EVCCA – East Valley Chambers of Commerce 2017-07-06T14:27:38+00:00

The EVCCA, founded in 1999, is comprised of more than 5,500 businesses and seven local chambers.  Their purpose is to provide coordination in the advancement of common business interests.

Each year, EVCCA produces a report on the legislative session, which lists bills that have the most significance to East Valley businesses. It reports how each East Valley legislator voted on legislation relevant to the EVCCA.

East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance
2016 Legislative Agenda

 

EVCCA PRIORITIES

The Alliance believes the following areas are paramount to Arizona’s economic recovery and prosperity and should be considered priorities during the 2016 Arizona Legislative session:

Proper Funding and Accountability for Education

The Alliance supports comprehensive K-12 education funding reform and an increase in funding that result in nationally recognized graduates that are college and career ready.

The Alliance supports an increase of state funding to state universities in order to reduce in-state resident students’ tuition costs, abide by the constitutional charge of providing education as free as possible, and advance universities as a key economic driver for the State of Arizona.

Workplace Reforms

The Alliance supports preserving a business’s ability to manage its workplace and workforce without unnecessary local government intrusion.

The Alliance supports limiting the number of appeals in contested unemployment insurance claims.

Efficient Government

The Alliance supports cost-effective state computer system upgrades that result in effective communication between departments and modernization of service delivery to businesses.

Stable and Predictable Tax Environment

The Alliance urges the Legislature to consider responsible well-balanced tax reform which promotes the long-term fiscal strength of the state and places Arizona in a competitive position. Any legislative amendments or referendums regarding taxation should promote a strong, viable business climate in Arizona.

Lowering the Cost of Doing Business

In order for Arizona to positions itself for a stronger economic future, government should enhance economic activity and reduce the costs of doing business. State policies should provide a consistent and predictable environment to promote business growth and should not exceed federal requirements. Tax policy must enhance the business environment to promote job growth, diversification and business expansion.

Energy and the Environment

The Alliance SUPPORTS…

  • appropriate action to ensure an adequate supply, necessary infrastructure and transmission of gasoline, broadband, electricity, natural gas, water and other critical resources to fuel our state’s economic vitality.
  • the continued viability of the Central Arizona Project including protection of the Navajo Generating Station.
  • the protection of Arizona’s critical energy infrastructure, including but not limited to the generation, transmission, and distribution assets already operating.
  • reasonable air, water quality, and energy efficiency policies that practical, multiple options for business and that do not exceed federal requirements.
  • state primacy under the EPA Clean Power Plan and the Clean Air Act, ensuring low cost electric power for Arizona businesses and protecting Arizona generation assets.
  • state energy policies that encourage the continued development and maintenance of statewide energy infrastructure such as generation, transmission and distribution facilities in order to ensure safe, affordable and reliable energy supplies.
  • Arizona in developing, through extensive stakeholder collaboration its State Implementation Plan in response to federal carbon emission reduction requirements. The Alliance urges the EPA to give deference to Arizona’s reasoned policy and technical determinations.
  • appropriate legislation, regulation, and policies that recognize value in the electric power grid as an asset requiring consistent maintenance, improvement and support through investments by all of those who use and operate the grid.
  • policies for solar rooftop customers that distribute system costs equitably by creating mechanisms that recover grid costs from distributed generation customers, enhances cost transparency, and minimize cost shifting between consumer classes to ensure all customers pay a fair and equitable share of costs to maintain the grid and to keep it operating reliably at all times.
  • cost-effective “green” initiatives including clean and renewable energy but opposes mandates to accomplish those goals.
  • efforts, such as the Arizona Water Banking Authority, that enables Arizona to fully utilize its entire Colorado River entitlement.
  • the fundamental concepts of the 1980 Groundwater Management Act. The Alliance also supports statewide development of long-term sustainable water supplies, coordination between active management areas, and encouragement of direct groundwater recharge projects and promotion of water conservation.

Health Care

The Alliance SUPPORTS…

  • encouraging innovative measures that lower costs to businesses in providing health care for employees.
  • reasonable Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) payment rates that cover hospital costs and would minimize hidden/shifted health care costs to employers.

The Alliance OPPOSES…

  • health insurance coverage mandates.

