Starting Wednesday, August 9, 2017, kids no longer need a prescription to apply sunscreen at school, 18-year-olds can serve liquor, and people will be free from civil liability for breaking windows of hot cars with kids or animals inside. Several hundred new laws the Arizona Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey passed this session take effect Aug. 9th. Many of the laws are small changes to existing state statutes that most people won’t notice. But these 5 could affect our daily lives:
For us in the valley, sunscreen is as much a part of the daily ritual as waking up our kids for school and reminding them to brush their teeth. Although we use it sparingly and without thought, many schools forbid children from carrying it in their backpacks and re-applying it themselves. Sunscreen, like ibuprofen or cough medicine, is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an over-the-counter drug. As such, many school policies ban it without a doctor’s note.
“It’s crazy,” said Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek. “We’re in Arizona.” Carter introduced a bill to require public district and charter schools and children’s camps to allow kids to freely carry and apply sunscreen. House Bill 2134 states that students may possess and use non-prescription sunscreen without a doctor’s note while on school property or at a school-sponsored event. The bill also would allow school governing boards and camps to adopt policies allowing employees and volunteers to help students apply sunscreen if a parent gives written consent. “This is a big issue in a state filled with 300-plus days of sunshine,” Carter said. “And it’s also a big issue given the way that our schools are designed.” She said students often are outside in the morning waiting for the bus or on the playground before school, walking between classes throughout the day, sitting outside during lunch, back on the playground for P.E. and recess, and waiting for the bus to go home.
The Arizona Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery Society and other health groups brought Carter the idea for the bill. Organization president Dr. Aaron Mangold said he considers it a parent-empowerment issue. “This just allows parents to let kids bring sunscreen to school and use it just like they would any other product they keep in their backpack, like moisturizer or makeup,” he said. “Schools shouldn’t be prohibitive of that.” Mangold said local and national health groups are pushing similar legislation nationwide in an attempt to decrease skin cancer.
Any individual who believes a child or animal in a hot car is in “imminent danger” of suffering injury or death can break the vehicle’s window to rescue them without fear of being sued by the owner. The person must check to see if the car is actually locked and call law enforcement or animal control. Only then would the person have the legal protection to smash the window and rescue the child or animal. And the new law isn’t absolution from all legal liability in all situations, just civil liability in very specific instances.
There was discussion during the legislative session about an existing state law already providing some legal protections for an individual to do whatever he or she needs to save a child dying in a hot car. Arizona already has a statute that allows a “necessary defense” to legally justify an action in which a reasonable person would conclude there was no alternative and the benefit outweighed the potential crime. But existing law may not protect from a civil lawsuit, and it’s less clear whether it would cover an animal or a less dire circumstance.
HB 2208 allows a public district or charter school employee to administer a rescue inhaler to a student or an adult if the individual is showing signs of respiratory distress. It allows schools to apply for grants or accept donations to buy inhalers and spacers.
SB 1073 makes it illegal to cover a license plate or use any electronic device or film that obscures the plate from any angle.
HB 2047 reduces the age it is legal to manufacture, sell, serve or handle liquor to 18, down from 19.
Adena Astrowsky is a prosecutor and author of Mother of Souls, The Story of a Holocaust Survivor. She recently received an Amazing Women award from the Phoenix Suns and National Bank of Arizona for her professional and philanthropic work. She lives in Scottsdale with her husband and three children.