Legislation Would Simplify Regulations for AZ Small Businesses

Date: May 03, 2016 Last Edit: May 04, 2016

Bill aims to keep cities from regulating employee benefits.

Legislation Would Simplify Regulations for Small Businesses

It’s no secret small business owners dislike invasive regulations. Now Arizona lawmakers are attempting to cut through some red tape and make running a business easier.

The Arizona Senate has passed House Bill 2579, which would bar cities from regulating non-wage benefits such as paid time off, severance pay, retirement benefits and bonuses. Small business owners are applauding the measure as a fiscally responsible bill that will help owners keep control over their businesses. 

“Not every employee wants the same thing out of their jobs,” said NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan. “City laws restrict a small business’ flexibility to deal with their employees individually.”

Supporters of the bill believe benefits such as paid time off should be negotiated between the employer and employee, and city regulations that get in the way of that are a serious government overreach.

“Some cities and states are moving in that direction,” said Rep. J.D. Mesnard, who sponsored the bill. “I hope we don’t. I think jobs will be lost as a result.”

Harmful city regulations would create a competitive disadvantage in cities where they’re implemented, Quinlan said. The result would be businesses shutting down and small business owners creating fewer jobs to stay profitable, Quinlan said. “By making it more expensive to manage your workforce, there is less incentive to expand it,” he said.

Higher labor costs in one city would cause owners to move their businesses elsewhere, or it would force small businesses to raise their prices, which would ultimately drive down demand, Quinlan said.

“If you have a competitor down the road, and they’re not burdened by city regulations, they will take your customers over time,” Quinlan said. HB 2579 would give all businesses a fair opportunity to attract customers, he said.

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