It’s Time to Modernize the Workforce While Protecting Independent Workers

By: Nathan Brown

Throughout the past 10 years, the different ways in which Americans work have fundamentally changed. Thanks to technology, there are more innovative and flexible job opportunities for people to pursue outside of a traditional nine-to-five office job. 

A prime example of this transformation in how we work can be seen by the millions of people who operate in the on-demand economy, like those who choose to work in online or app-based platforms. Today, over 57 million Americans, including me, work on their own schedule, and that number will surely increase as more people realize the benefits that come with working in this sector – especially the flexibility it offers.

As a driver for Amazon myself, I value the flexibility that my work gives me. For many drivers like me, working independently allows us to balance our personal and professional life, particularly during these unprecedented times where many have to juggle multiple things like work, childcare, and virtual schooling. 

This is precisely why lawmakers, like Arizona’s U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, as well as my Congressman Greg Stanton, must work to address the needs of this growing sector of the workforce. It is long overdue for policymakers to recognize that today’s labor laws and social safety nets are outdated. 

First and foremost, implementing a portable benefits program would be one meaningful way to address this issue. Establishing a portable benefits program will protect millions of independent workers and give them peace of mind in addition to expanding opportunities for people across all demographics, ethnicities, and backgrounds. In the long run, this would help brick and mortar small businesses, restaurants, and retail establishments compete in what has become an increasingly online economy that shows no sign of slowing down.

Independent workers in this space would also benefit tremendously from a portable benefits program. Having access to key items like health insurance, paid family and medical leave, and disability insurance that they can take with them no matter where they work would be a huge improvement that could attract even more people to work in this industry. 

Remaining independent while receiving these types of benefits is an overwhelming popular opinion among current workers as well, according to one poll, by a 4-to-1 margin. Given this large majority, it’s no surprise that recently in California, Proposition 22 passed with over 58% support. This proves even further that allowing independent contractors to stay independent while receiving benefits is wildly popular and is not a partisan issue – it is a pro-worker issue.

The reason that Proposition 22 was so effective and successful can be summed up simply: workers – and those who support workers – in California wanted these crucial independent contractors and app-based earners to be able to keep their flexibility and independence. This is great news for Californians, and now it’s time to focus attention and effort on this issue nationally.

Utilizing the success of Proposition 22 and federalizing the issue would be a huge step forward for workers across the country. Private companies are doing their part to elevate worker standards, and policymakers in Washington must match that enthusiasm.

Nathan Brown is gig economy worker and voter in Congressional District 9

A Simple Solution to Help Millions of Independent Workers Like Me

By Eli Hirsche

For a lot of people, app-based platforms are a convenient way to get around town, order takeout, or skip the line at the grocery store. But for the drivers, couriers, and shoppers that make it possible, working in the on-demand economy means so much more. 

For some, it’s a way to earn extra income and make ends meet; for others, it’s a livelihood. Independent workers are a growing piece of our changing economy, yet unfortunately, outdated laws are holding many workers back.

This issue is personal to me, because I’m a gig worker myself. Like so many people, the COVID-19 economic shutdowns put me in a tough spot, so I started delivering for Doordash as a way to get through it and make ends meet.

What started as a last ditch effort to stay afloat quickly became my new passion. I love that I don’t have to sit at a desk and stare at wallpaper for 40 hours a week; instead, I can explore my hometown, help feed my community, and make a living on my own schedule.

I’m not alone. In America today, 57 million people – about a third of the workforce – choose independent work. According to one survey, 86% of app-based drivers cited flexibility as a top reason for driving.

Though independent work is a significant part of the workforce of today and the future, the laws that determine how workers get important benefits, like healthcare and retirement, are relics of the past.

That’s because our social safety net reinforces the employer-provided benefits system. For instance, about half of all Americans get their healthcare from their full time employer. However, gig workers who are legally considered self-employed often can’t personally afford the exorbitant costs of benefits. 

Steps like the Affordable Care Act have helped fill in the gap, but a lot of independent workers still don’t have access to all the important benefits they need to earn a stable living because policymakers haven’t kept up with the rapidly changing economy

A portable benefits system will help.

A portable benefits system would allow independent contractors to have access to the same benefits as full time workers without having to give up their flexibility. That’s because the benefit plan would stay with the worker even if they changed tasks or shifted work to another platform – hence “portable.”

The way it works is simple: the worker would pay a certain amount into the program, and whichever platform they earn on would also pay into it. For instance, if I were to use a portable benefits plan in my current situation, Doordash would pay into it; if I switched over to Uber Eats, they would pay into the exact same plan as well.  