 Taxes

The Alliance SUPPORTS…

  • responsible well-balanced tax reform which promotes the long-term fiscal strength of the state and places Arizona in a competitive position. Any legislative amendments or referendums regarding taxation should promote a strong, viable business climate in Arizona.
  • legislation that appropriately adjusts secondary tax limits to give municipalities greater flexibility in bond financing while retaining existing taxpayer protections.
  • expediting consideration of the annual conformity legislation to allow businesses to prepare tax returns knowing Arizona has conformed to federal law.
  • research and development tax credits to encourage industry innovation and ensure a globally competitive position.
  • raising the business personal property tax exemption threshold as an economic stimulus mechanism for small businesses.
  •  continued efforts to address business concerns regarding the TPT process.
  •  a state transaction privilege tax on internet sales.
  • tax supported funds not being used for their intended purpose be abolished.
  • reducing business property taxes in order to remain globally competitive.
  • creating financing mechanisms to improve Arizona’s competitive position for business attraction, retention and expansion.

The Alliance OPPOSES …

  • passage of measures that limit flexibility in funding decisions that adversely impact the business community.
  • business tax increases including the elimination of current business tax credits or business tax exemptions.
  • changes in the formula that would reduce the percentage of state shared revenues payable to cities and towns and opposes repayment requirements back to the State.

Tort Reform

The Alliance SUPPORTS…

  • legal reforms that allow for appropriate compensation for substantiated damages and reduce frivolous litigation and costs to Arizona businesses.
  •  significant tort reform measures including limits on damages to reduce the costs of health care and health insurance. Health care related tort reform will encourage attraction and retention of a qualified health care workforce.

 Transportation

 The Alliance SUPPORTS…

  • connecting employees and goods to job centers through a multimodal transportation system with international, statewide and multiregional transportation options.
  • a legislative effort to study revenue sources for transportation infrastructure in Arizona.
  • continued construction of the regional freeway system with priority given to the Williams Gateway (SR 24) and the South Mountain Freeway (Loop 202).
  • the planning and development of the proposed I-11, proposed Southeast Valley I-10 north/south reliever and other international trade routes through Arizona.
  • policies that ensure state and local agencies develop and enforce regulations in a fair, expeditious and consistent manner, including oversight of right-of-ways.
  • use of innovative transportation solutions such as public-private partnerships that improve movement of people and goods.
  • more state and federal transportation dollars appropriated to the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan statistical area and northeast Pinal County based on revenue generated, vehicle miles traveled and population.
  • the regional airport system as an economic catalyst. The Alliance opposes efforts to reduce funding that will negatively impact operations or expansion.

The Alliance OPPOSES…

  • any shifting or repealing of funds currently designated for the development and maintenance of the East Valley regional transportation system. Transportation project construction should be based on programmed projects, congestion relief, and air quality compliance.

Building a Trained Workforce

Arizona businesses are in competition with companies within the United States and throughout the world. A trained and educated workforce is necessary for innovation and business development. A highly-skilled and well-educated workforce allows Arizona businesses to compete globally.

 Education

 The Alliance SUPPORTS …

  • an increase in funding for K-12 education that results in nationally recognized graduates that are college and career ready.
  • funding that ensures Arizona students have robust career and technical education (CTE) and Joint Technological Education District (JTED) options.
  • a world-class school system, with simplified funding, that is equitable, and provides for innovation necessary to support higher student achievement levels.
  • comprehensive K-12 education funding reform.
  • rigorous education standards and assessments.
  • cost-effective policies that ensure a well-educated and prepared workforce.
  • an innovative and competitive P-12 education marketplace that includes traditional district schools, public charter schools, private schools and online learning.
  •  modernization of K-12 student tracking systems that ensures accurate attendance counts on a daily basis.
  • greater emphasis on financial literacy, history, entrepreneurship, research methodology and business education to prepare students for informed citizenship and understanding of business issues.
  • greater emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) to compete aggressively in the global economy.
  • innovative methods that increase access to technology in order to advance education delivery at all grade levels including universities and community colleges.

Higher Education

The Alliance SUPPORTS…

  • community college districts’ ability to invest in appropriate non-tax revenue opportunities arising from entrepreneurial research by faculty, staff and students.
  •  an increase of state funding to state universities in order to reduce in-state resident students’ tuition costs, abide by the constitutional charge of providing education as free as possible, and advance universities as a key economic driver for the State of Arizona.
  • the ability of state universities to pursue short-term financing opportunities with appropriate financial and time limits.
  • continued emphasis on the importance of job training and workforce development for current Arizona employers and small businesses.
  •  state universities’ efforts to reform the state tuition remittance process.
  • strategic investments in Arizona State University, community colleges and other public universities.
  • building upon the existing strengths of the university system and ensure world-class research capabilities, access for qualified students and excellent workforce preparation.
  • continued equitable funding of Arizona’s state universities.

