Arizona Association for Economic Development’s Legislative Priorities for 2021

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The Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) has developed its policy priorities for the 2021 legislative session. AAED is committed to supporting policies that reflect Arizona’s commitment to compete in a global market.

AAED’s priorities for 2021 include:

  • Fund transportation and broadband infrastructure
  • Expanding economic development programs to make Arizona more competitive
  • Ensure a qualified workforce and workforce pipeline
  • Retain and modernize existing economic development tools

“We work to protect and enhance existing economic development tools and resources, as well as assist in creating new ones, to ensure that economic development practitioners can properly attract, retain and assist businesses in their communities,” said Michael Jansen, chair of AAED’s Governmental Affairs Committee.

Transportation and connectivity remain a top priority for business development and job creation and its advances benefit the quality of life for Arizonans across the state by increasing access and options for education, healthcare and commerce. AAED supports expanding broadband in rural communities and the use of smart technologies in all industries ranging from telehealth to road infrastructure to ensure businesses have the tools they need to grow and succeed in our economy.

To keep Arizona’s business climate competitive with other states, AAED will prioritize policies that are performance-based and return-driven. This will encourage a diversity of businesses to locate and remain in Arizona for the long-term and attract and retain high-wage jobs to encourage capital investment.

Venture capital drives job creation and economic growth by helping entrepreneurs turn innovative ideas and scientific advances into products and services. AAED will support policies that enhance businesses’ access to venture capital and leverage tax-credits that encourage high-wage employment growth.

Another top priority for AAED is allowing for ease of business creation, as small and medium-sized businesses are a major economic driver. Reducing costly administrative burdens on new businesses of all sizes will encourage entrepreneurs to foster a business environment that can capitalize on the vision of Arizona’s skilled workers.

“The pandemic has given AAED the opportunity to think outside of the box to come up with legislative solutions to problems related to business attraction, growth and retention,” said Carrie Kelly, executive director of AAED. “We look forward to working with the legislature to keep Arizona competitive.”

Keeping in line with its mission to advocate for responsible economic development, AAED continues to hold priorities for Native American tribal affairs, consistency in Arizona’s local governments and supporting an educated workforce.

For a more comprehensive look at AAED’s legislative priorities, click here to learn more.  

About the Arizona Association for Economic Development

AAED, founded in 1974, has a mission to serve as Arizona’s unified voice for responsible economic development through professional education, public policy, and collaboration. For more information on AAED, visit or call (602) 240-2233.

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