Debate over fate of Arizona Commerce Authority continues

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(The Center Square) – The future of the Arizona Commerce Authority continues to be a subject of debate between some Republican lawmakers and Gov. Katie Hobbs.

The Senate Government Committee of Reference recommended that the government should “revise or consolidate” the ACA. The ACA’s is known for enticing businesses to set up shop in Arizona.

The recommendation is part of a sunset review, which means that it is evaluated before the legislature decides whether or not it wants to extend an agency’s existence.

“The mission of supporting job creation has never been called into question. Unfortunately, the Arizona Commerce Authority has failed to execute on that mission within the parameters of Arizona law,” Sen. Jake Hoffman, chairman of the Government Committee of Reference, said in a statement Wednesday. “From failures in oversight, to lack of accountability, the ACA has demonstrated gross mismanagement and, at times, outright illegal activity with taxpayer dollars.”

In addition to the sunset review, Hoffman and 10 other Republicans are backing a bill to repeal the ACA, known as Senate Bill 1044, The Center Square reported last Friday.

“As stewards of the public trust, it is our responsibility to make sure we have a government that works for everyone. Now we begin the process of reimagining the critical mission and programs supporting private sector job growth in a manner consistent with Arizona law,” Hoffman continued. “If Katie Hobbs wants to hang the ACA’s problem-riddled anchor around her neck, that’s her choice, but I’m going to continue to fight for a government that works for every Arizonan no matter how hard she opposes me.”

However, Hobbs remains supportive of continuing the agency.

“Arizona’s economy is booming, with more Arizonans working than ever before. The world’s leading companies in advanced manufacturing, semiconductor chip production, and aerospace and defense, have all made investments in our communities, resulting in good-paying jobs for everyday Arizonans,” Hobbs said in a statement on Wednesday. “This is in large part thanks to the Arizona Commerce Authority. We must pass continuation so Arizonans don’t lose out on good-paying jobs to Texas and California.”

“Moving forward, I agree there is a role for improved guardrails to protect taxpayer dollars in the Arizona Commerce Authority processes. I look forward to members of the legislature joining me to deliver that accountability across state government, including over the unaccountable and unsustainable ESA voucher program that allows taxpayers to fund luxury car driving lessons, ski trips, and water park passes,” Hobbs continued.

Attorney General Kris Mayes announced on Tuesday that the ACA violated the gift clause with the current setup of private CEO forums. Hobbs and the ACA voiced their disagreement with Mayes’ findings, The Center Square reported.

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