New Specialty License Plates Approved, But Law Enforcement Concerned

January 31, 2014

A state House committee has approved legislation to create six more specialty license plates. The plates are important to the sponsoring organizations because they get $17 of the $25 the buyers pay to get the plates.

Among the new causes are professional golfers, equine education and volunteer firefighters. Sierra Vista Fire Chief Randy Redmond explains why that plate is needed.

“These small departments can't have enough bake sales and car washes to be able to fund these firefighters to attend school every year,” Redmond said. “That's what this is about.”

Redmond says that money will all go toward scholarships for the firefighters.

But Jen Sweeney Marson of the Arizona Association of Counties says county sheriffs oppose the idea, feeling it’s already too hard to get a witness to tell them if a plate is from Arizona.

“I appreciate that the special license plate legislation is kind of a feel-good moment,” Sweeney said. “But I don't think that feel good should ever trump public safety.”

The objections were largely ignored by the House Transportation Committee, which voted 5-to-1 to approve all of the new plates.