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GOP senator introduces bill to terminate Arizona Commerce Authority

Calling it a bloated and problem-riddled agency, Republican state Sen. Jake Hoffman has introduced a bill to abolish the Arizona Commerce Authority.

While that bill will likely be met with a veto from Gov. Katie Hobbs, the agency does need legislative approval to continue, or else it will terminate at the end of June.

The Commerce Authority was started under the Brewer administration to expand the state’s economy. It came under fire after an audit found the group provided Super Bowl tickets to corporate CEOs and business leaders.

Chief Executive of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry Danny Seiden said his organization will oppose any legislation to kill the group.

"This attempt to just repeal it, it's irresponsible. And it sends the wrong message when we have a pipeline, mega projects coming in," Seiden said. 

The Commerce Authority came under fire last year after an audit found it lacked oversight mechanisms for businesses to meet investment requirements.

Seiden says axing the authority would  push business away from the state. 

“"I think this is a trap for Republicans to turn the Democrats into ones protecting jobs now. They're like giving up all their classic Republican strongholds," he said. 

Among her findings was that the Commerce Authority spent more than $2.4 million in taxpayer funds to wine and dine corporate CEOs and others at the Super Bowl and Waste Management Open over the past six years.

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Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.