NFIB/Arizona Endorses 43 Legislative Candidates for the General Election

Photographed holding one of NFIB’s signature “Small Business’ Choice” campaign sign-toppers, NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chairman Mark Giebelhaus congratulates former lawmaker Sylvia Tenney Allen after she was selected as replacement state senate nominee by Legislative District 6 Republicans at their August 30th special meeting in Flagstaff. The extraordinary selection became necessary when incumbent Sen. Chester Crandell died in an early-August horse-riding accident after primary ballots had already been sent to voters. Mr. Giebelhaus was on hand at the GOP meeting to inform Mrs. Allen that she would receive NFIB/Arizona SAFE Trust’s endorsement. Mrs. Allen served in the Arizona Senate from 2008 to 2013 rising to the position of Senate President Pro Tempore in 2011. While in office, she achieved a perfect 100-percent score on NFIB/Arizona’s Voting Records during her four-and-a-half years in the legislature.

Photographed holding one of NFIB’s signature “Small Business’ Choice” campaign sign-toppers, NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chairman Mark Giebelhaus congratulates former lawmaker Sylvia Tenney Allen after she was selected as replacement state senate nominee by Legislative District 6 Republicans at their August 30th special meeting in Flagstaff. The extraordinary selection became necessary when incumbent Sen. Chester Crandell died in an early-August horse-riding accident after primary ballots had already been sent to voters. Mr. Giebelhaus was on hand at the GOP meeting to inform Mrs. Allen that she would receive NFIB/Arizona SAFE Trust’s endorsement. Mrs. Allen served in the Arizona Senate from 2008 to 2013 rising to the position of Senate President Pro Tempore in 2011. While in office, she achieved a perfect 100-percent score on NFIB/Arizona’s Voting Records during her four-and-a-half years in the legislature.

The political action committee of Arizona’s leading small-business association today announced its General Election endorsements of 43 candidates for the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.

“The legislative candidates endorsed by NFIB today are proven friends of free enterprise whom Arizona small-business owners can trust to place their responsibility to taxpayers first over the interests of bigger government and its enablers,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

These endorsements are formally issued by the NFIB/Arizona Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust, the organization’s political action committee, and represent the culmination of the legislative candidate endorsement process for the small business advocacy group.

In July, NFIB endorsed 42 candidates in the primary phase with all but two advancing to the General Election—Rep. Carl Seel lost his primary and Sen. Chester Crandell passed away in August. The three new NFIB endorsements for the General Election are former state senator Sylvia Tenney Allen who was selected by her party to replace Sen. Crandell in the Legislative District 6 Senate contest and House candidates Noel Campbell in Legislative District 1 and Anthony Kern in Legislative District 20. NFIB is expected to announce soon small business’ choice for governor and attorney general.

NFIB/Arizona Legislative Endorsements in the 2014 General Election:

  • LD05 Senate: Kelli Ward
  • LD06 Senate: Sylvia Tenney Allen
  • LD10 Senate: Mark Morrison
  • LD11 Senate: Steve Smith
  • LD12 Senate: Andy Biggs
  • LD13 Senate: Don Shooter
  • LD14 Senate: Gail Griffin
  • LD15 Senate: Nancy Barto
  • LD16 Senate: David Farnsworth
  • LD17 Senate: Steve Yarbrough
  • LD20 Senate: Kimberly Yee
  • LD21 Senate: Debbie Lesko
  • LD22 Senate: Judy Burges
  • LD23 Senate: John Kavanagh
  • LD01 House: Noel Campbell
  • LD01 House: Karen Fann
  • LD05 House: Sonny Borrelli
  • LD06 House: Brenda Barton
  • LD06 House: Bob Thorpe
  • LD10 House: Todd Clodfelter
  • LD10 House: William Wildish
  • LD11 House: Mark Finchem
  • LD11 House: Vince Leach
  • LD12 House: Eddie Farnsworth
  • LD12 House: Warren Petersen
  • LD13 House: Darin Mitchell
  • LD13 House: Steve Montenegro
  • LD14 House: David Gowan
  • LD14 House: David Stevens
  • LD15 House: John Allen
  • LD16 House: Kelly Townsend
  • LD17 House: J.D. Mesnard
  • LD17 House: Jeff Weninger
  • LD18 House: Jill Norgaard
  • LD20 House: Paul Boyer
  • LD20 House: Anthony Kern
  • LD21 House: Rick Gray
  • LD22 House: David Livingston
  • LD22 House: Phil Lovas
  • LD23 House: Michelle Ugenti
  • LD25 House: Rusty Bowers
  • LD25 House: Justin Olson
  • LD28 House: Shawnna Bolick