Some states have already implemented smaller-scale versions of portable benefits. In January, Washington State launched a portable benefits program for medical and family leave, giving countless independent workers the ability to take care of their health and spend important time with their newborn children.

Independent work is here to stay, and our policymakers must update our laws to adapt. We need to create a portable benefits system that covers major benefits for all workers who need them. That way, independent workers like me won’t have to choose between jobs and a flexible schedule we love and the lifesaving benefits we need.

Eli Hirsche is a worker in the gig-economy and Mesa voter

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Bernie Sanders’ Socialist Movement Using #RedForEd In Arizona

RedForEd

By Ed Freedom

Public opinion has always held teachers in high regard. Teaching is a noble profession. All of us have had good teachers and bad teachers just as there have always been good and bad actors in every industry.

It seems reasonable for teachers to take a pay cut when recessions hit, revenues are down and government needs to tighten its belt on all services. It is also reasonable that teachers receive a raise when the economy is growing, revenues are up and as a way to acknowledge their sacrifices as teachers during those tough economic times.

Thursday will be the first teacher strike in Arizona history. Who would think of encouraging teachers to walk out during the last few weeks of school? Who are the activists leading the teacher labor union?

Wednesday, State Representative Maria Syms recently wrote an eye-opening guest opinion exposing the leaders of Arizona Educators United or #RedForEd on AZCentral.

Adding to the revelation of who makes up #RedForEd, this video footage shows rank and file protestors who are hardcore Bernie Sanders activists that embrace his socialist liberal agenda.

This video is extremely troublesome since it shows the very people who are demanding our tax dollars to teach our children.

There are good teachers and there are bad teachers. The people behind the #RedForEd movement are teachers who want to indoctrinate your children and make you pay for it.

AZ Treasurer Jeff DeWit: Endowment Investments Outperformed Most US Endowment & Pensions

AZ Treasurer
PHOENIX
– As 2016 comes to a close, the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund has beat industry benchmarks by a wider margin than in previous years.

Jeff DeWit“This is recognition of the hard work and incredible staff at the State Treasurer’s office,” Treasurer DeWit said.

The fund beat many of the large public investment funds in the United States including CalPERS, CalSTERS, Dartmouth, MIT, Stanford and Harvard.

“Our conservative, America first portfolio of 1,500 stocks and 405 bonds show that keeping our own staff and not outsourcing the management of Arizona’s money to Wall Street not only saves the state tens of millions in fees but also has produced better results,” DeWit said.

The $5.3 billion Endowment returned 3.32% in the last fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. This compares to the median one-year return of negative -0.74% for all endowments, according to results published by Wilshire Associates and reported by Bloomberg, LLC.  By these metrics, in the first full fiscal year under Treasurer DeWit Arizona’s endowment outperformed Wall Street’s average by over 4%.  This outperformance has continued through the end of November, to soon be reported at the upcoming December Arizona Board of Investment meeting.

Further, the Endowment has outperformed all of Arizona’s public pension funds during the same time period.

“This past year has been exceptional for the State’s Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund, the returns will benefit K-12 education for many years to come. Being a father of three school aged daughters and husband to a wife who was a public school teacher, it makes me very happy to know that the hard work being done in our office will benefit not only current school children and taxpayers, but all future generations of school children and taxpayers.” DeWit said.

Deputy Treasurer Mark Swenson added “Also, this shows the foresight of voters to have selected someone with an extensive background in investments.  Treasurer DeWit brings a wealth of financial knowledge to the office which has been instrumental in the outperformance of our returns.”

As a statewide constitutional officer, Treasurer DeWit serves as the state’s Banker and Investment Official for the State of Arizona, charged with the prudent custody and management of taxpayer monies and oversight of more than $13.8 billion in assets under management.

Arizona AFP: LAST CALL: RSVP for Friday’s Celebration!

We are excited to celebrate YOU this Friday.

Arizona AFP

This is the last call to attend our Liberty Celebration, this Friday, December 9, to celebrate your legislative and policy victories for 2016. We would love for you to join us.

RSVP as soon as possible for our Liberty Celebration as seats are limited!

Where:  Christ Church Lutheran, Arizona Room
3901 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

When: 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Why: Americans for Prosperity Arizona will be honoring our top activists-America’s freedom fighters and our friends! We will also honor legislators and local government officials with the designation of Friend of the Taxpayer of higher on our annual scorecards (Legislative Scorecard and Local Government Scorecard).

Dinner and drinks will be provided.

