FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 6, 2021
Priorities include supporting business recovery and pro-workforce policies, structurally sound budget and protecting the business community against undue regulations.
The Greater Phoenix Chamber (the Chamber) announces its legislative priorities for the First Regular Session of Arizona’s 55th Legislature. This session, the Chamber is advocating for a structurally balanced budget, seeking pro-workforce policies that ensure employers can recover fully from the pandemic and have strong talent pipelines and guarding against unnecessary and costly regulations that hinder business growth.
“The Greater Phoenix Chamber’s 2021 legislative agenda reflects the priorities of our members—first and foremost, we want to ensure that business have the tools they need to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mike Huckins, vice president of public affairs for the Chamber. “The Chamber’s utmost goal is to advocate and prioritize policies this session that will put Arizona in the spotlight as a leader in national and global economies.”
Serving as a unified voice for 2,400 member businesses at each level of government, the Chamber’s public affairs team looks forward to advocating for pro-business and pro-growth policies on behalf of its membership.
Business recovery and pro-workforce policies
The Chamber advocates for a broad range of post-pandemic business recovery and pro-workforce policies that will enhance Arizona’s talent pipelines across all industries.
In the upcoming session, the Chamber will encourage lawmakers to develop innovative legislative solutions to aid in recovery and provide talent pipeline challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chamber will support public policy efforts that will provide businesses the necessary protections they need to stay safe, return stronger, and contribute to a vibrant Arizona economy. It will be critical to advocate for policies at the local and federal levels that provide liability protection measures so that businesses can focus on returning to post-pandemic success and finding the talent needed for growth.
Arizona saw record unemployment in 2020 and as businesses continue to rebound, a key issue will be returning workers to jobs and continuing the effort of assisting reformed reformed offenders in finding meaningful employment when possible, to contribute to the economic success of local communities.
Additionally, the Chamber is supportive of empowering legislation that allows schools flexibility to meet the demands of tomorrow’s workforce. This includes measures that support schools adapting to a virtual setting when necessary, while encouraging student success now and in the future. The Chamber will also work to ensure education offerings are aligned with the needs of employers.
“As our economy bounces back, we need to work collaboratively with business and education leaders to develop talent pipelines that support our economic diversity and adapt to the changes the pandemic has created,” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber.
Structurally balanced state budget
The Chamber encourages lawmakers to maintain a structurally balanced budget, while also supporting intiatives that aim to reinforce pandemic recovery efforts. The Chamber commends the Legislature for a fiscally responsible budget in 2020, and providing sufficient funding for state services, such as education and infrastructure and encourages the same, responsible approach in 2021.
As lawmakers evaluate the state’s budget in 2021, the Chamber encourages them to prioritize funding Arizona’s P-20 education system. Now more than ever, education entities need government support to navigate unprecedented demands during the pandemic. This includes supporting the New Economy intitative put forth by Arizona’s state universities. Talent pipelines at all levels of higher education are needed now more than ever.
Additionally, the Chamber is supportive of funding measures that provide resources for critical infrastructure needs that will move the region’s economy forward.
“As many schools and businesses rely on virtual platforms during the pandemic, digital infrastructure is vital right now,” said Sanders. “I know that lawmakers understand the importance of funding key education and infrastructure projects in light of the pandemic and I look forward to working alongside them to find ways that everyone can contribute to Arizona’s recovering economy.”
The Chamber urges lawmakers to adopt and follow a fiscal model that is fair, sound, balanced and promotes job creation and economic vitality.
Protecting the business community against harmful mandates and regulatory actions
As always, the Chamber will stand in opposition to burdensome regulations and mandates that cause harm to businesses and hinder expansion especially in these uncertain times.
With a robust legislative monitoring process, the Chamber serves as a watchdog for businesses of all sizes in ensuring that any passed legislation is developed alongside business stakeholders.
“In order to foster business expansion, it’s important that business owners aren’t impacted by regulations that will limit their ability invest in their business, their employees, and their communities,” said Huckins. Businesses are facing unprecedented uncertainty, the Chamber will continue to vigoursly oppose mandates at all levels of government that make it harder or more costly to do business in out great state.
For more information on the Chamber’s legislative priorities, please review the 2021 Public Policy Guide.
Mike Huckins, vice president of public affairs for the Greater Phoenix Chamber is available for interviews or to answer specific questions.
About the Greater Phoenix Chamber
Representing 2,400 businesses across the Greater Phoenix region, the Greater Phoenix Chamber promotes regional prosperity by serving as a catalyst for economic vitality and strong communities. The Chamber pursues this mission by collaborating with business, political and community leaders to grow the regional talent pool, create a regional approach to economic development and drive a pro-Arizona agenda.
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