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Voter turnout

Voter Turnout: On-Years v. Off-Years

By | Politics

Exercising your right to vote is a fundamental part of what makes democracy work. Voter turnout in the United States is lower than in most established democracies. This voter disparity is even larger for elections held in years without a major nationwide election. 

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top public affairs firms. We are advocacy professionals who strive to obtain the results our clients want. When it comes to your community, it is important to be informed and to have your voice heard. Voter turnout can have a major impact on the legislation addressing issues that you care about. Read our blog post below to learn more about voter turnout during off-year elections. 

What is Voter Turnout?

Voter turnout can help gauge political involvement and influence campaign outcomes. This metric is expressed as a percentage of a certain population who voted in a specific election. Popular ways to measure voter turnout include:

  • Voting age population turnout: a percentage of the population that is old enough to vote
  • Voting eligible population turnout: a percentage of eligible voters
  • Registered voter turnout: a percentage of registered voters

Off-Year Elections

Voter turnout regularly drops in these midterm and municipal elections compared to turnout for national elections and has done so since the 1840s. A year with no major nationwide election is referred to by Politico as an “off-year”.  These off-year elections tend to have a larger impact on day-to-day life than their larger national counterparts. Off-year elections decide which streets get repaved, how many police officers are patrolling your community, and when your trash gets collected.  

What Causes Low Voter Turnout?

Turnout varies by state, year, and election. Municipal off-year elections, as well as primary elections, tend to have lower turnout. Several factors impact voter turnout in both on and off-year elections: 

  • Voter Fatigue: When voters are asked to vote in a number of elections in a short period of time, voter fatigue can occur. It is not uncommon for voters who are asked to cast a ballot every few months to skip out on what they perceive as smaller elections.
  • Ballot Awareness: When voters are unaware of the impact that local races have on their everyday lives they are unlikely to attend local elections. The general impact of issues on municipal ballots is less commonly understood than for national elections.
  • Campaign Spend: The budget of a campaign has a direct correlation with the awareness of upcoming elections. Off-year elections tend to have lower campaign spending than higher-profile national campaigns.
  • Electoral Competitiveness: The perceived competitiveness of an election can encourage a voter to cast a ballot. According to FairVote, 69% of voters in the ten most competitive states cast a ballot in 2020, compared to the national average of 66%.

On-Years vs. Off-Years in Arizona

The disparity between on and off-year voter turnout plays a hand in Arizona elections. In Tucson, Arizona there are 260,000 registered voters. Less than 90,000 voters cast a ballot for the off-year mayoral election in 2019, while nearly half of Tucson registered voters returned a ballot in the prior year’s midterm elections.

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. Advocates for Voters

As one of the leading Arizona government relations firms, Dorn Policy Group, Inc. knows how important it is to be noticed by key elected officials and community leaders. With such a large, diverse community, it can be difficult getting your voice heard. Contact us today and learn how we can help your business find success with strong government relations. 

 

Phoenix, Arizona Life Sciences and Tax friendly

Arizona is Making Rankings in Life Sciences and Taxes

By | Trending News

Arizona was recently placed in the top 10 most tax-friendly states and Phoenix was ranked as the number one city in the U.S. for life sciences employment growth. Cost of living and job opportunities are major factors for population growth. So, these economic and employment trends are demonstrating why so many people are relocating to Arizona. 

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top public affairs firms. We are advocacy professionals who strive to obtain the results our clients want. In a growing community, it is important to have your voice heard by key policymakers. Read our blog post below and learn more about Arizona’s recent rankings and the effects these traits might have on population growth. 

Top 10 Tax-Friendly States

Kiplinger recently estimated the overall income, sales, and property tax in each state for a married couple with two children, combined wages of $77,000, and $3,000 of other income. They found that Arizona is the 9th most tax-friendly state of the 50 U.S states and the District of Columbia. Low-income taxes were noted as what separates Arizona from other states. Middle-income families don’t pay the state’s lowest rate of 2.59 percent, but they don’t pay a much higher rate at 3.34 percent. Arizona residents pay relatively low property taxes as well. The average property tax on a $300,000 home in Arizona is estimated to be only $1,851 per year. This is below the U.S. average property tax for a home at that price. As part of its budget discussions, the Arizona Legislature is considering accelerating the income tax reforms it passed last year. If passed, the reforms would increase Arizona’s tax friendly rank when compared to other states.

