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Very early last Thursday morning, Arizona's 51st Legislature adjourned sine die. In 101 days, our elected representatives considered hundreds of bills, many of which were of vital importance to the business community.

We are grateful for the leadership shown by many members of the legislature in achieving some significant victories for business in this session. Here are just a few of the success stories:

  • The defeat of Senate Bills 1310, 1395 and 1396, which would have gutted academic standards for our K-12 students. The provision of $8 million for a new statewide assessment that aligns with Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards is a great next step toward ensuring the competency of our future workforce. 
  • The passage of SB 1413, which removes the tax on energy used by manufacturing facilities, will keep us regionally competitive for the attraction, expansion and retention of companies in this vital industry. 
  • A continuation of the Angel Investment Program, a tax credit for investment in qualified small businesses, until the end of 2024. This vital program helps grow small business investments and establishes Arizona as one of the most desirable places for expanding companies to do business.
  • Streamlining the process by which research discoveries at our public universities move from the research environment into the public arena, where they can be used to save lives, enhance technology and grow our economy.
  • Provisions for $6.8 million in funding for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to complete its myDEQ online portal. This will increase the level of customer service the agency provides to the business community and help the agency's internal operations be more efficient.

But there is little time to rest on these accomplishments. A period of change is once again upon us.

This fall's General Election will be critical, with the Governor's office up for grabs and every state legislator seeking re-election, but don't wait until Election Day to make a difference. The Primary Election is August 26, and our Political Action Committee will be hard at work between now and then identifying and supporting pro-business candidates who will continue the work of helping our economy grow in partnership with the business community.

Who will be the leaders who carry Arizona forward? I submit to you that we all have a responsibility to step up and participate in the process. Be informed. Know the issues. Research the candidates. Only through engagement will there be continued progress.

And, perhaps most importantly, get involved or stay involved with our Public Affairs process. Our work doesn’t end when the legislature’s does. In many ways, it’s just beginning.

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