to the Arizona Commission of Agriculture & Horticulture (Governor’s appointment) 1979-1982

·           Cochise College Foundation Board member since 1999


Personal Achievements –

·           Private Pilot with instrument rating and over 5000 hours of flying experience

·           Published author of a novel and approximately 18 journalism articles


Community Service –

·           Civil Air Patrol – 30-year member.  Group Commander of Southeast Arizona; Command Search Pilot; Search and Rescue Mission Commander

·           Volunteered at Willcox Elementary and Middle schools

·           Served on Willcox, Arizona public schools community committees


Organizations –

            Cochise College Foundation Board

            Civil Air Patrol

            Farm Bureau

            Cattle Growers

            Business & Professional Women

            AAUW (American Assoc. of University Women)

            National Organization of Women Legislators

            Cochise County Democrats

            Friends of the Library

            Sulphur Springs Historical Scoiety

            League of Women Voters


Interim Committees  –

            Rural Physicians Study Committee (Co-chair)

            Ad Hoc Study Committee on State Retirees Health Benefits (Chair)

            Blue Ribbon Task Force on Effluent Reuse (Co-chair)

            Joint Legislative Study Committee on State Employee Compensation



2004 Bills Introduced and Passed --

SB 1246 – new pesticide approval process – was the result of a year’s cooperation between the agriculture industry and the Dept. of Environmental Quality.  The new  process will facilitate approval of newly developed products that are less costly to growers, safer for workers, and more environmentally friendly.  This bill passed unanimously through Senate and House committees and final vote.

SB 1001fertilizer transport; transaction privilege tax --     Helped a local industry in District 25 that was prohibited from shipping fertilizer products by rail within the state because of a glitch in state sales tax law that taxed rail shipments but not shipments by truck  This bill passed unanimously through Senate and House committees and final vote.

SB 1020aircraft license taxes; antique; classic --   Owners of antique and classic aircraft have been calling the Dept. of Transportation for years requesting an update of current law.  The statute language defined “antique” as an aircraft manufactured before 1941.  This bill changed the language to define antique as over 50 years old and classic over 40 years old.  Owners of planes that old will receive a break on their registration fee, similar to that given automobiles as they get older.

SB 1104veterinarians; crematory licensure; animals --     The Veterinary Board requested this bill to modernize their statute language.  The owners of animal crematories, which are new to our state, requested that the facilities be regulated by the Board.  The bill helps the Board maintain ethical practices for veterinarians and animal crematories. 

SB 1174 – Use Fuel Refunds; Use Taxes --   This bill benefited agriculture, contractors and other small businesses that use off-road diesel fuel.  Creates a new streamlined process for deducting use tax at the time highway tax rebates are submitted.

SB 1192 Retiree Health Insurance Study --  Provisions of this bill were amended onto another bill and passed.  This bill mandated a study to examine the benefits of combining retirees from all systems in a retiree health insurance plan.

SB  2626 – An Arzberger amendment assisted Ajo, Arizona, in receiving federal funds for bus transportation to Phoenix.

SB 2464 – An Arzberger amendment protected truck drivers from losing their CDL license because of a minor driving infraction while driving a non-commercial vehicle.

Water Amendment -- An Arzberger amendment to water legislation allows public notice when assured water supply certificates are transferred to another company.  Local residents have the opportunity to submit information or comments.

Private Property Rights -- An Arzberger amendment protects property owners from tax assessments in new recreational corridor districts unless more than fifty percent of the owners agree.

SB 1114 Bad checks; classification -- This bill benefited businesses.  At present, writing a bad check even in the tens of thousands and not making it good is only a misdemeanor offense.  The association of county attorneys helped draft this bill so that the law had a stiffer penalty for bad checks over $5,000.  (Note:  this bill did not pass.  Despite strong support in every committee in both houses, the Rules Committee Chairwoman in the House held the bill).

SB 1194 – Rural Hospitals; appropriation; fund

           Rural Hospitals currently are paid an average of 62% of cost for treating inpatients under the state AHCCCS (Medicaid) system.  Some of our rural hospitals are paid 47% of cost.  Urban hospitals receive 98% of cost.  This bill established a fund to equalize the rate of reimbursement for rural hospitals.  While supporters of the bill were working on the appropriation, another disaster for hospitals appeared when a budget proposal significantly CUT reimbursement to hospitals for both AHCCCS inpatient and outpatient treatment.  (The bill was held by the Senate Appropriations Chairman and supporters went to work to stop the cutting of reimbursements.  The final budget did not cut AHCCCS reimbursements, but there was no time left to address the rural problem).  Keep in mind that when hospitals are paid half of their cost for AHCCCS patients, the rest of the citizens who use those hospitals pay more to make up the loss to the hospital.