Phoenix is #1 For Life Sciences Growth

The Greater Phoenix area is emerging as a life science hub. Life sciences job growth in Phoenix grew 8.5 percent between 2019 and 2020. The city ended the year with approximately 22,000 jobs in the life sciences sector, the most of any U.S city. Phoenix has outpaced the job growth in other cities, even amid record expansion rates across the industry. The vacancy rate for existing lab and research space all across the United States is at a record low due to a global race for new drug development according to a new report from CBRE. Life sciences companies collectively took over nearly 23.8 million square feet of new lab space across the top 12 life science hub cities at the end of 2021.

With all-time highs in funding, job growth, demand for lab space, and new construction, trends suggest that the field and job market will continue to grow in the coming year. Phoenix-based leadership thinks that the overall idea of Phoenix as a hub for life sciences job growth is still expanding. “Phoenix continues to draw national attention as a hub for cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said First Vice President of CBRE, David Barrett. 

How These Rankings Might Affect The State

The job market and various costs affect population growth in every state. Workers are changing jobs more frequently and the availability of life science careers will likely be a large draw for new residents in the Phoenix area. The cost of living also plays into relocation decisions for most people and the financial difference between living in a high-tax state or a low-tax state can be thousands of dollars each year. Arizona’s job market and relatively low tax rate will likely play into population growth for years to come.

Dorn Policy Group is a Proud Arizona Government Relations Firm

Dorn Policy Group was founded in 2000 on the belief that integrity, tenacity, and client results should be the cornerstones of public affairs. We work with all levels and departments of government to ensure the demands of our community and clients are met. Contact us today and learn how we can help you enhance your government relations.  

Arizona State Budget

$14.25 Billion is Proposed for the State Budget: What Does This Mean For You?

By | Trending News

Like other states, Arizona lawmakers and public officials are elected in part to manage the state’s finances. State budgets are volatile, as they depend on anticipated revenues and planned expenditures, which may alter over the course of a fiscal year. When revenues do not keep pace with expenditures, states may decide to raise taxes, cut services, borrow money, or a combination of the three. For Arizona’s FY2023 budget, Governor Doug Ducey proposes a $14.25 billion budget.

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top public affairs firms. We are advocacy professionals who strive to obtain the results our clients want. The state’s budget is very important when it comes to managing our state’s services and revenue. As a business entity in Arizona, one must be on top of how the state’s money is being used.  Read our blog post below to learn more about Governor Ducey’s current budget proposal. 

Governor Ducey’s $14.25 Billion State Budget Proposal

In mid-January, Governor Ducey introduced a new budget proposal for the State of Arizona. The $14.25 billion in spending for the 2023 fiscal year includes nearly $1.4 billion in new spending, where most will go towards K-12 education, water infrastructure, investing more in Arizona’s “Rainy Day Fund,” and expanding Interstate 10. Additionally, $364 million of new spending will offset new tax cuts. The governor also wants to put $50 million into a border security fund, which would pay for some fencing on private land near the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Upon releasing the budget, Governor Ducey shared, “We’re going full throttle to leave Arizona stronger than we found it through targeted investments in education, public safety, border security, infrastructure, and the things that matter to Arizonans.”

What Does Governor Ducey’s State Budget Proposal Mean for Arizonans?

As mentioned, Arizona’s state budget is the lifeblood of our economy. Without a strong budget at our disposal, many important services would not have the resources they need to operate efficiently. 

Due to a growing demand for better education for our students, our lawmakers and governor is using this budget to help promote stronger school systems. State spending on K-12 education will increase to nearly $10.9 billion. This is a significant increase toward the public education system.

Additionally, Arizona’s water shortage has been one of the state’s top concerns for a while. The overall goal of the state’s $160 million spend on water infrastructure is to improve water augmentation across the state, along with nearly $150 million for rural water projects, increasing groundwater capacity, water banking, and other conservation solutions. Moreover, desalination is going to play a very important role in Arizona’s water future and this funding could help towards it. 

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. Advocates for Businesses Large and Small 

When you partner with a government relations firm like Dorn Policy Group, Inc., you’re not just getting our support. You gain an invaluable partner who advocates for your success. With nearly 60 years of combined experience, we’re experts in obtaining the results you need for success. Contact us today to learn more about our services and what we can do for you. 

Colorado River Shortage

Colorado River Shortage: Arizona Considers Desalination

By | Water

In the midst of a 22-year drought, the Department of the Interior declared the first-ever Colorado River Basin water shortage in August 2021. As of early 2022, 100 percent of Arizona is considered to be abnormally dry and 25.8 percent is considered to be in severe drought conditions. The Colorado River irrigates farms, powers electric grids, and provides drinking water to 40 million people and this drought, combined high demand, is expected to force the first-ever mandatory water cuts. Arizona water professionals and research committees are looking for new ways to ensure the long-term availability of water for the state’s residents. Could desalination be a solution?

