The choices that will decide the direction of our country, state and economy are being made right now. The most important thing we, as residents of Arizona and citizens of the United States, can do is cast our voice into the process.
Many Arizonans are receiving early ballots in the mail for the 2016 General Election, where we will choose our next set of state and national leaders and cast votes for or against issues vital to our state’s business community.
In this election, we are being asked to decide on two major issues. Prop. 205 seeks to legalize recreational marijuana use and Prop. 206 seeks to raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour. Both carry serious negative consequences for Arizona businesses.
Our business community is largely united in opposition to these ill-conceived proposals and urges NO votes on both Prop. 205 and Prop. 206.
Prop. 205 (Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act) creates a multitude of workforce management issues and would be detrimental for companies utilizing drug-free workplace policies.
Prop. 206 (Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act) is not effective economic policy. The minimum wage proposed by this measure far exceeds the federal minimum wage. It disproportionately hinders small businesses by limiting their ability to grow and hire more employees while forcing all employers to raise prices for goods and services to remain profitable. This measure would force businesses to lay off employees or reduce their hours. While the Chamber wholeheartedly supports hard-working, healthy families and fair wages, this shortsighted measure fails to actually help families or their employers.
These initiatives move our region backwards and act in direct opposition to the economic development and business attraction efforts of our Chamber, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Maricopa County, the City of Phoenix, Greater Phoenix Economic Council and countless others working to promote Arizona as an ideal place to start, expand or relocate a business. Legalized marijuana and a mandated, elevated minimum wage make it more difficult for existing Arizona businesses to prosper and make Arizona less attractive to businesses looking to relocate.
While the Chamber urges NO votes on these measures, we urge YES votes for 51 pro-business legislative and local government candidates who have earned our endorsement. The Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) has supported business-friendly candidates in local and state races for more than three decades.
The election has already begun. Even if the presidential ticket has you wanting to stay home, Arizona’s business community is counting on your votes for pro-business candidates and against the two anti-business ballot measures.
Todd Sanders is president & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
The views expressed in guest commentaries are those of the author and are not the views of the Arizona Capitol Times.