The Greater Phoenix Chamber announces its legislative priorities for the Second Regular Session of Arizona’s 55th Legislature. This session, the Chamber is advocating for a structurally balanced budget, the extension of Prop 400, employer protections that permit businesses to effectively manage their workforces, and seeking pro-workforce policies that ensure employers have strong talent pipelines.

“The Greater Phoenix Chamber’s 2022 legislative agenda reflects the priorities of our members—first and foremost, we want to ensure that businesses have the tools they need to continue recovering from the 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.

Extension of Prop 400

The Chamber will be actively engaged in supporting the extension of Prop 400 as a means of improving our state’s infrastructure system and contributing to a thriving economic climate. With an understanding that the priority projects and transportation modes may change throughout the session, it is critical to continue this funding mechanism to ensure Maricopa County remains a competitive economy.

“Maricopa County is the only county in the state of Arizona that requires legislative approval to get a measure on a ballot. Ensuring that this issue makes its way to the ballot in 2022 so that voters have the opportunity to make their voices heard will be a top priority for the Chamber this session,” said Todd Sanders.

Prop 400 will include funding for multi-modal transportation, including freeway extensions, transit, and  arterial street projects.

Structurally balanced state budget

The Chamber encourages lawmakers to maintain a structurally balanced budget, while also supporting initiatives that aim to reinforce pandemic recovery efforts. The Chamber commends the Legislature for a fiscally responsible budget in 2021, and providing sufficient funding for state services, such as education and infrastructure and encourages the same, responsible approach in 2022.

As lawmakers evaluate the state’s budget in 2022, 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 initiative put forth by Arizona’s state universities. Talent pipelines at all levels of higher education are needed now more than ever.

“As many schools and businesses rely on virtual platforms during the pandemic, digital infrastructure is vital right now,” said Todd Sanders, president & CEO of the Chamber. “I know that lawmakers understand the importance of funding key education and infrastructure projects and I look forward to working alongside them to find ways that everyone can contribute to Arizona’s economy.”

Additionally, the Chamber is supportive of funding and tax measures that keep Arizona competitive while providing resources for critical infrastructure needs that will move the region’s economy forward.

The Chamber urges lawmakers to adopt and follow a fiscal model that is fair, sound, balanced and promotes job creation and economic vitality.

Employer protections and workforce development strategies

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, and will prioritize legislation that allows for innovation in strengthening talent pipelines.

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 to invest in their business, their employees, and their communities,” said Huckins.  Businesses are facing unprecedented uncertainty, the Chamber will continue to vigorously oppose mandates at all levels of government that make it harder or more costly to do business in our great state.

For more information on the Chamber’s legislative priorities, please review the 2022 Public Policy Guide.

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.

Posted by Jocelyn McAlpin