The Greater Phoenix Chamber (the Chamber) announces its legislative priorities for the First Regular Session of Arizonaâ€™s 56th Legislature. This session, the Chamber is advocating for enhanced workforce opportunities, a new plan for the extension of Prop 400, and a structurally balanced budget.
â€œThe Greater Phoenix Chamberâ€™s 2023 legislative agenda reflects the priorities of our membersâ€”first and foremost, we want to ensure that businesses have the tools they need to navigate through the current economic challenges,â€ said Mike Huckins, vice president of public affairs for the Chamber. â€œThe Chamberâ€™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.â€
Serving as a unified voice for 2,400 member businesses at each level of government, the Chamberâ€™s public affairs team looks forward to advocating for pro-business and pro-growth policies on behalf of its membership.
Modernizing the Aggregate Expenditure Limit (AEL) for K-12 and community colleges will ensure that resources are accessible for educational initiatives already outlined by the Legislature and school districts. The AEL should be addressed by the new legislature and governor as soon as possible for schools to have the peace of mind to continue their efforts before the deadline.
Additional funding and reforms to Arizonaâ€™s Dual Enrollment Program will also be a priority for the Chamber. Incentivising students and teachers to enter the program will provide a much needed boost for those entering the workforce and pursuing higher education opportunities.
With a robust legislative monitoring process, the Chamber serves as a watchdog for businesses of all sizes, ensuring that any passed legislation is developed alongside business stakeholders.
Extension of Prop 400
The Chamber will again be actively supporting the extension of Prop 400, which expires in 2025, as a means of improving our stateâ€™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. With Prop 400 expiring in 2025, there is still time for a plan to be presented to the new Governor and Legislature.
â€œMaricopa County is the only county in Arizona that requires legislative approval to get a measure on a ballot. Working on a new plan to ensure that this issue makes its way to the ballot so that voters can make their voices heard will be a top priority for the Chamber this session,â€ 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 aid businesses during the current economic challenges. The Chamber commends the Legislature for a fiscally responsible budget in 2022 and for providing sufficient funding for state services, such as education and infrastructure. It encourages the same responsible approach in 2023.
As lawmakers evaluate the stateâ€™s budget in 2023, the Chamber encourages them to prioritize funding Arizonaâ€™s P-20 education system, including the workforce-focused items outlined above. Now more than ever, education entities need government support to navigate inflation and increasing tuition costs for higher education. This includes supporting the New Economy initiative put forth by Arizonaâ€™s state universities. Talent pipelines at all levels of higher education are needed now more than ever.
â€œAs many schools and businesses maintain work on virtual platforms, digital infrastructure is vital,â€ said Todd Sanders, president & CEO of the Chamber. â€œI know 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 Arizonaâ€™s economy.â€
Additionally, the Chamber supports funding and tax measures that keep Arizona competitive while providing resources for critical infrastructure needs that will move the regionâ€™s economy forward.
The Chamber urges lawmakers to adopt and follow a fair, sound, balanced fiscal model that promotes job creation and economic vitality.
For more information on the Chamberâ€™s legislative priorities, please review the 2023 Public Policy Guide.
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.