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top public affairs firms. We are advocacy professionals who strive to obtain the results our clients want. When it comes to large issues like the Colorado River water shortage, it is important to be informed and to have your voice heard. Read our blog post below to learn about desalination and how it is being considered a potential water shortage solution. 

What is Desalination?

Desalination is the process of removing salts and minerals from a substance. This process can be used to remove salt from ocean water, marking it an adequate replacement for freshwater supplies. Desalination requires a lot of energy to break the chemical bonds in saltwater so the necessary technology can be costly. However, desalination is being considered one of many potential solutions for depleting water resources in Arizona.

Desalination Proposals In Arizona

Many options have been considered to stabilize the water supply to states such as Arizona, California, and Nevada, who are experiencing depleted water resources from Lake Mead. One recent proposal from Pima County includes building a $4.1 billion dollar desalination plant. This project would include a plant to remove salt from seawater in the Sea of Cortez in Sonora, as well as 196 miles of underground pipeline to transport the water to the Tucson area. 

In his final State of the State address, Governor Doug Ducey proposed spending $1 billion from the state’s general fund over three years toward sustaining Arizona’s future water supply. The idea is that the additional funding would allow for desalination to be a viable option. Desalination was the only new water initiative Ducey specifically mentioned in his speech; however, his statement notes that any water budget would be used for a variety of new technology that makes reuse and efficiency upgrades possible. 

Comparing Desalination To Current Alternatives

Compared to other projects Arizona has implemented to lessen the effects of water shortage, desalination presents some challenges in how much water it can produce and what it would cost. The Central Arizona Project is currently Arizona’s largest resource for renewable water supplies. This project is a 336-mile long system of tunnels, pumping plants, and pipelines that deliver Colorado River water to Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties, 80% of the state’s population. One current desalination plant north of San Diego can produce up to 56,000 acre-feet of water a year and costs $2,200 per acre-foot. The Central Arizona Project delivers approximately 1.5 million acre-feet a year to Central Arizona and costs $211 per acre-foot. This comparison reveals some of the potential difficulties of implementing desalination in Arizona.

Dorn Policy Group is a Proud Arizona Government Relations Firm

As one of the leading Arizona government relations firms, we know how important it is to be noticed by key elected officials and community leaders, especially with everchanging issues and uncertainty that affect the future of your business. Dorn Policy Group, Inc. ensures your voice is heard. Contact us today and learn how we can help your business find success through strong government relations.

Electric Vehicle charging

Arizona is the Grand Stage for Electric Vehicle Innovation

By | Transportation

With more and more interest in green initiatives, the electric vehicle market is on the rise. Just ten years ago there were only a few thousand electric cars on the road. Between 2018 and 2020 there were more than 315,000 vehicles sold each year. Due to the recent increase in popularity, several next-generation businesses are landing in Arizona because of the opportunities it offers both domestic and international businesses.   

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s leading government relations firms. We ensure your voice is heard by key policymakers from across the state. Read our article below to learn more about the growth of electric vehicles and the Arizona Innovation Corridor. 

Why Electric Is Gaining Interest

The electric vehicle market is expected to reach a value of $725.14 billion by 2026. Interest in these vehicles is on the rise after continuous industry growth worldwide because of the positive impact on the environment, as well as the lower long-term costs for fuel and maintenance. The popularity of electric vehicles also has a direct relationship with their accessibility. While electric vehicles were once only luxury cars, they can now be found across a wide range of prices and brands.

Government initiatives are also escalating the popularity of electric vehicles. A $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed Congress covering a wide range of transportation projects, including improvements to the U.S. electrical grid. President Joe Biden said this money would be used to build the first-ever national network of charging stations with over 500,000 stations across the country. More chargers should help increase the use of electric vehicles. A separate bill that includes higher tax credits, up to $12,500 for buying an electric car, still sits in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Arizona Innovation Corridor 

Pinal County, between Phoenix and Tucson, is becoming the home of several green energy development projects. The strategic area that these facilities are located in is being referred to as the Arizona Innovation Corridor. Lucid Motors recently opened the initial phase of the state’s first electric vehicle factory. They will be producing Lucid Air, a luxury electric sedan. Lucid Motors invested $700 million in this project and will create nearly 5,000 jobs to have this car rolling off the assembly line by the end of the year. 

Nikola is another electric vehicle company taking up residence in the Arizona Innovation Corridor. They are opening a 1 million square-foot plant to manufacture various zero-emission industrial trucks. Once the plant is fully running it should produce about 35,000 units each year. 