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.

NFIB Endorses 42 Legislative Candidates

Nine Newcomers Join 33 Incumbents as Small Business’ Choice

The political action committee of Arizona’s leading small-business association today announced its endorsements of 42 candidates for the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chair Mark Giebelhaus and NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan flank LD18 House hopeful Jill Norgaard at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chair Mark Giebelhaus and NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan flank LD18 House hopeful Jill Norgaard at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

“The legislative candidates endorsed by NFIB today are proven friends of free enterprise whom Arizona small-business owners can trust to place their responsibility to taxpayers first over the interests of bigger government and its enablers,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council member Jeff Fleetham and LD28 House hopeful Shawnna Shawnna Bolick at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council member Jeff Fleetham and LD28 House hopeful Shawnna Shawnna Bolick at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

The principal standard used to evaluate incumbents was their voting records on 12 bills supported or opposed by the National Federation of Independent Business during the 2013-2014 legislative sessions. Endorsements for non-incumbent candidates were largely based on the quality of their answers on a questionnaire. These endorsements are formally issued by the NFIB/Arizona Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust, the organization’s political action committee, and represent the culmination of the pre-primary phase of the candidate evaluation process. There may be further endorsements in select legislative and statewide races after the August 26th primary elections.

NFIB/Arizona Endorsements in 2014 Legislative Primary Contests

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.

Rep Michelle Ugenti Proposes County Regulatory Reform

Scottsdale, AZ (Dec 16th, 2013) – In an effort to reduce the regulatory burden and reduce costs on Arizona businesses, Rep. Michelle Ugenti, R-Scottsdale, has introduced legislation that will create greater accountability of county government.

House Bill 2013 is loosely modeled after the Arizona Administrative Procedures Act which governs the process state agencies must follow when creating rules and regulations they impose on Arizona businesses.

Ugenti first introduced this legislation in 2012, at the request of many members of Arizona’s business community, to provide them with more certainty and greater input in the development of county regulatory policies.  As a result of that effort, in 2013 Maricopa County in conjunction with various stakeholders made several modifications to its regulatory process resulting in greater transparency, additional stakeholder input and expedited processes.

Last session Ugenti sponsored legislation to apply the model created by Maricopa County to the other 14 counties in Arizona.  Businesses all across the state should benefit from a process that is less complicated, less costly and more predictable.

“I am appreciative that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors recognized the merits of what was being proposed and acted to improve their regulatory process for Arizona’s business.  They recognized the value in working with the regulated community to improve transparency, reduce costs and increase accountability.  This legislation is worth fighting for so that businesses all across the state receive those same benefits,” Ugenti said.

Many in the business community agree with her. The National Federation of Independent Business, a voice for small business, gave Ugenti’s voting record on business issues the highest score possible in 2011 and 2012, the most recent years available.  Others who have supported this legislation include the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, and the Arizona Chapter of Associated General Contractors.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio Endorses Representative Michelle Ugenti for Re-Election

Michelle Ugenti

Scottsdale, AZ- Today, Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio enthusiastically endorsed Republican State Representative Michelle Ugenti (LD-23) for re-election to a third term.

“As one of Arizona’s leading conservative legislators, I am proud to endorse Michelle for re-election,” said Councilman DiCiccio. “She is a strong voice for balancing the state’s budget, lowering taxes, growing Arizona’s economy and reducing the regulatory burden on businesses. Whether she is fighting against the influence public sector unions who want to maintain the status quo in cities across the state or through her successful effort to consolidate candidate elections, Michelle is my pick to represent District 23.”

