Thursday, March 08, 2012

Local leaders support Buy American legislation and making local economies stronger

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 14), and Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, (District 16), joined Kimber Lanning, executive director of the nonprofit Local First Arizona and Joseph Seelye, the AZ legislative and political action team coordinator for Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO today to emphasize the importance of Buy American policies.

“Buy American legislation is an important part of our economic recovery, both at the state and national level,” Campbell said. “We should be making the government work for us by giving local companies first crack at contracts here to create jobs here – not in China or India.”

Lanning, whose nonprofit represents a coalition of locally-owned businesses, applauded the efforts of Representatives Campbell and Gallego to promote Buy American legislation.

"Legislation like this will work wonders for building a healthier Arizona economy- and a healthier American economy as well. Spending our money with companies who are invested in the US is a great way to grow jobs and improve the quality of life for all. I commend Rep. Campbell and Rep. Gallego for their leadership in this critically important area," Lanning said.

Gallego added that Buy American policies are fiscally responsible and include common sense waivers.

“Buy American legislation has no added cost to taxpayers and protects against high project costs,” Gallego said. “That’s why Rep. Campbell and I have introduced bills that would initiate Buy American policies in our state.”

During this session Campbell and Gallego introduced several bills that would have supported local economies including:

HB 2510 (Campbell) - Agencies of the state, or counties, cities, and towns in this state, if feasible, will purchase goods and services that are manufactured in the United States.

HB 2638 (Gallego) - Prohibits a state governmental unit from contracting with vendors, bidders, or contractors whose business headquarters are located outside of the United States.

HB 2733 (Gallego) - Requires the Director of the Department of Economic Security to compile a list of call centers that have relocated out of Arizona to a foreign country. Call centers that do so will no longer be eligible for state grants and loans. The bill also requires call centers that work on state business to be located or relocate to Arizona, and remain in the state.

Seelye added that Buy American legislation is good for working families, which are the economic engine of Arizona and the country.

“I support Buy American legislation because working families need good paying jobs and our tax dollars need to stay here in the United State of America working to support our infrastructure,” Seelye said.

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