Arizona Sunset Experience: The First Two Cycles, 1978-82

Jonathan Rose

Arizona State University College of Law


Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 1985, p. 321

The sunset laws represent one of the earliest efforts in the search for methods to centralize regulatory reform. The principles that constitute the operating mechanism for sunset laws are automatic termination of all government agencies and their statutes and periodic review of the performance of all government agencies. The specific objectives of sunset are to evaluate existing governmental effectiveness and efficiency and to deter future governmental growth. The wide-spread enactment of sunset laws since the first sunset law was enacted by Colorado in 1976, demonstrated the enthusiasm that characterized the first stage of sunset. Within several years, the second stage of sunset developed, in which a more cautious attitude was exhibited. Not only did legislative enactment cease, but the second stage was a period for reflection and evaluation.

The focus of this study is to evaluate the experience of Arizona in its first two cycles of sunset. During this period, the performance of twenty-nine agencies has been evaluated by the Auditor General, by legislative Committees of Reference, and by the Legislature. Numerous recommendations have been made, many of which have been implemented. Moreover, a substantial amount of time and money have been expended in the process. Because the process is ongoing and extends far into the future, it is appropriate to examine and evaluate the effect of these first two cycles.

This study describes the Arizona sunset law, discusses the performance audits and legislative action regarding each agency, and evaluates these actions and their effects.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 103

Keywords: sunset law, legislation, government

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Date posted: June 18, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Rose, Jonathan, Arizona Sunset Experience: The First Two Cycles, 1978-82 (1985). Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 1985, p. 321. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1422114

Contact Information

Jonathan Rose (Contact Author)
Arizona State University College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-6513 (Phone)
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