2011 Legislative Agenda

Statewide Legislative Agenda

Table of Contents

Business Priorities                                                                                                                    

Create a Structurally Balanced Budget                                                                                 

Create a Competitive and Sustainable Economic Development Environment             

Encourage Regulatory Accountability                                                                                         

Maintain a Flexible, Readily Available & Competitive Workforce                                   

Ensure Ample and Affordable Energy Supplies                                                                   

Improve Access to and Affordability of Health Care Statewide                                       

Secure Adequate Funding for Statewide Transportation Needs                                       

Business Priorities

  • Advance tax policies that encourage job creation, attract capital investment, and facilitate  Arizona’s ability to attract and retain businesses in diverse industries.
  • Oppose efforts to balance the state’s general fund by sweeping dedicated funds that were collected from specific taxpayers for targeted purposes.
  • Continuously improve education at all levels so that students have the necessary skills for success in the global economy.
  • Support reform of the current litigation system including tort reform and greater use of alternative dispute resolution to reduce costs to business.
  • Support a comprehensive federal policy to properly seal our porous borders, respond to the needs of the economy, and address the issue of illegal immigrants already in the United States.

Create a Structurally Balanced Budget

  • Recognize that continued bold and immediate action is required to resolve Arizona’s budget deficit and prevent serious, prolonged economic harm.
  • Encourage significant expenditure reductions to all non-essential programs and activities.
  • Establish a schedule of review for all budgetary funding formulas.
  • Oppose budget proposals that would reduce the state’s economic development capacity, impair the state’s ability to bring in tourism money, or shift costs to the private sector through reductions in funding for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).
    • Oppose efforts to reduce state shared revenues.
    • Support a moratorium on businesses paying into the Job Training Fund until such time as the funds can be rededicated to that purpose.
  • Reform the initiative process to increase transparency, prevent abuses, and prevent further limitations on the legislature’s ability to set the state budget, including:
    • Requiring pre-circulation review of language, content, and constitutionality of initiatives;
    • Instituting a ballot title and summary review board;
    • Moving up the deadline for initiative petitions to be filed with the Secretary of State;
    • Requiring pre-circulation review of language, content, and constitutionality of initiatives;
    • Reducing fraud in the petition signature gathering process; and
    • Prospectively modifying Proposition 105 as passed in 1998. Ensure that regulatory fee increases reflect actual administrative costs and are not used for revenue generation.
    • Explore opportunities to partner with private enterprises to increase productivity and reduce costs.

Create a Competitive and Sustainable Economic Development Environment

  • Support the permanent repeal of the state equalization property tax.
  • Support long-term tax reforms – such as reductions in corporate and individual income and premium taxes, greater property tax equity, and lower capital gains taxes – designed to spur job creation and retention.
  • Support prospectively equalizing the property tax assessment ratio.
  • Support responsible corrective measures to ensure solvency of the Arizona Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.
  • Oppose federal law preemptions that will place an additional burden on business.
  • Reform the job training and enterprise zone programs to encourage job creation and business expansion.
  • Support the Arizona Commerce Authority in adopting a long-term business development plan focusing on economically sustainable, high-wage growth industries.

Encourage Regulatory Accountability

  • Support requiring careful cost-benefit analyses by state agencies before enacting new regulations that add costs to business.
  • Streamline and expedite permitting processes at all levels of government so that it is easier to start a new business.
  • Oppose new government regulations that would impede business innovation or efficiency. To that end, continue the temporary moratorium on all new agency rulemakings that are not required by federal law or necessary for public health and safety. Any new regulatory measures should be based on sound science.
  • Oppose legislation that would create unnecessary and costly new obligations for business, limit the freedom to contract, or increase litigation under the guise of consumer protection.
  • Support a transparent and accountable campaign finance system that promotes choice and is free of taxpayer-supported public funding. (in court) 

Maintain a Flexible, Readily Available & Competitive Workforce

  • Oppose federal legislation that would deny employees the right to a secret ballot before union representation is imposed upon them.
  • Develop an equitable and understandable education finance policy.

Ensure Ample and Affordable Energy Supplies

  • Make certain that any system put forward by any level of government to address climate change does not transfer wealth out of Arizona or artificially increase costs for energy producers or consumers.
    • Any regional or state rule or regulation should not be more stringent than those at the federal level.
  • Remove barriers to and incentivize, rather than mandate, the expansion of clean and renewable energy so that Arizona can become a leader in this emerging industry.
  • Support the creation of state economic incentives for sustainability initiatives, including LEED Certification, solar, renewable and clean energy.
  • Resume full funding to maintain the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF).

Improve Access to and Affordability of Health Care Statewide

  • Allocate proper funding for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) to eliminate government cost shifting to the private sector.
  • Continue to improve the medical malpractice system in order to curb lawsuit abuse and reduce the costs of litigation. Progress in this area will help attract more health care professionals to Arizona and bring down the costs of health care.
  • Support efforts to train and recruit physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals in both rural and urban areas of the state. Create and expand education training programs and hospital residencies.
  • Oppose new benefit mandates, and encourage a review of existing mandates.

Secure Adequate Funding for Statewide Transportation Needs

  • Accelerate the pace of statewide highway and road construction to facilitate commerce and reduce congestion.
  • Ensure that dedicated transportation funds are used only for transportation projects, airport facilities, and waterways.
  • Advocate for a federal highway bill that provides Arizona with a fair share of funds for roads, highways, rail, and other transportation needs.
  • Develop air quality legislation that provides business and citizens with incentives and practical, multiple options to meet federal standards.
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