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Commerce Authority backs off controversial ‘stipends’ (access required)

The Arizona Commerce Authority announced late Friday afternoon that it will not be awarding the $5,000 stipends it had earlier promised to15 companies eliminated from a competitive grant program.

The Goldwater Institute’s Clint Bolick sent a letter to the ACA earlier this month, warning that the awards for unsuccessful semifinalists in the agency’s Innovation Challenge could be a violation of a constitutional provision banning government gifts to private companies, unless the money creates a tangible public benefit.

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Arizona ballot measure set business equipment tax (access required)

Arizona voters will decide in November whether to give businesses a break on property tax paid on newly acquired business equipment. Unanimously House approval of a resolution on Monday completes legislative action on the general election referendum on the proposed state constitutional amendment.

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Proposed curb on punitive damage suits — economic development tool or bad for consumers?

Big business and consumer-rights advocates are squaring off over a bill that would significantly limit the ability of people to sue a manufacturer whose products might pose risks to the public. The legislation would shield manufacturers from punitive damage claims — the most aggressive legal recourse allowed against manufacturers — unless very specific negligence can be demonstrated.

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Film tax credit gets OK from Senate (access required)

A proposal to create a new tax credit for film productions split Republicans but managed to garner just enough support to pass today in the Senate. The debate over measure, which still needs the House’s approval, illuminates a deep divide that is plaguing the majority party over how best to set the conditions for a robust economy.

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