Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Recaps “Top Five Victories” for Business
PHOENIX – When the Second Regular Session of Arizona’s 51st Legislature adjourned in the early morning hours of April 24, 2014, the state’s business community could claim several victories on critical issues. The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (GPCC), whose Public Affairs team worked closely with lawmakers throughout the 101-day session, offers its “Top Five Victories” on behalf of Arizona business:
1. EDUCATION: In addition to the $8 million budget provision to fund a new statewide assessment in alignment with Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, education victories included the defeat of Senate Bills 1310, 1395 and 1396. SB 1310 would have left Arizona with no standards for English, Language Arts or Math, forcing the costly, time-consuming choice between reverting to previous standards or developing new ones. SB 1395 would have allowed school districts to opt out of any competency requirement or assessment adopted by the State Board of Education. And SB 1396 would have allowed school districts to opt for standards that were adopted 15 years ago, creating confusion and inequality in statewide standards.
2. MANUFACTURING: Until the passage of SB 1413, Arizona was one of the few states that taxed energy sources used by manufacturing facilities, while leaving other consumables and materials used in the same processes un-taxed. The bill’s passage makes our state more attractive for the attraction and retention of manufacturing firms, which accounts for more than eight percent of our Gross Domestic Product.
3. RESEARCH AT UNIVERSITIES: SB 1392 streamlines the process by which research discoveries at our public universities move from the research environment into the public arena, where they can be used to save lives, enhance technology and grow our economy.
4. “ANGEL INVESTMENT PROGRAM”: HB 2272 continues the Angel Investment Program, a tax credit for investment in qualified small businesses, until Dec. 31, 2024. The Chamber believes this program helps grow small business investments and establishes Arizona as one of the most desirable places for expanding companies to do business.
5. FUNDING FOR ADEQ’S “myDEQ” PORTAL: The provision of $6.8 million in funding for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to complete its myDEQ online portal will increase the level of customer service the agency provides to the business community and help make the agency’s internal operations more efficient.
“It’s rare that anyone gets everything they want out of a legislative session, but we feel very good about the results we achieved in working with lawmakers at the capitol on behalf of our members and the business community,” said Greater Phoenix Chamber Vice President, Public Affairs and Economic Development Chad Heinrich. “With the help of dedicated legislators who recognize the importance of a partnership with business, we were able to achieve these significant gains that will benefit our state’s economy and workforce.”
The GPCC will host its 20th annual Legislative Wrap-Up Event on Thursday morning, May 1 at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley, where Senate President Andy Biggs and House Speaker Andy Tobin will discuss the important outcomes of the session. Those interested in attending should register online at www.phoenixchamber.com no later than Monday, April 28.
About the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Established in 1888 and representing 2,600 businesses across Metropolitan Phoenix, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is Arizona’s largest and most-established business organization. The Chamber supports the growth and development of business by offering networking and marketing opportunities, money-saving programs and a voice in government, keeping its members informed, connected and prosperous. The Chamber enhances members’ success by promoting economic development, entrepreneurship and a connection to the community with local chapters in Anthem, Deer Valley and South Mountain/Laveen.