Oppose the APS Rate Hike

Oppose the APS Rate Hike

MFA has filed on the docket for the APS rate case.

Remember when APS cared about it’s customers? So do we. Sadly that isn’t the case anymore.

APS was focused on keeping prices lower while providing service and a grid that was beneficial to all. Sadly, the new leadership team has gone on a very different path, fully embracing the Tom Steyer/Bernie Sanders agenda.  Oddly, they now want to California our Arizona with crazy gimmicks, that are sure to cost the ratepayers even more money.

Disturbingly it appears that APS is colluding with Tom Steyer to implement a “Green New Deal.” APS has rolled out a near carbon copy of the Steyer agenda and adopted it as their own which will lead to significant rate increases.  We strongly urge you, through your authority, to seek any and all documents and communiques between APS and their agents and Tom Steyer and his agents. While we realize you can’t compel Mr. Steyer, you most certainly can compel APS.

This possible collusion must be uncovered.

Second, the rate increase proposed by APS must be rejected. SRP, a company that provides nearly the same service, does so at nearly 20% lower the consumer cost as APS. Put another way the Arizona Corporation Commission is picking winners and losers by creating a hidden energy tax on millions of Arizonans whose only crime is to live in the service territory of a monopoly that cares not a wit about their customers.

Third, APS’ return on equity must come in line with our new economic realities. As you know APS’ ROE was set at 10% by the Commission. As you also know, APS illegally made over $28.4 million dollars by exceeding the 10% ROE. For the large part ROE is determined by the profitability of a given company. The authorized 10% and the illegally gotten 10.45% were obtained during times of fantastic economic growth.

Sadly, due to the global pandemic we are seeing a real financial contraction. No monopoly should be given carte blanche profitability levels while the rest of the economy and the people of Arizona suffer.

We do find with great interest the proposal from Commissioner Dunn on performance based rate design that puts customers first, and urge you to give it serious consideration. Coupled with our new economic reality, and the fact that APS illegally obtained over $28.4 million dollars we would urge you to set the ROE at a baseline of no higher than 7.5% and then institute performance based rates which would allow APS to move their ROE to no higher than 8.5% for a period of 3 years.

Lastly, we would urge you to protect ratepayers. During the previous legislative session Market Freedom Alliance, the Goldwater Institute and the Free Enterprise Club worked to establish a Ratepayer Bill of Rights. Unsurprisingly, APS and their legion of lobbyists and lawyers, went to work to kill this important legislation. As a regulated monopoly APS should be allowed a reasonable profit margin without the need to trick customers into bad rate plans.  While APS apparently opposes their customers having basic rights, we believe it completely unconscionable that they were given $5 million dollars to educate their customers about the true nature of their rates, and then fail so miserably at it.  Since this plan was an abject failure, we urge you to reclaim the $5 million dollars and give it back to customers as a rebate.

Trade Mission to Mexico

October 5, 2017

Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO, Glenn Hamer interview with Bloomberg.

Market Freedom Alliance
Trade Mission to Mexico
August 22- August 25

Arizona Representative Tony Rivero invited representatives from Market Freedom Alliance to a trade mission in Mexico. The mission was punctuated with a series of meetings with Mexican government officials, including Senator Juan Carlos Romero Hicks and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray, as well as business leaders, including Jorge Vallejo, the Director of Exports, Institutional Relations and International Affairs for Nissan’s Leaf division and corporate public relations expert Magdalena Carral. Private sector attendance also included representatives from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association, and Chicanos Por La Causa. The University of Arizona and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University were also represented.

The mission and meetings addressed not only the importance of trade in general, but the importance of the ongoing NAFTA negotiations. In all, twenty-six members of the Arizona delegation attended the trade mission, which was noted in the Mexican press as the largest such foreign delegation of its kind. 

Market Freedom Alliance strives to promote the common good and general welfare of Arizonans. Market Freedom Alliance was pleased to help sponsor the opportunity for the bipartisan Arizona delegation to learn first-hand about the economic and humanitarian benefits of the relationship with our Mexican trading partner. With $8.3 billion in exports and $7.4 billion in imports last year, Arizona has much to gain by fostering and improving our relationship with Mexico on trade. Mexico is Arizona’s number one trading partner and we trade more with Mexico than the next four partners combined (Canda, Korea, China and the United Kingdom). Our trade business accounts for close to 100,000 jobs in Arizona. 

