At the beginning of this legislative session, I talked about the important role the Greater Phoenix Chamber plays as the voice of business at the state capitol.
This legislative session, our Public Affairs team focused and advocated on behalf of our 2,400 member businesses on key issues that are essential to the success of our business community.
For our team, it was a grueling 116 days of the session. In this time they reviewed hundreds of bills, hosted meetings with members to review and take formal positions that best represented the needs and perspective of the business community, and testified before legislative committees on your behalf.
The Chamber formally supported or opposed 69 bills. Of the 50 bills we supported, to date, the Governor signed 31 into law. This year’s legislative successes include true wins for reducing burdensome regulation for businesses, protecting the free speech of businesses in elections, strengthening protections for members of the public against data breaches, and more.
Key legislative successes:
- Campaign finance and free speech: The Chamber successfully saw the passage of HB 2153 which allows nonprofits, business entities, and others to maintain their free speech and right to participate in elections without fear of retribution or unnecessary disclosure that may infringe on the entity’s privacy.
- Claim settlements: The Chamber was proud to help pass SB 1100. SB 1100 addresses an issue that has been a problem since 2017. It modifies requirements for the settlement of a workers’ compensation claims in which the employee waives future entitlement to benefits on the claim.
- Small employers and insurance coverage: As we continue to stand for all businesses the Chamber championed SB 1217, also known as the mini-cobra bill, which promotes a robust insurance and health care market that benefits both employers and employees.
In addition to those key business issues that the Chamber vehemently supported, our team also closely monitored and engaged on proposed legislation impacting the community at large. From supporting a balanced budget and advocating for the funding that we need for education at every level to closely watching proposed legislation regarding Arizona’s most precious natural resource, water.
Hot legislative issues:
- Continuing Prop. 301: The Chamber supported the legislature’s decision to continue and extend Prop. 301 funding because it provides real, dedicated support to all of Arizona’s schools. Extending this tax increase that was implemented by the voters in 2000, provided the predictability in funding needed for our K-20 system.
- Introducing 20X2020: With the support of the business community, the Chamber has stood alongside Governor Ducey’s 20X2020 plan. With a clear funding mechanism that holistically supports all schools, the Chamber understands and prioritizes the value of adequately funding teachers and schools. And, we are happy to see the final result of 20X2020 that came together with input and consideration from all parties.
- Responsible budgeting: Throughout this session, and every session, the Chamber strongly advocates for a structurally balanced budget that funds vital state services, including education and infrastructure. It is vital for the health of the business community that the state budget promotes job creation in our communities and support strategic investments.
As the session came to close, I am proud of the work of the Chamber’s Public Affairs team, thankful for the continued efforts of our partners and member businesses that provide needed input on proposed legislative, and eager to see how we can continue to work on behalf of our members to advocate for policies that will move Phoenix and Arizona forward.
While the session is over, our work does not stop. In the coming weeks, the Chamber will be assessing and endorsing legislative candidates.
We hope you will join us to hear more about the results of the legislative session and how it impacts your company at our Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast on Wednesday, May 30.
In the coming months, we will continue to be the voice of business and to steadfastly ensure that Arizona is a place where businesses and individuals thrive.