“It is an honor to receive Councilman DiCiccio’s endorsement,” said Representative Ugenti. “Sal has worked tirelessly to address Phoenix’s fiscal problems, pension abuses and the power of special interests at city hall. He leads by example and I appreciate his support and commitment to the values we share.”

Representative Michelle Ugenti represents Legislative District 23, which includes Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, and Rio Verde. Michelle was first elected to the state legislature in 2010 and was re-elected in 2012. Representative Ugenti is chairman of the Government Committee and is a member of the Appropriations and Joint Legislative Budget Committees. Representative Ugenti currently lives in Scottsdale with her husband Frank and three children.

Rep. Michelle Ugenti Sponsors Bill Honoring Pat Tillman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2011
CONTACT: Paul Boyer

Representative Michelle Ugenti is sponsoring the Pat Tillman legacy bill that creates a license plate honoring Pat Tillman. She has secured bill number HB2042 to honor Tillman, who wore #42 as a linebacker for Arizona State. Proceeds of the sales of the plates will benefit military service members and their families

“This piece of legislation is personally important to me because of my family’s close relationship with the Tillman family,” Representative Michelle Ugenti said. “My husband, Frank, grew up with the Tillman family in San Jose and is cousins with Marie Tillman, Pat’s widow.”

HB2042 has an emergency clause. If two thirds of the Legislature in both the House and the Senate support the bill and the Governor signs it, the bill will go into effect immediately and in time for the next annual Pat’s Run on April 21, 2012.

“Together with the Pat Tillman Foundation I am proud to introduce the Pat Tillman Legacy Plate,” Ugenti said. “This bill will allow for the sale of a ‘Pat Tillman Foundation’ Arizona license plate. Proceeds from the sales of the plates will benefit military service members and their families.”

“Having known Pat was a great honor and I will always remember his passion for conversation and how he would engage you in debate as often as possible,” Ugenti said. “We would talk politics, religion, social issues, sports…the topics were endless. And when we ran out of topics there was always Trivial Pursuit, his favorite game.”

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Representative Michelle Ugenti aims to toughen missing person reports

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Daniel Scarpinato
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

“Caylee’s Law” would make it a Class 5 Felony to fail to report a child missing

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX (Nov. 22, 2011) – In an effort to protect missing children, state Representative Michelle Ugenti (Republican, District-8) has introduced House Bill 2018 to make it a class 5 felony if a parent fails to report that a child under six years of age has gone missing.

Part of a national movement to tighten missing person reports when it comes to small children, the legislation is titled “Caylee’s Law,” a response to the disappearance and murder of Caylee Anthony, a Florida infant. The bill was drafted with the assistance of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

Representative Ugenti’s bill requires that a parent, stepparent, guardian or person who has the care of custody of a minor under six years of age to immediately report the child missing after a 24 hour period.

“Arizona children need to be protected and if one goes missing it’s vital that police begin the search process before the child is put in danger or their life is at risk,” Ugenti said. “This bill is a reasonable and enforceable way to protect young children and hold accountable those parents and adults who fail to live up to their responsibilities.”

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Small Business’ Top 10 Arizona Legislative Victories in 2011

By Farrell Quinlan

The 50th Arizona Legislature has boldly staked its claim to being the most pro-small business legislature in Arizona’s history. With issue after issue, legislators advanced measures to relieve the tax and regulatory burdens on the engines of our economic recovery, Arizona’s small businesses.  Even in instances where lawmakers mistakenly pursued bad policy, they did so with the right motive in mind—creating more jobs.