     Aviation Fund Restored – One of the issues I took to the budget negotiation table was restoration of the Aviation Fund, which has been “raided” to balance the budget for several years.  This fund comes from aircraft property taxes paid by aircraft owners, and provides grants for cities and counties.  The grant money is the match for federal funds, sometimes an 80-90% federal fund match to keep runways, taxiways and infrastructure repaired, to maintain safety, and to construct new hangars.



2003 Bills Introduced and Passed --

SB1036  / HB2349 –  Public Retirees; Rural Areas; Insurance – continues the rural subsidy for health insurance for public employee retirees to 2005.

SB1008  - Nuclear Emergency Appropriation and Assessment - emergency event preparation plan funded by an assessment on nuclear power plants.

SB1037 – ASRS; Surviving Spouses; Health Insurance – retirees in the Arizona State Retirement System can now designate their surviving spouses or dependents to receive the state subsidy for health insurance.

SB1072 –  Southern Arizona Veterans' Cemetery; Donations – The bill creates a fund for private donations and federal funds to be used for maintenance and operation of the cemetery.

SB1221 – ASRS; Study Committee; Health Costs – – Because of the significant differences in health insurance premium costs between the urban and rural areas, I sponsored legislation that would create a legislative committee to specifically examine this issue.

SCM 1001 – Immigrants; Legal Worker Program –  This Senate Concurrent Memorial (SCM) is an official request to Congress and the President of the United States to take action to address the serious illegal immigration problem in Arizona by creating a legal worker program that allows immigrants to enter this country through official ports of entry and be documented.  This would free law enforcement agencies to focus their efforts on stopping criminals and drug smugglers.  Senator McCain, Congressman Flake and Congressman Kolbe have now introduced a legal worker program bill in Congress.

SM 1002 – Tohono O'odham Nation's Citizens Act – This Senate Memorial was requested by the Tohono O’odham Nation, which is now in District 25.  The memorial is a request to Congress to grant citizenship papers to registered members of the Tohono O’odham nation who have no birth records.  Many of these elders served in the United States military.

SB 1160 ASRS; Veterans; Service Credits – I was able to get the provisions of this bill passed as an amendment to a House bill dealing with the same subject.  This measure corrects an inequity affecting a few state employees who served our country as members of the military.  Some Veterans are not able to participate in a revised calculation for purchasing retirement  credits for years of military service.



2002 Bills Introduced and Passed –

SB 1239 -- Rural Retirees Health Insurance Subsidy – extended the payment to rural state retirees to equalize cost of health care insurance one more year, until June 30, 2004.  Governor Hull vetoed this bill, but the subsidy was still in effect until June 30, 2003, and another bill to extend the subsidy was successfully passed in 2003.

SB 1027 HURF Fund Distributions to Counties – a follow-up to the 2001 Arzberger bill that further protects counties from errors in Highway User Revenue Fund reporting and distribution

SB 1238 Critical Access Hospitals Redesignation – gives the ability to critical access hospitals to re-designate

SB 1240 -- Rural Physicians Study Committee – the study committee will look at the problem of rural physicians who practice obstetrics and problems retaining them because of huge increases in malpractice insurance.

SB 1158 -- Effluent Reuse Task Force Continuation -- Arzberger is co-chair of this committee, which examines science and new technology for the treatment of effluent and the conservation of water resources.

HB 2104 + two other bills -- Three private property rights amendments protecting property owners.

HB 2161 -- Amendment for the City of Sierra Vista to allow a trade of city land for state land to expand their park and recreational area (bill failed).

SB 1267 – Weighing Vehicles and Loads – This bill addresses a local problem with weighing commercial trucks.  An administrative solution was negotiated with the Department of Transportation and the bill was no longer necessary.



2001 Bills Introduced and Passed --

SB 1107 State Retirees Health Insurance -- additional subsidy for rural retirees in areas where there are no HMOs

SB 1038 Telemedicine Grants for Rural Hospitals and Community Health Centers

SB 1349 HURF Distribution  -- eases the burden on counties and cities transportation budgets when the Dept. of Transportation finds errors in Highway User Revenue Fund collections.

SB 1039 / HB 2243 – Health Insurance for Community Colleges and School Districts – Senator Arzberger and Representative Mark Maiorana introduced similar bills and combined them.  Allows community colleges, school districts and all government entities to join the state health care system.

SB 1381 – Provisional Community College Districts – assists new community college districts with the election processes and financial arrangements.  The bill assists the formation of community colleges in those counties that do not have one.

