PHOENIX – The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry today released its 2011 Business Agenda at the organization’s annual Legislative Forecast Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix before a sold-out crowd of over 800 attendees.

The Business Agenda outlines the top legislative priorities for Arizona’s business community. The Agenda, in addition to highlighting the Chamber’s priorities at the Legislature, outlines the short and long-term goals for the Arizona Manufacturers Council and the Chamber’s issue committees.

The Chamber’s 2011 legislative priorities are to:

  • Strongly support a job retention and creation package.
  • Resolve the budget crisis and build a stronger economy.
  • Continue regulatory reform.
  • Eliminate public financing for the Clean Elections system.

“The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2011 is going to be focused like a laser beam on winning back the nearly 300,000 jobs the state has lost in this Great Recession,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer said. “Arizona needs the right economic environment to retain the jobs we have and to attract new ones. This means reducing the corporate income tax rate and reducing the business property tax rate to make Arizona more competitive with other states.”

Crafting a state budget in this economic environment will prove a difficult task, but the Chamber is urging the governor and lawmakers not to make cuts that will hamper the state’s long-term economic development prospects.

“We know that there will be cuts in state government,” Hamer said. “But we’ll be working with the Legislature and governor to ensure that the cuts don’t do more harm than good. Slashing AHCCCS, for example, will not only add more Arizonans to the ranks of the uninsured, but it will sacrifice billions in federal matching funds and turn emergency rooms into primary care providers, causing the price of health care in Arizona to spike.”

The Chamber’s 2011 Agenda also seeks further progress in the area of regulatory reform, including ensuring that any fee increases are subject to strict accountability measures and encouraging an ongoing review of existing regulations to determine whether they are cost-effective and are meeting their intended goals

“The Arizona Chamber is committed to working with policymakers of both parties and the governor to create an economic environment that rolls out the red carpet for employers looking to do business in Arizona,” Hamer said. “Together we can establish a tax environment that encourages job creation, and we can foster a predictable regulatory climate that allows businesses to prosper and spurs economic growth in our state. I’m confident that if we reach these goals that 2011 will be the year Arizona begins its recovery.”

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