POLICY & ADVOCACY

Government Affairs

Government Affairs Committee

AAED is committed to engaging with policy makers to effectuate positive change for economic development issues affecting the state of Arizona.

To do so, AAED has a Government Affairs Committee comprised of AAED leadership and AAED members that participate in the legislative process by educating and informing Arizona Legislators and AAED members on key economic development related issues.

Governmental Affairs

Policy Priorities

SUPPORT REAUTHORIZATION OF THE ARIZONA COMMERCE AUTHORITY

AAED strongly supports the reauthorization of the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA). For more than a decade, the ACA has successfully worked to facilitate the beneficial economic growth and development of Arizona and promote prosperity through the development and protection of the legitimate interests of Arizona business, industry, and commerce within and outside this state. It must be continued.

FUND TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE

AAED supports the development, maintenance, and improvement of transportation that facilitates and results in business development and job creation. Technological advances must be included when considering transportation needs. This critical infrastructure ensures Arizona’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining businesses into our communities.  

EXPANDING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS TO MAKE ARIZONA MORE COMPETITIVE

AAED supports programs and policies that encourage businesses to expand in Arizona and enhance our state’s competitive position in attracting and retaining high-wage jobs. AAED also supports policies and investments that promote reliable and affordable electric service that emphasizes resource adequacy, price stability, and consumer protection as a foundation of Arizona’s continued economic success. Finally, AAED supports performance-based and return-driven policies and encourages a diversity of businesses to locate and remain in Arizona for the long term, enhancing Arizona’s competitive efforts to attract and retain high-wage jobs and encourage capital investment.

ENSURE A QUALIFIED WORKFORCE AND WORKFORCE PIPELINE

AAED supports sustainable policies and funding for education and training programs that result in a thriving qualified Arizona workforce. Supporting not only a healthy innovation pipeline but also a robust internship and craft training ecosystem have verifiable impacts on the overall economic health of our state. AAED supports Arizona career and technical education districts and programs, increasing awareness for students to access CTE, and in obtaining in-demand industry credentials. A qualified workforce with a balance of post-secondary education and workforce training will support Arizona’s competitiveness in retaining and attracting high-wage jobs.

RETAIN AND MODERNIZE EXISTING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOLS

For Arizona to remain competitive amid an ever-changing global economy, the State must continue to evaluate its economic development programs. Programs should reflect the State’s focus for business attraction, growth, and retention when compared to other parts of the world. AAED membership opposes unnecessary changes that reduce or delay existing and proven economic development tools and programs. Many companies choose to relocate or expand in Arizona because of these programs. The need to remain consistent and competitive is critical to Arizona’s long-term economic development success.

WATER IS CRITICAL TO CONTINUED ECONOMIC GROWTH

AAED applauds the Arizona Legislature for its investment in water conservation, reuse, and augmentation projects. In addition to support for additional water infrastructure funding, AAED supports the ongoing negotiations regarding future Colorado River operating rules (Reconsultation) and the pursuit of larger contributions from other Colorado River Basin States to conserve additional Colorado River water.  

BROADBAND EQUITY, ACCESS, AND DEPLOYMENT (BEAD) INFRASTRUCTURE

AAED supports the state’s broadband plan by ensuring federal BEAD dollars are spent first in unserved and underserved communities. All levels of government should work with the private sector to reduce barriers to entry to broadband providers, including creating reasonable license fees, expediting permit times, and encouraging construction deployment methods of broadband that will allow for the greatest number of Arizonans to be served with high-speed internet as soon as possible. Workforce is also critical. AAED encourages community colleges and technical schools to offer programs aimed at building a robust 21st-century broadband workforce in Arizona. Finally, Arizona’s federal congressional delegation should actively pursue a permanent mechanism to fund the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) which has helped nearly half a million Arizonans access the internet. 

Legislative Lunch on the Lawn

The Government Affairs Committee coordinates the annual Legislative Lunch on the Lawn. This event provides an opportunity for AAED members to meet with Arizona legislators and their key staff members to discuss the vital role of statewide economic development policies.

AAED Honors State Legislators as 2023 Economic Development Champions

February 1, 2024 | Arizona State Capitol

he Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) recently presented its 2023 Economic Development Champions Awards, recognizing legislators for their efforts in sponsoring legislation aimed to benefit economic development efforts throughout Arizona. Receiving the awards were Representative Michael Carbone (R – Buckeye), Representative Marcelino Quiñonez (D – Phoenix), Senator Ken Bennett (R — Prescott), Senator Eva Burch (D – Mesa).

The awards were presented at AAED’s annual Policy Impact Celebration, sponsored by SRP and held at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s offices. Since 2014, AAED has honored legislators with its Economic Development Champion Award, celebrating elected officials who have championed bills and causes that are important to Arizona’s economy.

Below is a summary of why each representative was selected for the honor:

Representative Michael Carbone served as the primary sponsor of last year’s infrastructure bill (HB 2809), an important piece of legislation designed to encourage the development of infrastructure to attract major advanced manufacturing investments.

As the House Minority Whip, Representative Marcelino Quiñonez secured votes for the reauthorization of the Maricopa County Regional Transportation Tax, legislation critical to funding street and highway projects, along with public transportation. Through his efforts, the legislation heads to voters this November as Prop 479 and asks them to extend the transportation tax for two decades.

A respected healthcare and public education advocate, Senator Eva Burch took over as Minority Whip during her freshman year as an Arizona Legislator and has since introduced a number of bills focused on improving healthcare and school safety.

As the Senate Education Committee Chair, Senator Ken Bennet led the effort to include STEM education funding into the state budget, an essential investment in workforce development needed to support the continued growth of Arizona.

The awards were presented by Skip Becker, president of AAED and Becker Development and Consulting, AAED Government Affairs Committee Chair Mark Mitchell, and Fareed Bailey, Senior Representative of Government Affairs for SRP.

VIEW PAST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CHAMPIONS

2023 Senator Ken Bennett (R-Prescott)
2023 Senator Eva Burch (D-Mesa)
2023 Representative Marcelino Quinonez (D-Phoenix)
2023 Representative Michael Carbone (R-Buckeye)
2022 Senator Frank Carroll (R-Peoria)
2022 Senator Lela Alston (D-Phoenix)
2022 Senator Rick Gray (R-Peoria
2021 Representative Michelle Udall (R-Mesa)
2021 Representative Cesar Chavex (D-Phoenix)
2021 Senator Tyler Pace (R-Mesa)
2020 Representative Ben Toma (R-Peoria)
2020 Senator David Gowan (R-Sierra Vista)
2020 Representative Frank Pratt(R-Casa Grande)
2019 Senator Linda Otondo (D-Yuma)
2019 Representative T.J. Shope (R-Coolidge)
2018 Senator Kate Brophy McGee (R-Phoenix)
2018 Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa)
2018 Representative Jeff Weninger (R-Chandler)
2018 Representative Noel Campbell (R-Prescott)
2017 Senator Frank Pratt (R-Casa Grande)
2017 Representative Jeff Weninger (R-Chandler)
2017 Senator Sean Bowie (D-Phoenix)
2017 Representative Noel Campbell (R-Prescott)
2016 Senator Bob Worsley (R-Mesa)
2016 Senator Gail Griffin (R-Hereford)
2016 Representative Don Shooter (R-Yuma)
2016 Representative Brenda Barton (R-Payson)
2015 Representative Jeff Weninger
2015 Senator Andy Biggs
2014 Representative Karen Fann
2014 Senator Jeff Dial