AFP across the United States contacted 30 million Americans at the phone and the door – that’s 10% of the entire country! All told, AFP advocated against Senate candidates in eight states. All but one of those candidates were defeated. That’s something to celebrate! We will giving each of our top winners a prized jackalope.*

Please RSVP and come celebrate YOUR efforts for promoting liberty and prosperity for all Arizonans!

For Liberty & Prosperity,

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity Arizona

*Think that jackalopes do not exist? Well, that’s how a lot of taxpayers feel when we tell them that there are pro-taxpayer elected officials and local activists. But they really do exist! And we plan to honor them on Friday, December 9th. Please join us!

Arizona Free Enterprise Club: Minimum Wage Initiative a Ploy to Unionize Workers

Free Enterprise Club

Reposted from The Arizona Free Enterprise Club.

Currently there is a massive effort underway to get several “California-style” initiatives on the ballot in November. The Club encourages anyone approached on the street by one of these petition carriers to “decline to sign.” One of the initiatives likely to get the signatures necessary to qualify jacks up the minimum wage and mandates minimum state-wide paid sick time.

Specifically, the measure increases Arizona’s minimum wage from the current $8.05, to $10 starting January 1st, 2017 – and tops out at a whopping $12 an hour in 2020, then defaulting back to increases based upon the cost of living index. Additionally, if passed, it would mandate businesses with more than 15 employees provide 40 hours of paid sick time and 24 hours of annual paid sick time for businesses with less than 15 employees.

This voter protected act would have a devastating effect on Arizona’s economy. Minimum wage schemes set an arbitrary floor on every industry, every business, and every job – and divorces wages from the actual economic value a position creates. As a result, minimum wages do not heed any more buying power for the people they purport to help, but instead increase costs and therefore create an eventual pressure to increase prices. Mandatory paid sick leave is another invention of the left which seeks to create policies in a vacuum outside any economic realities.

However the real intent of these “worker welfare” movements is more and more obvious. The campaign “Arizonans for Fair Wages and Healthy Families” is being pushed by the union-backed organization LUCHA (Living United for Change in Arizona) who since 2013 has advocated the “Fight for $15” for fast food workers and other out-of-state union groups. The battles are for minimum wage and paid sick leave; the war is unionization of the total workforce. This is evidenced by the fact that this very initiative exempts workers under a collective bargaining agreement. In other words, we have hit a new level of hypocrisy. If this was about creating the workers’ paradise, and not about incentivizing unionization, there would be no exceptions.

As if this all wasn’t damaging enough, the initiative has another kicker, which allows cities and towns to pass more generous wage and benefit mandates. With cities such as Tempe, Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson – Arizona can expect to have a patchwork of employment laws – making doing business across city borders an arduous endeavor.

Arizonans should be wary this election season. Union groups and leftist interests are out in full force – trying to make the Grand Canyon State look more like an increasingly bankrupt California. If voters are wise, they will reject destructive ballot initiatives such as this one.

Follow Arizona Free Enterprise Club on Facebook and Twitter.

Remove Rob Robson – Cited!

VOTE for John King and Jill Norgaard for LD18 House –  Tom Morrissey for LD18 Senate

Arizona Legislator Rob Robson, recently endorsed by Governor Brewer, was cited late Monday with a Class 2 Misdemeanor for stealing yard signs! The Maricopa County Sheriffs Department cited the thieving Legislator for violating section 16-1019A – tampering with campaign signs and set a court date for September 2, 2014 in the San Marco Court, presided over by Judge Frankle at 9:00 am.      Robson Censured

Robson received $15,000 from Governor Brewer who refers to all who have promised to keep Obamacare and Common Core in Arizona as “responsible, considerate Republicans.”  Suspending the Rules is considerate?  I call that cheating. Spending more money than Arizona taxpayers make and pay in taxes to the state is responsible?  I call that stealing. Only the Governor who calls a Special Session to pass a budget that is in-between committee could make these statements with a straight face.

Rob Robson was harshly  censured by the Republican Party throughout Arizona for a list of votes which violate the core Republican principles of limited government and individual liberties including Obamacare Medicaid Expansion, Common Core, and increasing spending leaving Arizona taxpayers with a potential tax increase.  Robson cheated in the Special Session when he voted to suspend the rules of the house to force OBrewercare Medicaid Expansion on Arizona.

Robson was then BLACKLISTED by the grassroots in Arizona and two excellent conservative candidates, John King and Jill Norgaard,  stepped up to primary him in legislative district 18.

Throughout LD18 ‘Arrow of Truth’ signs begin popping up next to Robson’s signs with simple ‘Voted for Obamacare’ and an arrow pointing to the signs. The signs began disappearing so a team sat one night

Arrow of Truth

and witnessed Robson and an accomplice working as a team removing the signs and destroying them before disposing of them.  They captured the vehicle leaving the scene with a license plate clearly reading “ROBSON”. The investigation is still ongoing.

