March 28—Public Affairs Wrap Up

If you missed last Friday’s Public Affairs Committee meeting, here are the highlights:

We had not one, but two great guest speakers: State Senator Michele Reagan and Michael Kies, Arizona Project Manager for the I-11 and Intermountain West Corridor Study for the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Senator Reagan opened the meeting speaking frankly about this legislative session and the campaign trail. While thanking the Chamber and the business community at large for their efforts this legislative session, she highlighted key areas including education and the state’s budget. Specifically, she noted the business community’s passionate support of Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards that were threatened by several bills in the state Senate.

Senator Reagan owned and operated Fast Signs on Central, a Chamber IMPACT Award Recipient in 1999, with her parents for a decade. In 2011, she received one of the Chamber’s Sentinel Awards, which go to elected officials who advocate for business community policy priorities that improve Arizona’s business climate. This year’s Sentinel Award recipients will be honored at the 27th Annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 15. Register for the luncheon online.

Kies addressed the committee members by delving into the details surrounding the I-11 and Intermountain West Corridor Study (click here to view the presentation).

Arizona’s Department of Transportation is working in tandem with the Nevada Department of Transportation to explore the role of a possible new interstate, I-11, through its I-11 and Intermountain West Corridor Study. The study includes detailed corridor planning of an interstate link between Phoenix and Las Vegas with potential future extensions of the Corridor that could connect Arizona to Canada and Mexico. The study also includes the development of a business case for the associated infrastructure upgrades and expansion.

As Phoenix continues to grow and the regional economy continues to diversify, it is important that the business community participates in the study committee on this vital issue that could transform Arizona’s economy to a value-based economy and increase the region’s exports.

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