Chambers from across the State met at the Capitol on February 28th to hear from Senate President Karen Fann, Governor Ducey’s and Secretary of State’s offices about status of important business legislation and the State budget. As bills are now crossing over from the Senate to House and House to Senate, we are pleased our election reform bills are continuing to move through the process, along with the association group healthcare bill. But there is still a lot of work to be done. The business community appears to be on the proactive side of bills this year instead of the reactive pace of trying to kill bad business legislation. However, there is a saying at the legislature that goes something like “nothing is truly dead until Sine Die.” What this means is that the State allows for a process that can move innocuous bills through the different houses that could result in a “strike all” amendment which completely changes the nature of the bill. This is what really keeps us lobbyists on our toes as things can escalate and move quickly if we take our eye off the ball. And not always to the betterment of the business community.
One issue that continues to hang out there is conformity. What is typically a simple vote to comply with federal tax laws has taken a life of its own due to the impact of federal tax cuts instituted last year. The bottom line on this issue is that we don’t have the laws in place to submit a State tax return with confidence some sort of amendment won’t be necessary to deal with whatever the outcome of the conformity deal is passed and signed by the Governor. Keep in mind we are now in March and have an April 15th deadline for submissions unless something is changed at the State. Stay tuned for more on this as the weeks progress.
We were able to have lunch with our legislators, visit their offices and discuss important bills being heard. We also received recognition from the Senate Floor that day. Please know that you never have to leave your business to head to the Capitol as we have boots on the ground representing your best interests!