SIGN UP to receive emails from us
View the latest Arizona Chamber policy commentary from President & CEO Glenn Hamer. Click on the links below to view our collection of Bottom Line columns.
Negotiations over the next fiscal year state budget are headed into crunch time. Interest groups on all sides – including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry – are making their pitch to lawmakers and the Governor’s Office for their priority item to be included in the final package.
One of our top priorities is Results-Based Funding for K-12 education. It’s also a priority for Gov. Doug Ducey. The Chamber believes it’s the best opportunity to sustain and grow our best schools and positively impact the lives of more kids.
The plan is not without its critics, however. Their claims, though, could use a little myth-busting.
The stakes are high when it comes to Arizona’s ballot initiative process. If an initiative results in an unintended consequence that harms the state, there’s very little our elected Legislature can do to fix it. That’s why we have to be extra careful that the process for a measure to advance to the ballot is defined by rigor and integrity and is followed correctly. We can’t risk a mistake.
The Legislature passed and Gov. Ducey signed into law HB 2404 earlier this session, which was a priority bill for the Chamber and took a major step toward improving the initiative process.
Thanks to that bill, our initiative process will now place greater emphasis on the quality of petition signatures needed to secure a place on the ballot rather than just the quantity of signatures. The legislation prohibits payment to signature gatherers on a per-signature basis and it extends the timeline to challenge the lawful registration of circulators and validity of petition signatures from five days to 10 business days.
Committee hearings are over. Budget talks are heating up. Bills are moving through the last stages of the legislative process.
As the end of the legislative session draws near, it’s worth taking a look at where the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s top priorities for 2017 stand.
Over the next few days, Glenn Hamer will take a look at a to-do list Arizona’s job creators are encouraging the Legislature to accomplish before adjourning for the year.
I'm not an economist, nor do I play one on TV. But I want to explain why I believe we should think of trade broadly as an economic winner, whether that means exports leaving the US or imports coming in.
The debate of late has been framed as a zero-sum game that measures exports minus imports. That misses the bigger picture.
Think of pants. The cotton – one of Arizona’s five Cs – could be grown in our state and then go to Mexico to be incorporated into blue jeans. I then buy the pants. In the balance of trade, Mexico may be ahead in total value. But so what? Who loses? As long as the jeans fit and I don't cause a major fashion faux pas, we all win.