By Daniel Stefanski |
The leader of one of Arizona’s influential organizations for small businesses is breathing a sigh of relief after navigating the first year of a divided government.
Last week, the Arizona State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business, Chad Heinrich, wrote an op-ed for the Arizona Daily Star, looking at the aftermath of the 56th Legislature in relation to how small business owners faired during the extended session.
Heinrich noted that “while several of the bills introduced this past session would have impacted small businesses – some good, some bad – a few did not make it across the finish line in the Legislature, and others fell victim to Governor Katie Hobbs’ veto.”
One of Henrich’s “good” bills was HB 2019, which was sponsored by Representative Travis Grantham. The NFIB-AZ Director stated that “small-business owners who are subject to licensing and permitting regulations at the local government level will benefit from the passage” of this legislation, which was given the nickname of “The Permit Freedom Act.” Henrich explained that “this bill puts in place three safeguards for permit applicants by requiring the local government to provide: 1. Clear criteria for whether a permit will be granted or denied, 2. An explicit deadline for when the government will decide whether to grant or deny the permit, and 3. A meaningful day in court for cases where the applicant thinks the government wrongly denied the permit.”
HB 2019 was signed by Hobbs on April 18, after passing out of the state house with significant bipartisan support.
The report card from Heinrich was not all favorable, however. He praised the “support from our member small-business owners” in helping to “quash several bills that would have been detrimental to small-business owners and their operations.” The two bills Henrich used to illustrate his point were HB 2290 and HB 2555.
According to Heinrich, HB 2290 “sought to impose additional healthcare mandates and thereby would have made healthcare coverage further out of reach for many small-business owners.” Henrich wrote that “small business owners owe a debt of thanks to leaders in the Senate for stepping up and holding firm against this detrimental legislation.”
The other bill on Henrich’s “bad” bills list, HB 2555, “would have mandated that businesses accept cash as form of payment.” Henrich opined that this policy would have “put many different types of businesses at risk – especially those that are located in areas of greater crime risk and those that do business through transactions of larger dollar amounts.” He again thanked the Senate for serving “as the final arbiter,” ensuring that this bill “did not receive a vote of the full Senate.”
In his op-ed, Heinrich also addressed tax increases on small business, highlighting “a few legal guardrails in place in Arizona” that make these actions challenging. He listed two of those guardrails – Prop 108 (passed in 1992) and Prop 132 (passed in 2022) – that give pause to tax increases, whether by the state legislature or the ballot box.
As he closed his op-ed, Henrich encouraged NFIB members to “continue to focus on supporting those who vote with small business on issues that matter within the legislative branch while also keeping close watch on the regulatory environment which is largely governed through the executive branch.”
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.
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2023-09-01 07:53:00 , AZ FREE NEWS