SB 1126 / HB 2459 – Capital Grants for Rural Nonprofit Hospitals and Clinics – This bill was included in the Health Omnibus Bill.  It appropriated $3 million for capital projects, medical projects up to $500,000 or dental projects to $350,000.

SB 1350 State Employee Salaries Increase – Arzberger introduced this bill to implement a law passed several years ago to bring state employees salaries up to market level, and thus reduce the enormous turnover that is costing the state.  Employee salary increases were agreed upon in the budget, a 5% wage increase for state employees for 2002 and 2003.

SB 1106 Retiree Health Care Study Committee – An ad hoc committee was appointed to study solutions for state retirees’ health insurance.  Arzberger is the Senate Chair.


AWARDS – Senator Marsha Arzberger


PRESIDENT’S AWARD FROM THE ARIZONA COMMUNITY ACTION ASSOCIATION 2004 for working to alleviate hunger and poverty

(the Association’s highest honor --  May 13, 2004)



From the Arizona Rural Health Association and the Rural Health Office of the  Mel and Enid Zuckerman Arizona Collage of Public Health, July 22, 2003.    Presented to Senator Marsha Arzberger “for her advocacy and legislative actions to improve the health of rural Arizonans.”




Recognizing the Dedication of Senator Marsha Arzberger to Arizona Cities and Towns”



County Supervisors Association

“for outstanding legislative service on behalf of Arizona Counties”



from the statewide association of retired school teachers and employees



Presented May 18, 2004, to Senator Marsha Arzberger “in appreciation for your help and support of AEA Retired Educators.



“Recognizing your commitment to natural resource conservation”



SAWUA Southern Arizona Water Users Association, July 13, 2004, “In Recognition of Your Outstanding Support of Water-related Issues in Southern Arizona”



Arizona Association of Industries 2002



From the National Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

“In recognition of your extraordinary commitment to General Aviation.  Your diligent legislative action resulted in a successful effort to restore funding to the State Aviation Fund for Arizona’s rural airports, and promoted the preservation of antique and classic aircraft.”






Committee Assignments
Financial Institutions, Insurance and Retirement Member Click Here Click Here
Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Member Click Here Click Here