‘Tidy the Tent’ in Arizona. 

Remove ROB ROBSON.  And Don’t Dial his buddy.

VOTE for John King and Jill Norgaard for LD18 House –  Tom Morrissey for LD18 Senate

 
Christine Bauserman, Chairwomen, Alliance of Principled Conservatives

The Voting Pattern of Michele Reagan

It is time to www.fightforarizona.com

Do NOT vote for Michele Reagan. She sold the Republicans out in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013.

It is time for all Republicans to take a stand and hold those we elect accountable.

Michele Reagan has a bad pattern that is not Republican and is not Principled

  • Michele Reagan voted to not notify a parent if their own child was to have an abortion.
  • Michele Reagan voted to teach sex education to kindergartners.
  • Michele Reagan voted FOR Obamacare Medicaid Expansion.
  • Michele Reagan voted to give entitlements to illegal immigrants by removing the Proof of Citizenship Requirement.
  • Michele Reagan voted for budgets that spent more money then she knew she had.
  • Michele Reagan voted in 2004, 2008, and 2013 with a handful of Republicans and ALL the Democrats for a Democrat deficit budget.

But she is really nice.  And she wants to be one step away from being the Governor of Arizona.

It is time to hold Republicans accountable.

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2013: Republican Legislative Districts and Counties CENSURED Michele Regan saying:

“we therefore disassociate ourselves from the governor and these legislators, and encourage other Republicans to likewise disassociate themselves from any of the above who may be candidates for any office in the upcoming 2014 elections, or any election thereafter, and affirm our withholding of support of all kinds.”

2006:  Michele votes to stop the notarization of parents when a child wants an abortion joining with 100% of the Democrat caucus and 2 other Republicans on HB 2666 – Notarized Parental Consent for Abortions.

2013: Michele voted for the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion. Then she voted against it.

Michele votes ‘YEA’ for Obrewercare, SB1492, joining 5 Republicans and all the Democrats, in the middle of the night, after Senator McComish makes a motion to suspend the rules, to stop Senate President Andy Biggs from trying to save Arizona from the train-wreck that is Obamacare.

Michele changes her reason for her vote but now she is saying, “I voted for the Andy Biggs budget.”

No she did not.  Andy Bigg’s budget was modified so badly that even he voted against it.

2009:  Michele sponsors a bill to teach sex education in the Kindergarten classroom, HB2544.

2008: In 2008 Michele voted for a deficit producing budget, ‘YEA’ with three Republicans, 100% of the Democrats, and Governor Napolitano on HB2209 to pass by a 31 YEA to 29 NAY vote.

(No Republican that voted for the 2004 or 2008 budget is serving in an elected office except for Michele.)

2004: Democrat budget: Michele voted ‘YEA’ with 14 Republicans for Democrat Janet Napolitano’s budget to raise the state budget more than a billion dollars.

Resolutions were passed by every district but one demanding her loyalty to Republican planks saying:

Do not sell out our Republican principles and the promise of 3 years funding that will benefit a few special interests at the cost of our State sovereignty and our core Republican values. We will adamantly oppose those who compromise our core values for short term political expediency.”

She sold YOU OUT.  Did you mean it?  Do NOT vote for Michele Reagan.

It is time for Republicans to hold those we elect accountable for their votes.

 www.fightforarizona.com

For a copy of this document to print out and distribute:  http://www.apcarizona.com/uploads/Reagan_Voting_Pattern.pdf
For a copy of the STATE BLACKLIST to distribute:  http://www.apcarizona.com/The_State_BLACKLIST.html

A Priority for the Next Governor

NFIB/Arizona's Farrell Quinlan

NFIB/Arizona’s Farrell Quinlan

Three of Arizona’s five Democrat members of Congress last week joined all four of their Republican colleagues from the state to accomplish what a similar bipartisan majority in the Arizona Legislature did earlier this year: It loaded a badly needed shot in the arm for the small-business owners who generate almost every new job in the state and nation.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to make permanent a tax provision that would allow small businesses to write off up to $500,000 in new equipment purchases, and some improvements to real property, instead of depreciating the costs over time. H.R. 4457, titled America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014, would provide small businesses with expensing levels that are permanent, predictable and at a level adequate to their needs.

This change to Section 179 of the federal tax code, which overwhelmingly passed the House on a 272-144 vote, would prevent the expensing level to fall all the way to $25,000 in 2014, after being at $500,000 from 2010 through 2013. It also indexes the level to inflation. In addition, the House also passed a bill that eases the tax burden on small businesses that change from taxable C-corporate status to S-corporate status.