Why Businesses Grow in Arizona

Nikola spent 18-months searching for a place to call home, and Lucid looked at more than 60 locations across 13 states before deciding on Arizona. So why are these growing businesses locating in Arizona’s Innovation and Technology Corridor? 

 

    • Ease of access to transportation:  Arizona’s Innovation and Technology Corridor is near Interstate 10, Interstate 8, and Union Pacific Railroad, connecting them to numerous major markets. It is also a short drive from several international airports.
    • Skilled labor force:  Arizona’s population is constantly growing which provides the skilled labor needed to run these types of facilities. 
  • Unbeatable weather: Hundreds of people move to Arizona each day for the incredible climate. The state’s year-round sunshine is also conducive to working with renewable energy.

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. are Advocates for Better Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

When you partner with a government relations firm like Dorn Policy Group, Inc., you’re not just getting our support. You gain an invaluable partner that advocates for your success. With nearly 60 years of combined experience, we’re experts in obtaining the results you need for success. Contact us today to learn more about our services and what we can do for you. 

Traffic Cone in Street at Broadway Curve Widening

All About the I-10 Broadway Curve Widening Project

By | Transportation

Maricopa County is in the midst of its largest urban freeway reconstruction project. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is reconstructing Interstate 10 (I-10) between Loop 202 and Interstate 17 (I-17), transforming over 11 miles of interstate. This project includes several improvements that will enhance safety, reduce travel time, ease access to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and support the local economies, but Phoenix drivers can expect changes to freeway accessibility as construction begins.

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top public affairs firms. We are advocacy professionals who strive to obtain the results our clients want. ADOT is one of many state agencies we have extensive knowledge of and are proud to partner with on a number of projects. Read our blog post below and learn what the I-10 Broadway Curve widening project means for transportation in the Phoenix metropolitan area. 

Why ADOT is Prioritizing the Broadway Curve Widening

These improvements have been underway since early 2019 when ADOT began an environmental assessment of the area. However, the project recently achieved a major milestone, as ADOT issued a formal notice to begin construction. ADOT Director John Halikowski said, “delivering this project after years of study and careful consideration of public input demonstrates ADOT’s commitment to providing the safest, most reliable transportation system in the nation.” 

ADOT believes these improvements will benefit everyone who relies on the highway system. Millions of people who live in, work in, and visit Arizona every year could see a better flow of traffic and less congestion in transportation routes. These improvements also support Arizona’s global trade market efforts, as I-10 is a key commerce corridor.

The Infrastructure of the Broadway Curve Widening Project

Over 300,000 vehicles travel through the Broadway Curve on a daily basis, and traffic is anticipated to increase as the Phoenix metropolitan area continues to grow. The project will support traffic flow by addressing key improvements, such as:

  • Adding lanes to achieve six general-purpose lanes and two HOV lanes from 24th Street to US 60 Superstition Freeway. 
  • Connect the main travel lanes of the highway to frontage roads or entrance ramps between Baseline Road and 40th Street, with a collector-distributor road system, to separate local traffic from through traffic on I-10.
  • Creating a fourth general-purpose lane on I-10 from US 60 to Ray Road
  • Improving I-10 connections at SR 143, Broadway Road, and US 60 for better traffic flow and safety.
  • Replacing ramps and bridges at SR 143 and US 60 interchanges.
  • Adding two bridges over I-10 between Baseline Road and Broadway Road for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Improving the Sun Circle Trail crossing at Guadalupe Road.

What Arizonans Can Expect From the Broadway Curve Widening Project

As work on these various projects continues, Arizonans can expect to see construction activity to have some impact on travel. Construction will continue through 2024 in various areas. 

Arizonans can get updates and information about the I-10 Broadway Curve Improvement Project through The Curve mobile app. Through this app, ADOT plans to update drivers in the project area about closures and restrictions, real-time traffic information, detour routes, and more.

Dorn Policy Group is a Proud Arizona Government Relations Firm

Dorn Policy Group was founded in 2000 on the belief that integrity, tenacity, and client results should be the cornerstones of public affairs. We work with all levels and departments of government to ensure the demands of our community and clients are met. Contact us today and learn how we can help you enhance your government relations.  

 

Girl with degree from community colleges

What Community Colleges Offering Four Year Degrees Mean for Our Economy

By | Education

Getting a college degree is more important and more expensive than ever before. Community colleges play a significant role in supporting students in higher education and equipping students with the skills and resources to enter the workforce. Community colleges in Arizona can now offer four-year degrees, but what does this look like, and how does it affect our economy? 

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top public affairs firms. We partner with organizations to ensure their business goals are met and voices are heard by Arizona’s elected officials. Read our blog post below and learn what four-year community college degrees mean for our economy. 

