What Do Small Business Owners Want from the 2017 Arizona Legislative Session?

Date: January 17, 2017

Regulatory reform, tax reform, and minimum wage are just a few of the concerns.

Arizona small business owners worried about the burden of regulations, taxes, and the minimum wage can expect to have their concerns heard during the 2017 Arizona legislative session.

The session began Jan. 9 and runs through April 22.

“The 2017 Arizona Legislative session looks to be one of consolidation and steady advance on the regulatory reform front, including Gov. Doug Ducey’s continuing efforts to reduce the number of state regulatory boards and their intrusion into the free market,” said NFIB/AZ State Director Farrell Quinlan.

Taxes and the minimum wage could also be addressed in the upcoming legislation. New Arizona House Speaker Rep. J.D. Mesnard (R-Gilbert) told the Associated Press he might introduce major tax reform, though he doesn’t know yet what it would look like.

“I’ve made it no secret that I’m interested in a single-rate, simplified income tax system,” said Mesnard. “I think that’s conducive for those that one day want to go down the road of eliminating the income tax entirely.”

Arizona’s new Senate President, Steve Yarbrough, told the Associated Press he is very concerned about the recent minimum wage hike, specifically mentioning “the huge impact on lots of small businesses.” Voters approved the hike in November through Proposition 206. The wage rose from $8.05 an hour to $10 an hour in January, and will increase again to $10.50 in 2018, $11 in 2019, and $12 in 2020.

“I think passing Prop. 206 was an error, and now we’re going to see some consequences that we’re not going to like very much,” Yarbrough told the Associated Press.

Many small business owners also hope the legislature addresses a recent rash of lawsuits over the Americans With Disabilities Act.

“NFIB will be spearheading critically needed reforms in the administration of the Arizonans With

Disabilities Act that will close a loophole that allowed more than 1,800 ‘drive-by’ lawsuits against small businesses on supposed hyper-technical violations of the ADA,” says Quinlan. “While making the lawyers rich, this abusive scheme does little to nothing to promote ADA compliance among small businesses or advance the legitimate interests of individuals with disabilities.”

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