A quick sample of the small-business owners benefitting from the H.R. 4457 expensing levels would include:

  • Your local pizza shop owner who might want to install new ovens and countertops that cost $100,000. He could deduct these capital improvements the same year he makes them, instead of waiting for the current 39 years to get his full depreciation.
  • A farmer considering equipment purchases of $300,000 could do so with much more ease, knowing it could all be deducted the year she bought it, instead of only $25,000 of it the first year.
  • A contractor looking to buy two work vehicles costing $60,000 would be more inclined to do so. Under current law, only $35,000 could be deducted—spread over five years—instead of all of it immediately.

On June 12, Arizona Democrats Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema joined Republicans Paul Gosar, Trent Franks, Matt Salmon and David Schweikert in supporting this pro-jobs legislation. Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Ed Pastor, both Democrats, voted against H.R. 4457. The measure now goes to the U.S. Senate for its consideration.

Earlier this year, a similar tax relief act, House Bill 2664, passed the Arizona Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. The legislation sponsored by state Rep. J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler) would have created an immediate state income tax allowance, similar to federal Section 179 expensing for qualifying business equipment investments valued up to $500,000.

In a tragic misreading of the needs of Arizona’s economy, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed HB 2664 because “the money would be better utilized” on her spending priorities. Undaunted, NFIB is committed to vigorously lobbying Arizona’s next governor and the new Legislature next session to finally realize our own $500,000 allowance to spur new job creation.

Last week’s strong bipartisan House vote to pass H.R. 4457 is very encouraging to small business, especially as demonstrated by the votes of Arizona’s congressional delegation. If Congress and the president do succeed in making it federal law, Arizona’s next governor must match it. If Washington fails, then establishing the small-business expensing allowance in Arizona’s tax code will be all the more critical.

Farrell Quinlan is Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

NFIB Arizona weighs in on latest economic report

Congress can help where Arizona fell down

PHOENIX, Ariz., June 10, 2014Today’s release of one of the nation’s most trusted economic surveys casts in sharp relief how pervasive our political leaders’ inattention to small-business job creation is, according to the Arizona state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s voice of small business.

As it does very month, NFIB releases its Index of Small Business Optimism, which measures the pulse of the nation’s largest employer group—Main Street entrepreneurs. Although the index rose to its highest level since 2007, the underpinnings of a strong economy are still not seismically sound.

“What stood out for me in the latest optimism index was Arizona’s missed opportunity to spur capital spending and new job creation by our own small businesses when Governor Brewer vetoed House Bill 2664 earlier this year,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for NFIB. The bill, which passed the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, would have created an immediate state income tax allowance for qualifying business equipment investments valued up to $500,000, similar to federal Section 179 expensing.

Indeed, in summarizing the latest optimism index, economist William Dunkelberg, its author, noted, “May’s numbers bring the Index to its highest level since September 2007. However, the four components most closely related to GDP and employment growth (job openings, job creation plans, inventory and capital spending plans) collectively fell 1 point in May.”

“Shifting capital spending into a higher gear is essential to a full and sustainable economic recovery,” said Quinlan. “Now, even though Arizona’s capital expensing vehicle stalled, Congress can turn on the ignition of job creation by passing H.R. 4457, the Small Business Tax Relief Act, when it comes up for a full House vote Thursday.

H.R. 4457 would allow small businesses to immediately deduct on their federal taxes the full value of equipment in the same year the investment is made, instead of depreciating the investment over time. This simplifies accounting and frees up cash to be reinvested and grow the business.

“The job-creation user’s manual is pretty straightforward and easy to follow,” said Quinlan. “If business owners have an incentive to invest in more equipment, they will need to hire more employees to meet the increased sales that equipment will generate. But I worry H.R. 4457 may face a similar grim fate in Congress as House Bill 2664 suffered in Arizona, despite everyone—Democrats, Republicans, business and labor—favoring it, a tragic misreading of the economy’s weakness will lead to continued inertia and another missed opportunity.”

Despite broad, bipartisan support, small-business federal expensing fell from $500,000 to $25,000 this year because previous extensions were temporary. H.R. 4457 would provide small businesses with expensing levels that are permanent, predictable and at a level adequate to their needs.Click here to read a letter 154 business associations signed and sent to Congress.

NOTE: The NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since 1974 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership. The report is released on the second Tuesday of each month. For almost 40 years, NFIB’s Index of Small Business Optimism has been one of the nation’s bellwether economic barometers, used by Federal Reserve, chairmen, congressional leaders and presidential administrations.

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For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.