HB 2486, the first step towards the secession of eastern Santa Cruz County, was approved by the Arizona State Senate Committee of the Whole on April 9. State Representative Gail Griffin, who represents District 14, encompassing Cochise and Greenlee County, and part of Pima and Graham counties, authored the bill to create a joint study committee that will research and report on the fiscal and related impacts of a change in the county boundary line between Cochise County and Santa Cruz County. 

This bill, which is a response to community concerns regarding high taxes and diminishing services on the east side of Santa Cruz County, is part of an attempt for Sonoita, Elgin and Canelo to join Cochise County. 

HR 2468 now only needs 16 (out of 17) Republican votes to be approved by the Senate. If approved, the bill will then be sent to Governor Ducey for final approval. If approved by the Governor, a report of findings and recommendations are due to the Governor, the president of the Senate, Speaker of the House and Secretary of State on or before June 30, 2020. 

The 13-person committee will consist of three members of the House, three members of the Senate, three public members appointed by the House, three public members appointed by the Senate, and one member appointed by the governor. 

At this time, it is unknown what recommendations the Committee will make, whether they will be adopted, and what process may be required for implementation.