Presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Fred DuVal unveiled a plan for spurring job growth in Arizona that includes improving K-12 and higher education, expanding tax credits for research and development, reducing regulatory burdens and giving preference to in-state companies that compete for government contracts.
DuVal announced his plan, titled “Arizona is Open for Business,” on Tuesday following a tour of the Chandler location of the do-it-yourself fabrication company TechShop. The former Arizona Board of Regents chairman said his plan will nurture small businesses and help the state recover many of the jobs it lost during the recent economic downturn.
“We are really trying to focus on the reality that too many working families got crushed in this recession. Job growth is not coming back the way it’s supposed to,” DuVal told the Arizona Capitol Times. “The jobs that we’re gaining pay less than the jobs that we lost.”
Much of DuVal’s plan focused on education. DuVal said he wants to expand vocational and technical training so students are better prepared for college and the workforce, emphasize training for in-demand fields and restore the all-day kindergarten program that was cut amid the state’s fiscal crisis.
DuVal said improving education is critical to creating jobs.
“The common denominator, of course, to all this is getting back to a much more robust investment in education as the core requirement of the workforce of the future,” DuVal said.
DuVal said he wants to expand Arizona’s Angel Investment tax credit, which gives financial incentives to people who make investments in small businesses, and the state’s tax credit for research and development. He said he’s spoken with people in the venture capital community who say the credits don’t last for long enough to make them worthwhile in many cases.
Additionally, DuVal said he plans to bolster Arizona’s bioscience and technology sectors with increased state investment in Science Foundation Arizona and the Translational Genomics Research Institute, known as TGen. He said the state must restore funding that was cut to the science foundation and ensure that TGen has more stable funding from the state. The Legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer approved $15 million in funding for the organization over the next five years.
Parts of DuVal’s plan build on Brewer’s efforts to curb new regulations. DuVal said he will continue Brewer’s moratorium on new regulations, as well as eliminate unnecessary regulations and screen all legislation that includes regulatory burdens with a “competitiveness impact statement” to determine the impact that proposed regulations will have.
DuVal also said he wants to expand tourism by promoting a “new day in Arizona” to negative perceptions of the state and lost conventions and tourisms stemming from controversial legislation that Arizona has passed. In addition, DuVal said he wants to increase funding for state parks that has been cut in recent years.
DuVal is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination in the governor’s race. He will face the winner of a hotly contested Republican primary that includes Secretary of State Ken Bennett, state Treasurer Doug Ducey, former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones, Sen. Al Melvin, former California Congressman Frank Riggs, former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
DuVal’s plan can be viewed here: http://fred2014.com/images/fred2014-jobs-plan.pdf