Bottom Line

2014


Hamer's Hammer Awards: 2014 Edition
Dec. 29, 2014

We are at that time of year to announce Arizona's favorite year-end awards. It’s time for Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer’s Hammer Awards. Admittedly, winners don’t get an actual award to put on the mantel or in the trophy case, but trust us: the worldwide acclaim they earn is recognition enough.

Ambushed by the NLRB
Dec. 16, 2014

The folks at the National Labor Relations Board aren’t slowing down for the holidays. With the term of one of its most reliable pro-union votes set to expire today, the NLRB is cramming through a few more anti-employer regulations in these waning hours.

Bureaucrats gone wild...again
Dec. 2, 2014

You’ve got to hand it to President Obama for his perseverance. Despite getting waxed at the polls last month, his administration keeps on rolling with an environmental regulatory agenda that is neither politically popular nor wise public policy. But the White House’s regulatory runaway train is running down job creators, stifling economic growth.

Proposed EPA water rule is all wet
Nov. 17, 2014

If you need further evidence of the sometimes cartoonish level of ham-fisted management of environmental regulatory matters by the federal government, consider the proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to change the definition of “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act.

The Chamber Recommends...
Oct. 30, 2014

We are just a few days away from Election Day. Soon the TV ads will cease, the junk mail will stop coming and our street corners will look a lot less crowded. If you haven’t already marked your ballot, I encourage you to vote for candidates who will stand up for job creators and ensure that Arizona is as competitive as it can be.

Notes from across the border: Four big ideas shaking up Arizona-Mexico trade
Oct. 22, 2014

While all of us have no doubt been busy getting enlightened by the endless stream of political TV ads, there have been lots of exciting things happening to grow Arizona’s cross-border trade profile with our neighbor Mexico.

Don't bottleneck economic growth
Sept. 26, 2014

Former Mexico President Vicente Fox and former Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla convened a roundtable of business leaders at the Arizona Chamber as part of a daylong series of events in conjunction with the United Peoria Foundation. President Fox opened his remarks by reminding our standing-room-only audience that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The landmark trade pact between Canada, the United States and Mexico has resulted in greatly increased market access for producers across the continent by knocking down protectionist tariffs. But two decades on, NAFTA trade isn’t as efficient as it should be, getting hung up at the borders due to congested ports of entry and slowed by a still underdeveloped highway system.

U.S. corporate tax pushing jobs out to sea
August 25, 2014

President Obama is telegraphing that his strategy to hold the Senate majority and win swing House seats this fall will be to play the economic populism card, pitting what he will portray as corporate tax dodgers against middle class families feeling anxious in a still-too-soft economy. Expect entrepreneurial job creators to be caricatured in campaigns ads as unpatriotic exploiters of tax loopholes. Some Senate Democrats see a political wedge issue ripe for election season.

NLRB puts franchises and thousands of small businesses at risk
August 13, 2014

Need convincing that the National Labor Relations Board is an agency in desperate need of a management change?

Rising tourism numbers a reminder of importance of Arizona’s brand
July 25, 2014

The latest data on Arizona’s tourism industry says that business is on the upswing, which is good news for a state looking to put the Great Recession in its rearview mirror.

The next education conversation: quality for equality
June 18, 2014

I don’t often find occasion to praise California for its game-changing reforms. However, a California Superior Court judge last week achieved game-changer status when he threw out the state’s teacher tenure laws, holding that they violate the state constitution. If upheld, this case will allow California schools to retain teachers based on their ability rather than seniority, and dramatically changes the conversation about education in the United States by equating quality with equality.

Message to EPA: Engage before you change
June 6, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have proposed a rule that will significantly expand the definition and jurisdiction of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Child safety is job one of special legislative session
May 22, 2014

I usually use this space to write about the pressing business issues of the day. Things like taxes and regulations and other items critical to job creation in Arizona.

New York has a better business climate than Arizona? Fuhgeddaboudit!
May 16, 2014

If you watch the Sunday morning talk shows or cable news, you might have seen some ads from the folks at New York’s economic development agency, the Empire State Development Corp. Several friends of mine have seen the ads and have asked me what they’re all about.

Legislative session wraps with wins for business
May 2, 2014

Ninety state legislators and Gov. Jan Brewer made their way through a myriad of bills in workmanlike fashion in the recently completed legislative session, wrapping up their work in an efficient 101 days.

More regulation means less prosperity
Apr. 23, 2014

Anyone in business knows that the heavy regulatory hand of government prevents job creation, slows investment and hurts the economy. That’s why when Gov. Jan Brewer took office in January 2009, one of her first actions was to place a moratorium on new state government regulations.

Legislature sends Governor a responsible, pragmatic budget
Apr. 10, 2014

The state Legislature Monday night passed a $9.23 billion budget for fiscal year 2015. Gov. Brewer has the final say on the budget bills as they await her decision to veto or sign, but all signals suggest that she will approve the package.

Ambush! NLRB election plan hurts employers.
Apr. 3, 2014

Faced with an economy that is limping along, President Obama has pursued an odd strategy for growth.

Reflections on Mexico: A dynamic economy ready to do business
Mar. 28, 2014

I was in Mexico City last week with an all-star trade delegation to talk about Arizona’s strong relationship with our neighbor to the south, our state’s number 1 trading partner. Here are some thoughts about what I learned and observed…

Not just a game, Spring Training means business
Mar. 20, 2014

In 2012, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Office of Tourism, Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, Cactus League Association, and a coalition of municipalities that host the Cactus League funded two different studies, conducted by Elliott D. Pollack & Co. and FMR Associates of Tucson, to examine the economic impact of the Arizona Cactus League. The studies revealed that Spring Training and the Cactus League facilities continue to benefit Arizona significantly, as overall attendance and revenue to the state have increased significantly since a similar 2007 study.

Bipartisan effort to break up border bottlenecks
Mar. 13, 2014

Six million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico. Arizona’s southern neighbor is our state’s top trading partner, where we export over $6 billion worth of goods and services across our shared border.

Arizona Jobs at Risk in Latest Defense Budget
Mar. 6, 2014

The world is a dangerous place, which is why we should proceed with extreme caution when we consider big cuts to the Defense Department’s budget.

Mr. Mayor, These are Kids, Not Contras
Feb. 18, 2014

New Schools for Phoenix is a campaign to open 25 “A”-rated schools in Phoenix’s urban core by 2020. Launched by the Arizona Charter Schools Association, a group of motivated educational leaders - including the association’s president and CEO Eileen Sigmund - has looked at an area of greatest need and asked, “How can we help?”

America's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Corporate Income Tax
Feb. 11, 2014

Arizona is doing all it can to develop a more competitive tax environment in order to attract jobs, but we're getting no help from the feds.

Arizona Chamber's 2014 Agenda Puts Focus on Education
Jan. 10, 2014

The first session of the 51st Legislature continued the momentum that started a few years ago in transforming Arizona into one of the best states in the country to do business. These efforts have not gone unnoticed. We are moving up the ranks on several key rankings: Chief Executive Magazine now ranks Arizona as the sixth best state for business in the country, the Kauffman Index ranks us as the number one most entrepreneurial state, and Arizona topped Forbes Magazine’s list of best states for future job growth. Moody’s Analytics just reported that Arizona is poised to have some of the best jobs numbers in the country in 2014. But, as always, there is still more work to be done.