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Arizona Center for Economic Progress Begins Statewide Collaboration, Work

January 5, 2017

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(Phoenix, AZ) – More than 75 community leaders gathered in central Phoenix today to launch the Arizona Center for Economic Progress.

This new venture brings together a diverse coalition of community leaders from across the state to collaborate on public policies and solutions to nurture good jobs and build strong communities. The Center will be headed by David Lujan, an attorney with a long career in public policy, as a prosecutor, state lawmaker and principal at a Phoenix-area charter school.

The Center has an aggressive agenda: to go beyond labels to get to the real foundations for economic growth.

“There are many knowledgeable minds here who know what can work to build a stronger Arizona; we want to put those together to come up with the right recipe to grow our state’s economy, with a solid education system, a well-educated workforce and up-to-date infrastructure that works for business,” said Lujan.

The launch event included a discussion among Arizona economists about the ups and downs of the economy and how the nation has been shaped by the slow growth after the most recent recession. Additionally, Annie McKay with Kansas Action for Children and Duane Goossen with the Kansas Center for Economic Growth presented real-case data on how the state of Kansas has struggled economically in the wake of drastic tax cuts, in which lawmakers promised voters economic growth in exchange for a phase out of the income tax. As a result, Kansas is facing anemic job growth, historic budget deficits, cuts to public education and other state priorities, as well as a stalled economy.

“We have the power to engage our policymakers in becoming true champions for Arizona’s taxpayers,” said Lujan.

The Center has released three policy briefs as part of its launch:

• What Arizona Can Learn from Kansas Tax Cuts
• The Federal Budget and Its Impact on Arizona’s Economy
• Q & A About Arizona’s State Budget and Taxes

The Arizona Center for Economic Progress will continue its work as a project of Arizona-based public policy group, Children’s Action Alliance. The Center’s publications can be found online.

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