Awards Summit Highlights Arizona’s Booming Manufacturing Sector

Awards Summit Highlights Arizona’s Booming Manufacturing Sector

By Terri Jo Neff |

State Senator Sine Kerr was recognized Thursday by the Arizona Manufacturing Council as its Legislator of the Year, while Dexcom received the group’s Manufacturer of the Year award, EMD Electronics was named Medium Manufacturer of the Year, and S&A Industries took home the title of Small Manufacturer of the Year.

Kerr (R-LD13) chairs the Senate’s Natural Resources, Energy, and Water Committee, and is a member of the Appropriations and the Transportation / Technology committees. She said she was honored to receive the award, and thanked her legislative colleagues for their support “of pro-business policies” which Kerr says continue to strengthen Arizona’s job creators, manufacturing, and economy.

Others recognized by the Arizona Manufacturing Council on Thursday include Advocate of the Year – Steve Trussell of Arizona Rock Products Association and the Arizona Mining Association; Excellence in Innovation Award – CP Technologies; Excellence in Sustainability – Lucid; and Economic Driver Award – intel.

The award summit also featured a statement by Gov. Doug Ducey, as well as a panel discussion about Workforce That Works and a legislative update from U.S. Rep. David Schweikert.

Ducey has declared October as Arizona Manufacturing Month to draw attention to all the manufacturing businesses in the state which play a vital role in expanding Arizona’s economy.  Currently there are 179,500 manufacturing jobs in Arizona, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

During his comments, Ducey said one of his priorities is pushing back against policies coming from Washington D.C. that are slowing the nation’s and Arizona’s economic recovery. He also pointed to the state’s positive reputation for being receptive to new businesses has helped make Arizona a global manufacturing hub.

“We are committed to bringing many more high-tech manufacturing companies to our state with our friendly business climate and talented workforce,” he said. “This month, Arizona is proud to recognize all the hardworking men and women who are making key contributions to our state.”

The governor’s office released several statistics about Arizona’s manufacturing sector, including the fact that between 2016 and 2020 the state ranked number two in the country for manufacturing job growth. In addition, total manufacturing exports grew by $2.1 billion in 2019 to a record high of $24.7 billion.

Specific industries which reported significant manufacturing employment growth from 2015 to 2019 include optics and photonics (46 percent increase), bioscience (43 percent increase), and chemicals, medical equipment, and pharmaceuticals (39 percent increase).

Missing Democrats Delay Consideration Of Bill To Rein In ACC’s Green New Deal Plans

Missing Democrats Delay Consideration Of Bill To Rein In ACC’s Green New Deal Plans

A State House committee was forced to postpone Tuesday’s discussion of a bill about who has authority to set energy policy in Arizona after almost all House Democrats failed to show up for a floor session earlier in the day at which the bill was to get its First Read.

The Committee on Natural Resources, Energy & Water (NREW) was to meet at 2 p.m. to consider HB2248, which seeks to rein in the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) regulation of critical electric generation resources. However, the bill had to be dropped from the committee’s agenda when the required First Read was not conducted at 1:15 p.m. because only 28 of 60 House members showed up for the floor session.

House members are split 31 Republicans and 29 Democrats. Public records reveal an overwhelming majority of those not present for Tuesday’s floor session were Democrats.

HB2248 sponsored by Rep. Gail Griffin (R-LD14) is in response to various Green New Deal mandates implemented by the ACC in recent years for how public service corporations can do business. It makes clear that legislators -not the ACC’s five members- have authority for establishing policies related to critical electric generation resources, whether biomass, coal, fuel-cell technology, geothermal, hydroelectric, natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind, or petroleum fuel products.

HB2248 would prohibit the ACC from adopting or enforcing any “policy, decision or rule” which directly or indirectly regulates what types of critical electric generation resources to be used or acquired by a public service corporation within Arizona’s energy grid “without express legislative authorization.”

The bill’s First Read was finally conducted Wednesday afternoon, according to House spokesman Andrew Wilder. It will go back to the NREW committee which Griffin chairs, but not until Jan. 26 at the earliest. The last day for the House to consider the bill is Feb. 18.

Sen. Sine Kerr (R-LD13) has introduced SB1175, a companion bill to HB2248. The bills would amend Title 40 of the Arizona Revised Statute by adding a new section designated as ARS §40-213. The amendment would not apply to any ACC policy, decision, or rule adopted before June 30, 2020 but would be retroactive to that date if passed.

Griffin and Kerr’s bills are supported by the Barry Goldwater Institute for Public Policy Research, the Free Enterprise Club, the Market Freedom Alliance, the Americans For Prosperity-AZ, and the Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona.