protected speech concerning HOA governance

Last month I urged  all HOA members to support Arizona’s HB 2158,

Many courts have referred to the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) as the HOA constitution.  Arizona’s HB 2158 is a second try (Arizona HB 2052 restores homeowner constitutional speech protections ) to prohibit restrictions on HOA members’ freedom of political speech with respect to HOA governance issues and matters.”

(Do you stand behind the US Constitution or your HOA ‘constitution’?)

The bill addresses the right of members to free political speech on matters affecting the governance of the HOA by specifying such rights and prohibiting HOA interference with these rights.  While the bill refers to “association-specific” signs, it is a giant step toward HOA democracy by creating a fair election and voting process, affecting procedures now dominated by the pro-HOA governing documents.

You can read the itemized “freedoms” here.  Just a few,

  • Defines an association-specific political sign as a sign that supports or opposes a candidate for the board or the recall of a board member or a condominium or planned community ballot measure that requires a vote of the COA or HOA owners.
  • Prohibits a COA or HOA from prohibiting or unreasonably restricting an owner’s ability to peacefully assemble and use common areas of the COA or HOA,
  • [prohibits] making any other regulations regarding the content of an association-specific political sign,
  • Allows an owner to invite one political candidate or guest to speak to an assembly of owners about matters related to the respective condominium or planned community.

The bill passed the House and will be heard all over again, as required by law, in the Senate this Monday, March 14th.  The Senate has always been a “stopper” of HOA reform bils; your continued, loud and clear support is necessary.

Email the Senate Government committee members NOW! 

Sonny BorrelliVice-Chairman
Sally Ann GonzalesMember
Theresa HatathlieMember
J.D. MesnardMember
Martin QuezadaMember
Wendy RogersMember
Kelly TownsendChairman

If familiar with the Legislature’s RTS procedure, sign on and make your voice via RTS, which is read by the committee members and made part of the record. Instructions on how to set up your RTS account can be found here.  It may look complicated but it simple, just fill in the boxes.  Your RTS can be used for any bill by just entering the bill number. 

Unfortunately, you must set up your account at a kiosk at the state capitol, after which youc can access your account from your home.

Substantive HOA member rights advances in Arizona

A big step forward for HOA homeowners in AZ, that restores lost constitutional rights, as the Senate GOV committee passed the bill, HB 2052, in a 7-0 vote with 1 no-vote.  On its way to a full Senate vote and then Final vote.

It should also be seen by HOA BODs as treating their members as first-class citizens.  It follows in the footsteps of California’s SB 323 —  passed into law in 2019 — and several court opinions upholding HOAs are public forums that provide free public speech on governing matters.

Read the summary carefully for it spells out your rights to be heard on an equal basis to the BOD’s actions and views. FACT SHEET FOR H.B. 2052.  Here are some important excerpts:

“Prohibits an HOA from prohibiting door-to-door community activity on property normally open to visitors within an HOA.

Prohibits an HOA from prohibiting or unreasonably restricting an owner’s ability to peacefully assemble and use private or common elements of the community, if done in compliance with reasonable restrictions for the property adopted by the HOA’s board of directors.

“Allows an owner or group of owners to organize to discuss or address condominium or planned community business, including a) HOA board of directors elections or recalls; b) potential or actual ballot issues or revisions to the HOA documents . . .  or d) any other community business or action.  

“Allows an owner to invite a political candidate or other non-owner guest to speak to an assembly of owners.”

Now of course, your BOD will turn to its legal advisors to get an opinion.  If you’ve read my commentaries here you got a good idea of what many of the national lobbying member attorneys will probably telling your BOD.  Under the bill, when it becomes law, members will have a better chance to challenge BOD decisions and get to the facts of who really runs your BOD.  You might say, the bill will Make HOAs Great Again!