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  • The Center Square

    Arizona Commerce Authority continued for five years

    By By Cameron Arcand | The Center Square,

    23 days ago

    (The Center Square)— The Arizona Commerce Authority was continued by the state legislature last week for another five years, despite earlier concerns that its future was in jeopardy.

    The continuation was in a bill with other state government entities, but it included increased oversight of the agency, especially for the legislature.

    In addition, the bill puts a cap on how many full-time employees the ACA can have with taxpayer dollars at 100, but does not cap ones that “are funded with monies other than state monies.” Notably, it adds an attorney appointed by the House Speaker and Senate president to as an advisor to be a gift clause safeguard.

    “We are so grateful for the strong bipartisan support among our state’s leaders. This legislation is a huge win for Arizonans and our economy - allowing us to continue and build upon the economic momentum that has made our state a global magnet for jobs and investment,” ACA President and CEO Sandra Watson said in a statement.

    The ACA was the subject of an Auditor General report and an Attorney General investigation that indicated the authority violated the state’s gift clause, particularly when Super Bowl tickets were doled out to companies as part of their CEO forum to drive businesses to the state.

    House Bill 2210 passed overwhelmingly in both chambers, but still had some holdouts.

    The authority is intended to help drive businesses to the state by informing them of tax incentives and other benefits.

    The Center Square reported in January on Sen. Jake Hoffman, R-Queen Creek, and Gov. Katie Hobbs, trading jabs regarding the authority.

    "The mission of supporting the creation of jobs has never been called into question. Unfortunately for the people of Arizona, the Arizona Commerce Authority has demonstrated gross mismanagement and negligence in the execution of that mission," Hoffman said at the time.

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