Economic Priorities

arizona.jpgDemocrats in the Legislature have a plan that will help to develop a diverse and resilient economy. Although we are getting close, Arizona still has not regained all the jobs lost since 2007. The rest of the nation recovered these jobs by 2014, and employment rates in most areas of the country have now surpassed pre-recession rates.

Arizona should be an economic leader, and moving our economy forward will require reinvestment in industry, infrastructure, and job training.  The state needs to be able to stand on solid ground to weather future downturns.

Monetary Incentives for Positive Investment

Recapitalize the Angel Investment Tax Credit. Technology industries in Arizona rel(ied?) on angel investors through this program to fuel new and continuing innovations. Encouraging (continued?) investments under this program will generate thousands of jobs and millions in capital investments. Democrats also propose to increase the cap on refundable research and development investment, a program that encourages small businesses to invest in research and development. This program has supported over 11,000 Arizona jobs from 2011 to 2013[1].

Re-invest in Job Training

Arizona needs to reinvest in job-training programs. Democrats are proposing $3.5 million in permanent funding each year to job-training programs, after their funding source was eliminated by the Republican-controlled Legislature for FY16. These programs help to attract new businesses to the state and support small and rural Arizona companies in providing job training to new and existing employees.

Re-fund Tourism

Democrats are working to restore funding cuts made by Republicans to the Office of Tourism. After some horrible PR, we need to better promote our state to attract visitors and show that Arizona is open for business. Investing in state tourism can help to generate millions in economic activity statewide. 

Arizonans are independent and industrious, and Republican Legislators need to understand that investing in our greatest resource, the people who live here, can produce huge returns.

To see a copy of the economic proposal supported by the House Democrats, including additional information on infrastructure development, click here. To see a summary of the Democrats’ full, five-step plan for moving Arizona forward, click here.

I will continue to work side-by-side with my colleagues in the Arizona House for policy changes that move our great state forward. Please don’t hesitate to contact me to share your thoughts and ideas here.

[1] Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Research and Development Refundable Tax Credit Overview, January 2015 Update, page 4.