FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Senate Government Committee of Reference Holds
Troubled Arizona Commerce Authority Accountable
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— The Senate Government Committee of Reference today recommended to revise or consolidate the troubled Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) during the agency's Sunset Review.
A disturbing report released last September from the Arizona Auditor General revealed that under the Hobbs Administration, the ACA mismanaged taxpayer dollars and engaged in constitutional violations, where corporate CEOs were the beneficiaries of extravagant gifts. Despite the findings, Katie Hobbs defended the ACA unconditionally, in its current form, during her State of the State Address.
This week, the Arizona Attorney General reaffirmed the Auditor General's concerns in a letter sent to the ACA.
"The mission of supporting job creation has never been called into question. Unfortunately, the Arizona Commerce Authority has failed to execute on that mission within the parameters of Arizona law," said Committee Chairman Jake Hoffman. "From failures in oversight, to lack of accountability, the ACA has demonstrated gross mismanagement and, at times, outright illegal activity with taxpayer dollars."
During testimony, Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the ACA, did not dispute the agency spent millions on lavish perks, like luxury resort accommodations and expensive suites at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Super Bowl, with no intention of following the law moving forward.
"As stewards of the public trust, it is our responsibility to make sure we have a government that works for everyone. Now we begin the process of reimagining the critical mission and programs supporting private sector job growth in a manner consistent with Arizona law," said Chairman Hoffman. "If Katie Hobbs wants to hang the ACA’s problem-riddled anchor around her neck, that’s her choice, but I’m going to continue to fight for a government that works for every Arizonan no matter how hard she opposes me."
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus