The Arizona State Legislature has passed HB2717 today in a 5-3 decision today that will directly hurt small businesses in Arizona in favor of Phillip Morris and other major tobacco manufacturers. The bill will stop local tobacco shops from supplying an alternative to buying packs of cigarettes from major manufacturers as opposed to rolling their own with purchased tobacco, papers and filters. Tax is paid on the tobacco, papers and filters purchased and the overall sale.
The legislation will reduce revenue to small business that offer the alternative and will also cost the state tax revenue now collected by the users of these machines. The users will continue to roll their own cigarettes using smaller personnel rolling machines so nothing is gained by the legislation except to appease big tobacco manufacturers that will be contributing to campaigns of the legislators behind this bill.
The legislation passed by the Arizona Legislature sponsored by (R) Jim Weiers will be on Governor Jan Brewers desk for approval after a full vote by the house. The GOP has stated all along that regulations that hurt small business should be eliminated and this is a prime example of one of them.
Major tobacco manufacturers are very powerful in Washington and have now stretched their influence in Arizona with promises of political donations to stop any competition they may be getting from small business around the country that offer this alternative to a small majority of smokers on fixed incomes or low incomes who will never buy packs of cigarettes from major manufacturers because of price.
If this bill is made into law, Arizona will be the first state to pass such legislation and will be another black eye for the state.
Contact your Governor and tell her to strike down this ridiculous piece of legislation that will hurt small business in Arizona and pad the linings of major manufacturers of cigarettes pockets. The legislation will do nothing to help Arizona or small business or the residents that utilize this cheaper alternative.
Jim Weiers and those that gave the legislation their approval will benefit by political donations from the Tobacco Manufacturers like Phillip Morris. These legislators are put in office by voters and small business owners in Arizona and should not be doing work for the tobacco moguls in other states. These legislators are hypocrites. One of them stated that they are opposed to smoking and that is why they gave the legislation their approval but this legislation will do nothing to curtail smoking.
The following Legislators were involved in this process and should also hear from the voters in Arizona about creating and voting for useless bills that will do nothing to help Arizona.
- (R) Jim Weiers (sponsored this bill and is the puppeteer for Phillip Morris and like)
- (R) Rick Grey
- (D) Debbie McCune-Davis
- (D) Lela Alston
- (R) Janan Mesnard
- (D) Catherine Miranda
- (R) Frank Pratt
- (R) Bob Robson
Some of the legislators voted no on the bill but majority ruled and it became law if the Governor does not reject this useless piece of legislation that has no merit whatsoever.
The Legislation will require small business owners that supply these machines to their customers to become manufacturers. They will not be able to do this according to federal law and this fact was known by the sponsor of the bill. This bill will force small business owners to lay people off because of lost revenue at a time when Arizona needs all the jobs it can get.
Let your voice be heard the Arizona Legislative Representative in your district before a full vote is taken and Governor Jan Brewer before she signs this bill into law.