Business & Job Creation
Businesses need a friendly and fair business environment so they can compete, innovate, and create jobs. We’re keeping politicians from playing favorites by offering special deals and tax breaks to the favored few.
As a fragment of the former Bell system and the incumbent provider of local telephone service, Qwest is specifically prohibited by federal law from providing long distance telecommunications service in areas where it has traditionally offered local service. This means that it cannot provide voice and data service between Arizona and New Mexico, for example, nor between Phoenix and Tucson for that matter. To enter these markets, Qwest must obtain permission from state and federal regulators.
At the end of 1996, the Arizona Corporation Commission passed a rule that phases in deregulation in the electricity industry over the next five years. The legislature will likely take action next year. In order to implement competition, Arizona's policy makers must untangle a knot made up of opposing interest groups: consumers big and small, urban and rural; utilities in and out of state; investors, environmentalists and the occasional stray intellectual. One of the issues facing policy makers is the status of utilities not under the Corporation Commission's jurisdiction. These include a handful of municipal utilities, irrigation and electrical districts and the Salt River Project. However, SRP's status, far from being an obstacle, represents an opportunity to hasten the introduction of competition in the electricity industry to Arizona. SRP's autonomy gives it the power to introduce full competition to its service territory without the hurly-burly that is accompanying the Corporation Commission's efforts. With SRP leading the way, the rest of the Arizona cannot afford to dawdle.
In the years since the end of World War II, spending at all levels of government has risen faster than the rates of inflation and population growth combined. Part of the explanation for this dramatic increase in public sector outlays is that government is attempting to do more than ever before. Whether government should be attempting so much is an important issue, but one beyond the scope of this paper.