 Workforce

 The Alliance SUPPORTS…

  • preserving a business’s ability to manage its workplace and workforce without unnecessary local government intrusion.
  • limiting the number of appeals in contested unemployment insurance claims.
  • maintaining Arizona’s status as a “right-to-work” and “employment-at-will” state.
  • medical care and administrative reforms that attempt to decrease workers’ compensation costs.
  • responsible legislative and administrative reforms that ensure the effectiveness of the Arizona unemployment insurance program that reduce business costs.
  • urging Congress to establish a program providing an adequate legal workforce while maintaining the integrity of our national borders and providing protection of the rights and privileges of United States citizens and legal residents.
  • an effective and meaningful continuum of employment programs and services for people with developmental disabilities in Arizona.

The Alliance OPPOSES…

  • changes to workers’ compensation benefits that increase costs to employers. 

Efficient and Effective Government

Streamlined, transparent and improved government processes are crucial to the success of Arizona and its businesses. Government decisions are best left to those closest to the governed unless detrimental to the business climate. Initiative reform that reflects the will of Arizona citizens and public pension reform will create efficiencies and help restore the public’s faith in government. 

Government Processes

The Alliance SUPPORTS…

  • cost-effective state computer system upgrades that result in effective communication between departments and modernization of service delivery to businesses.
  • freedom of speech for Arizona businesses through a transparent and accountable campaign finance system within the Secretary of State’s Office. The Alliance also supports abolition of the “Arizona Clean Election” system.
  • a referendum suspending automatic spending increases for voter-protected funds in a fiscal year when revenues do not meet projections.
  • regular and periodic legislative reviews of and revisions to budgetary formulas to ensure accountability and appropriate funding.
  • streamlining Arizona Corporation Commission business creation processes including online filing, publication requirement removal and same-day or next-day service.
  • streamlining state government processes including paper reductions, process improvements, placing statutorily required public notices online and rightsizing state government.
  • moving Arizona’s primary elections for congressional, statewide, legislative and county offices to May provided the election does not increase the cost to Arizona municipalities.
  • continued restructuring of public employee total compensation packages.
  • state services should be privatized if they can be comparably and appropriately delivered at equal or less cost.
  • development of offsite enrollment in the “Request to Speak” system to expand participation in the process and allow greater access to the disabled community.
  • policy and appropriations should be accomplished by elected legislators, not through unnecessary ballot measures, executive orders or multi-state coalitions.
  • referring to the voters the question of amending legislative terms of office. To provide continuity in the state legislative process, the Alliance supports increasing the terms for state senators from two to four years with staggered elections and increasing term limits for both chambers from eight to twelve years.

The Alliance OPPOSES…

  • actions by the State that place additional burdens on businesses by preempting federal law.
  • rollovers and sweeps of dedicated funds as a mechanism for balancing the budget.
  • regulatory fee increases that are used as revenue generation and not reflective of administrative cost recovery.
  • any government regulatory reform that has the potential to slow development or permit processes at the local level. 

Initiative Reform

The Alliance SUPPORTS…

  • periodic sunset review and reauthorization of state voter-approved initiatives.
  • efforts to increase requirements for ballot initiatives including: advancing filing dates; permitting legislative changes to initiatives with voter ratification; increasing the number of required signatures; clearly communicating the implications of Arizona’s Voter Protection Act; establishing county requirements for signature collection similar to that of statewide offices; requiring legislative council to review and title initiatives prior to signature collection; and requiring those who sign a petition to complete the entire data line. 

Land Management

The Alliance SUPPORTS…

  • a balanced approach to development, recreational use and preservation of State Trust Land.
  • appropriate zoning and land use around military installations and airports that advances the mission of those facilities.
  • reasonable reforms to the State Land Department that would modernize its operations and maximize the economic return for the State Trust Land beneficiaries.
  • increased collaboration and coordination between counties and municipalities and the State Land Department in local planning and land use decisions and property disposition timetables. 
  • innovative measures to fund ecotourism in state parks such as the successful model at Lost Dutchman State Park.
  • effective management of state and federal forest lands.

Increasing Private Sector Jobs

Long-term economic competitiveness is critical to Arizona’s success. Business revenues drive job growth and government budgets. Arizona must implement policies to position itself to be the state of choice for relocating and growing companies which includes a vibrant education system. 

Economic Development 

The Alliance SUPPORTS…

  • protection of Arizona’s image as a favorable environment for tourism, business location and expansion, and job creation.
  • additional job creation measures including workforce training and fiscally responsible base industry property tax incentives.
  • increased funding for tourism marketing and business attraction, retention, and expansion.
  • reauthorization of the Arizona Commerce Authority. 
  • governments’ ability to offer economic development incentives.