Because of our geographic proximity, shared cultural relations, and years of mutually beneficial trade, any business restrictions, including tarrifs, would be particularly damaging not only to Mexico, but to Arizona as well. Former executives of the Arizona Mexico Commission led meetings in an effort to articulate to Mexican counterparts that there is a broad consensus among the Arizona business community in strong support of a “modernized” NAFTA. Arizona has two of the most ardent free-trade Senators in the country, so despite the restrictionist rhetoric coming from Washington, DC, the trade delegation left Mexico with a sense of optimism about the future of NAFTA. 


Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO, Glenn Hamer interview with Bloomberg.

Meeting with business and government leaders including Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Luis Videgaray.

Meeting with business and government leaders including Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Luis Videgaray.

The Hon. Tony Rivero, Member, Arizona House of Representatives; Chairman of the Local and International Affairs Committee.

The Hon. Tony Rivero, Member, Arizona House of Representatives; Chairman of the Local and International Affairs Committee.

UofA Dean of the College of Science, Joaquín Ruiz.

UofA Dean of the College of Science, Joaquín Ruiz.

Briefed on Puerto Peñasco Port by Mayor Kiko Munro.

Briefed on Puerto Peñasco Port by Mayor Kiko Munro.

Texas Court Issues Injunction Blocking New December 1st Overtime Regulations

November 23, 2016
Think HR

On November 22, 2016, a federal district court in Texas granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing its recently revised regulations on the white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The regulations, which were released in May and scheduled to go into effect on December 1, would more than double the minimum salary requirement certain executive, administrative, and professional employees must receive in order to be exempt from overtime.

Employers should note that this is only a temporary injunction, not a permanent one. The injunction applies nationwide and simply prevents the regulations from going into effect on December 1. There will be a decision issued at a later date on the actual merits of the case, so changes in the FLSA salary threshold for exemption may be back.

Impact for Employers

For many employers, this is good news for the time being. As a result, employers that have not made the necessary changes to their compensation plans have more time to plan for the changes in the event the regulations are upheld. Employers that have already made changes to their compensation plans will need to determine if they want to continue with the changes, suspend the changes, or roll back those changes pending any legal developments. These decisions should be made in accordance with any applicable state or local laws. Employers should consult their attorneys to determine what course of action is best for them.

For more information visit ThinkHR to monitor developments and keep you informed of any changes.

New FDA regulation threatens future of AZ vaping industry

November 14, 2016
Arizona Business Daily
Chuck Schmidt

As an Arizona resident and small business owner, I am deeply troubled by a threat to one of our growing economies — the vaping industry. If left unchanged, a provision in new rules by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), called the “predicate date,” will force all vapor products produced after 2007 to undergo a costly and time-consuming approval process. Vapor shop owners and convenience stores will have to pay untold sums in the process while waiting months or years for approval — the result of which will inadvertently over-regulate the industry out of existence in Arizona. Businesses could close down, jobs could be lost, taxable Arizona revenue may go out of state and consumers could be denied of the choices they want and deserve. 

While the FDA may have had good intentions, their rule will not improve oversight of the tobacco industry, instead, it will cause an unnecessary prohibition of the very products consumers are increasingly demanding to curb smoking traditional cigarettes.   We cannot allow the predicate date of the rules to remain as-is—it’s bad for business, it’s bad for consumers, and it would reverse constructive progress in public health spurred by the vapor industry.  

Thankfully, Congresswoman Martha McSally can help save Arizona’s vapor industry and, therefore, I am urging her, along with her colleagues, to take action as soon as possible to fix the FDA’s regulation. The Cole-Bishop Amendment is just the solution we need as it will update the predicate date from 2007 to 2016. 

This small but important change will provide vapor businesses a more workable timeframe in complying with the review process for new and developing vapor products, which will keep businesses open, support innovation in the vapor industry, and ensure Arizonians can continue to access less harmful substitutes to traditional tobacco products that many consumers have increasingly come to rely on. 

This issue is important because it is a matter of regulations keeping pace with marketplace advancements and supporting consumer choice. I hope, for the sake of Arizona’s economy and for consumers, Congresswoman McSally supports the Cole-Bishop amendment and urges congressional leaders to include it in any of the remaining spending bills Congress must pass this year.