Here are 2011’s top ten legislative victories for the small business:

  1. Broad-based Business Property Tax Relief – Passage of then-House Speaker Kirk Adams’ “jobs bill” (HB 2001) included historic business property tax relief that when fully implemented will mean a 28 percent reduction in the business property tax assessment ratio over the preceding decade. Our business property tax burden was the fourth highest in the nation back in 2006 when we began to lower the Class 1 assessment ratio from 25 percent. When the 18 percent Class 1 ratio is realized in 2016, Arizona’s business property tax burden will have settled into the low- to mid-20’s ranking among the 50 states. Truly historic. Moreover, Governor Brewer’s courageous veto of SB 1041 upheld the principle of broad-based business property tax relief over the allure of constitutionally-dubious schemes that pick winners over losers in the tax code.
  2. Corporate Income Tax Rate Cut – The “jobs bill” was so monumental this session; it easily earns the top two positions on this list of small business victories. HB 2001 also slashes Arizona’s corporate income tax rate 30 percent to 4.9 percent when it’s fully phased in by 2017. We should not discount the enormously positive signal this sends to out-of-state enterprises looking to relocate to more business-friendly states. Our corporate income tax and business property tax rates are no longer in question due to our protracted budget crisis. Instead, Prop. 108’s protection against tax increases effectively locks in not only stable and predictable rates—it locks in significantly lower rates. That’s the best economic development tool we could create to spur the strong, broad-based economic recovery that we are all looking to achieve.
  3. Health Savings Account Incentives – House Majority Leader Steve Court’s HB 2556 creates income tax credits for small businesses for the premium paid on a high deductable health plan and for contributions to employees’ health savings accounts. 
  4. Local ‘Bounty Hunter’ Audit Ban – Sen. Steve Yarbrough’s SB 1165 reverses the emerging trend of cities contracting with ‘bounty hunter’ auditors on a contingent fee basis to audit businesses collecting sales tax receipts.
  5. City & County Regulatory Bill of Rights – Sen. Lori Klein’s SB 1598 establishes a Regulatory Bill of Rights to ensure fair and open regulation by local governments.
  6. Union Preference Prohibition – Rep. Michelle Ugenti’s HB 2644 prohibits state entities, counties, cities and towns from accepting federal money for a construction project if accepting it requires them to give a preference to union labor.
  7. Employer Protections & Labor Relations – Sen. Frank Antenori’s SB 1363 restricts unlawful picketing, trespassing and defamation by labor unions against a business.
  8. Tax Closing Agreements Reform – Rep. Jack Harper’s HB 2202 enhances the criteria for declaring an ‘affected class’ for the purposes of determining whether an extensive misunderstanding or misapplication of Arizona tax laws has occurred—thereby allowing for the abatement of past tax liability, interest and penalties.
  9. IRS Conformity Policy – Rep. Harper’s HB 2332 waives any interest or penalties for unpaid tax liability due when the state fails to conform to revised definitions in the Internal Revenue Code in time for the taxpayer to accurately file their annual tax return.
  10. Civil Appeal Bond Limits – Sen. Al Melvin’s SB 1212 provides some relief for businesses in civil lawsuits by limiting the amount of the bond that must be posted against a judgment during the appeals process.

Though this list could go on listing other wins in areas like workers’ compensation reform and returning solvency to our unemployment insurance trust fund, it should be noted that the 2011 session included its share of disappointments.

Sen. Antenori’s SB 1322 would have required most municipal services in Phoenix and Tucson that cost more than $500,000 to go through an open and competitive bidding process. Sen. Nancy Barto’s SB 1593 would have allowed healthcare insurers from any of the 50 states to issue their policies in Arizona under the same coverage terms as in their home state. Unfortunately, both were vetoed by Governor Brewer. The Legislature also failed to act on a referendum to increase the exemption amount on the business personal property tax, a job-killing tax that punishes small businesses for reinvesting in machinery and equipment to grow their businesses.

Still, these setbacks cannot diminish the 50th Arizona Legislature’s overwhelmingly positive record on small business issues. The 7,500 Arizona members of the National Federation of Independent Business thank Governor Brewer and our lawmakers for this session’s impressive achievements on behalf of small business and look forward to building on them next year.

 – Farrell Quinlan is state director for the National Federation of Independent Business in Arizona (www.nfib.com/az). 

Click here to access the NFIB/Arizona Voting Record to see how your lawmakers voted on these and other bills.