FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NOV. 1, 2022
CONTACT: Karen Ottoni, 806-730-0411, [email protected]
“Prop 308 is revenue neutral. This is not a tax increase.” – Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Sanders
PHOENIX, AZ – Today, Arizona business leaders, Dreamers, and community leaders joined with the Greater Phoenix Chamber to call on voters to flip their ballot and vote yes on Proposition 308, a ballot initiative which will allow Arizona high school graduates, regardless of immigration status, to pay the same in-state tuition rate as their peers to attend Arizona colleges and universities.
Proposition 308 would benefit the Arizona economy and help businesses with labor shortages, with no increase in taxes. Today is the last day to mail a ballot for the midterm elections.
“We at the Phoenix Chamber are in support of Prop 308 for a number of reasons, primarily because there are literally more open jobs than people in Arizona,” said Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Sanders. “One of our biggest assets are these Dreamers who are here in Arizona, who are part of our community. They’re in our high schools; they’re hopefully in our colleges, and they are going to be a critical component of our continued economic success.”
Sanders also mentioned that Prop 308 will cost nothing more to taxpayers. “Prop 308 is revenue neutral. This is not a tax increase.”
“I’m currently a freshman. It has been difficult to earn enough scholarships to pay for out of state tuition. From a young age, my parents have instilled how important education is and it’s a value I’ll continue to carry because it will help me accomplish my dreams,” said Arizona Dreamer and college student Diana Mendoza. “Proposition 308 will help open those doors to accomplish those dreams.”
“Every time we’re asking for growth in this Arizona community, we’re trying to recruit companies to bring jobs here, and one of the first questions that’s asked is about prepared workforce,” said Chicanos Por La Causa President & CEO David Adame. “We believe in our community; we believe in these students; we believe in the future of Arizona which includes these Dreamer students. We cannot increase the GDP of this state, which is very critical, without the participation of all our folks who live in this great state that we live in.”
“We want to make sure that all voters support Prop 308. It’s economically important. It’s politically smart,” said ABIC Action Executive Director Rebecca Shi. “If this measure passes, Arizona will gain $27 million a year in economic activity from our Dreamers.”
“When you think about Arizona, and what open jobs, $27 of economic wealth being introduced into the system, you’re creating opportunities, you’re creating competitive advantage for the state, for the business community to educate, train and lift up people that will then trickle down into their communities, to their families, to provide these opportunities,” said State Business Executives CEO Jeff Wasden. “Our trade policies, our education workforce policies, our immigration policies – we need to work on them all, but we need to start somewhere, and that starts with a vote next week for Prop 308.”
“As a businesswoman, it’s important for Arizona to have an educated workforce,” said El Mar de Cortez Coprt President & CEO Irayda Flores. “All Arizona high school graduates deserve to pay in-state tuition for state colleges and universities.”
“All of our Arizona students deserve the opportunity to go to our universities and colleges here in Arizona for in-state tuition. Our Arizona students have worked hard to get through our K-12 system, and now they are looking to start that next journey of their academic path and that includes going to our university systems,” said Greater Phoenix Leadership Executive Vice President Heather Carter. When our Arizona students are able to get a college degree, they are able to increase not only their own individual earning power, but also their economic investment into the state of Arizona.”
“Arizona needs more workers. We need more workers in healthcare, k-12 and skilled trades, and Dreamers have wonderful work ethic. They contribute so much already. So why would we put obstacles in their way? We just shouldn’t,” said HeartMark President Tali Lehavi Hamer. “Prop 308 will grow Arizona’s economy by keeping the skilled workforce we need without increasing taxes.
“Healthcare is one of our leading industries, not only in the state, but also in the nation and there is a critical workforce shortage that we have going on in healthcare right now. So providing equal access to all Arizonans to attain their education and credentials to work in this industry is vital.,” said WESTMARC CEO Sintra Hoffman. “Prop 308 is about fairness and it’s about growing Arizona’s economy.”
What would Prop 308 do? Prop 308 would enable any person who has lived in Arizona for two or more years and graduated from an Arizona high school to attend Arizona colleges regardless of their immigration status and pay the same in-state tuition rates. Dreamers – Arizona high school graduates who came to our state as children without documentation – are our students. They deserve the same opportunities as other high school graduates.
Prop. 308 is fairness for all high school students. Each year, college is much less affordable for more than 3,600 Arizona high school graduates who do not qualify for in-state tuition at Arizona state schools. College-bound Dreamers who came to Arizona as children without documentation are currently treated as out-of-state students who must pay triple the in-state tuition rate, even though they graduated from our high schools. Prop. 308 would let Dreamers pay the in-state tuition rate. There is no “cutting in line” and they must pay the same as other Arizona students.
Who qualifies? Anyone who has lived in Arizona for at least two years and graduated from an Arizona high school would be charged the same in-state tuition rates at the state’s public colleges and universities as their fellow Arizona high school graduates. More than 3,600 Arizona students would benefit from an in-state tuition policy every year.
Economic benefits for Arizona: Keeping Arizona’s prospective college graduates in Arizona can only help grow our state’s economy, granting access to in-state tuition to all Arizona graduates is an important step toward meeting critical workforce needs and would greatly benefit the state’s economy.
Research highlights the crucial role that student Dreamers play in Arizona’s economy, including in some of the state’s fastest-growing and most in-demand fields, like healthcare, education, and the skilled trades. Still, the state is facing critical workforce shortages across the skills and education spectrum.
No new taxes: The conservative state budget review committee noted that this proposal would have ZERO impact on the state budget; that means it will cost taxpayers nothing extra to do this and the state’s economy will benefit.
Economic growth: $617.9 Million overall spending power for all of Arizona’s DACA eligible population. Earning a college degree by paying in-state tuition would boost the earnings of Arizona’s Dreamers by more than $28 million annually.
20 States Have passed in-state tuition for Dreamers: Conservative-led states like Florida, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, are among 20 states that have passed in-state tuition for Dreamers and have an advantage over Arizona in the search for top-notch employees.
Prop. 308 reflects Arizona values: Arizonans want to work hard, follow the rules, get a good job and reach their potential. Together, we can ensure all of our high school graduates have a fair shot at becoming productive, tax-paying members of society, no matter what they look like or where they were born. By setting in-state tuition fees for Dreamers, we can keep them in Arizona, the only home they’ve known.
Yes On 308 is a bipartisan campaign led by education, business, faith, and civic leaders seeking to provide all Arizona high school graduates, regardless of their immigration status, the opportunity to pay their own way through college at the in-state tuition rate. Ending the unfair treatment of Arizona’s undocumented high school graduates by allowing equal access to in-state tuition rates at the state colleges and universities will allow them to reach their educational goals, become self-sufficient, and give back to our community.