On May 10, 2018 the Tucson Hispanic Chamber was honored to host Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Legislative Luncheon. As an annual event we provide to our members and the business community, this was Ducey’s first public event following the recent Arizona state legislative session. He spoke to a sold-out ballroom of more than 500 of our members and a variety of business and community leaders. Key points focused on Arizona’s improving economy and the recent education initiative he led to increase teacher pay by 20% by the year 2020.
From passing an extensive legislative package to address opioid addiction to restoring recession-era cuts to education and rewarding Arizona teachers with a 20% increase in teacher pay – this session the governor worked alongside legislators of both parties to deliver on this commitment. The session was not without its challenges, however. Teachers throughout Arizona staged a “walkout” in late April to express their concern with teacher pay and public education resources. A citizen initiative to raise income taxes that is generally not supported by the business community is currently being circulated to gain enough signatures to make the November ballot.
Of particular importance during the legislative session to Southern Arizona was the extension of our Rio Nuevo District – the tax increment financing plan that has stimulated private investment and development in downtown Tucson. Our chamber and business leaders throughout Southern Arizona celebrated the Governor’s support of the extension of the Rio Nuevo Bill at our Governor’s Legislative Luncheon.
The Arizona state legislature will continue to work on several bills in the next session that pertain to additional public education funding, school safety measures and other important issues.
Our Chamber also attended the recent ribbon cutting for the new Raytheon expansion. The Raytheon Missile Systems Tucson division employs over 12,000 people in Southern Arizona and has recently announced the addition of 2,000 engineers to their Tucson facility. These new hires will have great economic impact in our region with their spending power and likely homeownership. Raytheon hosted a hiring fair in Tucson in early May to begin the process of employing these high skilled workers. In addition, the Raytheon Headquarters located near the Tucson Airport will expand by another 500,000 square feet of meeting and industrial space. Raytheon Missile Systems is a major employer in Arizona and provides opportunities to our local businesses to be vendors and suppliers too.
Southern Arizona has many exciting developments that have occurred during the last six months and we are feeling the affects of an improved economy. From the relocation of the Caterpillar headquarters to Downtown Tucson to the Raytheon expansion, there are many business opportunities that will be created for our dynamic region.
The Tucson Hispanic Chamber and our affiliated chambers in Sierra Vista, Douglas and Ambos Nogales continue to educate our members on the business opportunities existing within our region. To find out more about membership in our chamber, please visit www.TucsonHispanicChamber.org or call 520-620-0005.
Vice Chair, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
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Our goal is to help member companies grow and prosper. We work to achieve this goal by advocating a pro-business agenda in Tucson and connecting members with business leaders and policy makers. How? With Networking & educational events, and online initiatives — like this blog.