Sponsored Bills
Bill NumberSort By Bill Number
Sponsor TypeSort By Sponsor Type
Short TitleSort By Short Title
Final Vote
HB2112 P iceberg lettuce research council; restructuring
HB2113 P agricultural commodity councils; restructuring
HB2220 C procurement code; exemption
HB2305 C school districts; impact aid miscalculations
  (NOW: school districts; budget; miscalculations; receivership
See Vote
HB2306 C feral honeybees; public nuisance
HB2308 P appropriations; border county costs
HB2328 C county graffiti abatement
HB2339 C peace officers' training fund
HB2340 C inmate labor; compensation
HB2342 C unlawful sexual conduct involving prisoners
HB2385 P colleges; out-of-county tuition
HB2451 C organizational rights; employee organizations
HB2483 P citrus, fruit and vegetable council
HB2559 C boxing; intergovernmental tribal agreements
HB2568 P appropriation; university of Arizona south
HB2644 C lobbyists; gift ban
HB2701 C Arizona twenty-first century fund
HB2719 C border regional port authority See Vote
HB2725 C restitution; civil proceedings by victims
HB2731 P teachers; minimum salary
HB2732 C Arizona government education fund
HB2754 C greater Arizona development authority
HCM2007 C telecommunications; Native Americans
HCM2008 C urge protection; Kofa herd
HCM2013 C railroad rights-of-way
HCR2046 C equal rights amendment; ratification.
HCR2047 C Buffalo Soldiers recognition
HCR2052 C Honorable Carmen Cajero
SB1044 P* savings and loans; technical correction
SB1053 P* nuclear emergency management fund; assessments
SB1071 C technical correction; foster care
SB1072 C technical correction; kinship care
SB1081 P community colleges; nonresident county; tuition
SB1104 P information security and privacy office
SB1108 C African-American affairs; commission
SB1109 C automatic restoration of voting rights
SB1110 C kinship foster care; grandparents; appropriation
SB1111 C foster care; age limit; extension
SB1113 C low water use landscaping; subdivisions
SB1133 P* tribal community colleges; tax transfer
SB1134 P* bad checks; classification
SB1173 C health care businesses; consumer information
SB1174 C insurance; mental health coverage; parity.
SB1175 P agricultural protection fund; revenue source
SB1188 C clean elections; publicly funded elections
SB1218 P* state fair fund; technical correction
  (NOW: Arizona water settlements
See Vote
SB1219 P* accountable health plans; technical correction
SB1220 P* county air quality; technical correction
SB1225 P* military family relief fund
SB1234 P* schools; transportation funding.
SB1287 C tax refunds; taxpayer identity
SB1288 C insurance; automobile rates; zip codes
SB1289 C occupational safety; employee death; penalties
  (NOW: mortgage licenses; financial institutions department
SB1303 C apprentices; state construction projects.
SB1304 P appropriation; department of corrections; salaries
SB1305 C disabled veterans' complimentary fishing licenses
SB1306 C CPS; confidential information.
SB1307 C emissions testing facility; appropriation
SB1345 C identity theft; freezing consumer report
  (NOW: identity theft; freezing credit report
SB1352 P well drillers; continuing education
SB1354 C tax credit; medical liability insurance
SB1355 C Goldwater range; concurrent jurisdiction
SB1368 P* appropriations; budget estimates; technical correction
SB1369 P* health; appropriation; technical correction
SB1370 P* appropriations; budget; technical correction
SB1371 P* health services; appropriation; technical correction
SB1372 P* revenue; appropriation; technical correction
SB1374 C valley fever research; appropriation
SB1375 C appropriation; domestic violence intervention
SB1376 C appropriation; master teacher program
SB1377 C appropriation; office of tourism
SB1378 C appropriation; veterans' services
SB1379 C appropriation; dental services; long-term care
SB1380 C state highway fund bonds.
SB1381 C appropriation; commerce; economic development; commission
SB1385 C appropriation; human papillomavirus vaccine
SB1386 C appropriations; integrated tax system
SB1387 C appropriation; supplemental food program
SB1388 C appropriation; agricultural inspections
SB1389 C appropriation; construction college
SB1390 C appropriation; capitol mall
SB1391 C appropriations; state utility costs
SB1392 C border security programs; appropriation
SB1393 C appropriations; law enforcement; correctional; officers
SB1394 C appropriation; tribal drug prevention; treatment
SB1395 C appropriation; hospice care
SB1396 C appropriation; adult dental services
SB1397 C appropriation; children's healthcare initiative
SB1398 C appropriation; graduate medical education
SB1399 C appropriation; health insurance; parents
SB1400 C appropriation; developmental status evaluations
SB1401 C appropriation; Medicare part D co-payments
SB1402 C water protection fund; appropriations
SB1403 C forensic unit; state hospital; appropriation
SB1449 P children's health insurance; co-payments; premiums
SB1457 C appropriation; Navajo Dilkon courthouse.
SB1470 C pharmacists; duty to fill prescriptions
SB1473 C payday loans; military
SB1474 C long-term care insurance
SB1480 P* accountable health plans; small employers
SB1487 C schools; special education weights; increase
SB1488 C dental care coverage; appropriations
SB1490 C teacher shortage student loan program.
SB1494 C political subdivisions; funds; unions
SB1495 C timeshares; technical correction
SB1496 C procurement services; outsourcing prohibited
SB1497 C outsourcing; state service positions; prohibition
SB1498 C healthcare group.
SB1511 C tax credits; business health insurance
SB1512 C public employees; meet and confer
SB1518 C prescriptions; confidentiality
SB1529 C optometry; use of pharmaceutical agents
SB1551 C multitrack simulcasting; pari-mutuel wagering
SB1557 C water; municipal conservation requirements
SB1558 C appropriations; university medical programs.
SB1560 C AHCCCS; healthcare group; waiting period.
SB1564 C wildland-urban interface code; enforcement
SB1565 C state forester; community protection initiative
SB1566 C use fuel taxes; forest products
SB1567 C pseudoephedrine
SB1568 P teacher compensation; schools
SB1570 P* critical water area pilot districts
  (NOW: Arizona water settlement act
See Vote
SB1572 P* appropriation; crime funds; tribes
SB1573 P* appropriation; methamphetamine prevention
SB1574 P* appropriation; rural telemedicine
SB1575 P* water adequacy amendments
SB1577 P* water supply development revolving fund.
SB1578 P children's health insurance program; outreach
SB1579 P graduate medical education; appropriation
SB1580 C underage drinking; conviction; treatment
SB1581 C CPS; child removal from home
SB1606 C civil process service; fees
SB1607 C state forester
SB1638 P* well impacts; groundwater contamination
SCR1007 P* property valuations; elderly income limits
SCR1017 C collective bargaining
SCR1019 C equal rights amendment; ratification
SCR1023 C centennial; UPS
SCR1029 C The Honorable Jeff Groscost
SJR1001 P Lower Colorado basin; forbearance authority
SM1004 C SBInet
SM1006 P recreational shooting
SR1001 P* state aviation day


P* = Prime Prime Sponsor, P = Prime Sponsor, C = Co-Sponsor