Rules for Community Colleges Offering Four Year Degrees

In May 2021, Governor Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1453, allowing community colleges to offer four-year degrees. Arizona joins 23 other states that allow community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees. Under the new law, community colleges offering four-year programs have several limitations, including:

  • Programs must be based on workforce needs.
  • The community college must run a financial and administrative analysis of offering the degree program.
  • Community colleges must avoid duplicating programs offered at state schools. 

These rules are meant to limit the adverse effects of the bill on traditional four-year colleges. However, the new law does not allow public universities to prevent a community college from offering a baccalaureate degree, but it does place limitations on the number of four-year degrees a community college can offer. When a new program is added at a community college, bachelor’s degrees cannot make up more than 5% of the degrees for the first four years. After four years, the program cannot offer more than 10% bachelor’s degrees.

Effect of Community Colleges on Students

At Maricopa County Community Colleges, tuition for the first two years is capped at $1,020 a semester for 15 credit hours. The new law allows for a tuition increase of 150% for the last two years. Even with this increase, tuition would total a little more than $3,000 a semester. The average in-state tuition at Arizona State University is between $9,000 and $12,000, meaning that a four-year degree at a community college would cost much less to earn. This makes higher education affordable for lower-income families and students.

The new law opens the door for better representation of minority students in higher education. Maricopa Community College District Interim Chancellor Steven Gonzales said, “more students of color start at community colleges than anywhere else in higher education.” These students will sometimes transfer to four-year colleges, but oftentimes this is not an easy transition. The new law may also increase equity and access to more Arizonans who wish to further their education.

How This Affects the Economy

Maricopa Community Colleges can enroll students in four-year programs as early as fall 2023. The Governor’s Office released a statement that this bill is “an important and timely shift to reskill and upskill Arizona’s workforce to meet the needs of the growing economy and provide a pathway to economic prosperity for more Arizonans.” More four-year degrees should increase graduation rates and expand the skill set of Arizona’s workforce. This will be especially beneficial to high-need industries as many community colleges will offer programs in fields like health care, information technology, and education.

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. Advocates for Arizona

As one of the leading Arizona public affairs firms, we know how important it is to have relationships with key elected officials and community leaders. With such a large, diverse community, it can be difficult getting your voice heard. Dorn Policy Group, Inc. ensures you are represented in the best possible light. Contact us today and learn how we can help your business find success through strong government relations. 

A bottle of prescription drugs sitting on top of cash

With Prescription Prices on the Rise, Where Does Arizona Stand?

By | Healthcare

Prescription drug price reforms are a major part of pending legislation in Congress. With prescription costs on the rise, Americans are dealing out large sums of cash to afford prescriptions. Americans pay more than three times what patients pay for the same brand of drugs in other first-world countries. Voters across the country are voicing their opinions on lowering the price of prescription drugs, but where do Arizona voters stand on the issue?

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top public affairs firms. We partner with organizations to ensure their business goals are met and voices are heard by Arizona’s elected officials. Read our blog post below and learn what Arizona voters think about prescription drug pricing legislation in Congress.  

Impact of High Prescription Drug Prices in Arizona

A study conducted by Data for Progress on behalf of Protect Our Care and Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, shows almost 8 out of 10 (79%) believe prescription drug costs are “unreasonable.” While many patients will spare the cash even for overpriced medication, these prices make prescriptions inaccessible to some. 

A survey commissioned by AARP Arizona found that one-third of voters have decided not to fill a prescription that a doctor has given them in the last two years. These steep prices have a stronger effect on minorities, as nearly half (46%) of Hispanic or Latino voters in Arizona have skipped filling a prescription, compared to only 29 percent of white voters. 

Should Medicare Have the Power to Negotiate the Price of Prescriptions?

Every year, Medicare spends more than $129 billion on prescription drugs, but is legally prohibited from negotiating with companies to get better prices. Congress is working on a plan that gives Medicare the power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. The voter support study conducted by Data for Progress shows the overwhelming, bipartisan support for this reform across Arizona.  The data shows that 90 percent of Arizona voters back reforms that give Medicare the power to negotiate.

Arizona’s Stance on Other Proposals to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Giving Medicare the power to negotiate was the most favored initiative for Arizona voters, but is not the only proposal pending in Congress. Other proposals include: 

  • Prevent charging the US more than other countries
  • Closing price loopholes
  • Putting a cap on seniors’ drug expenditures
  • Penalizing drug companies that raise their prices higher than inflation

A penalty of pharmaceutical companies raising prices higher than inflation was the least favored initiative in the survey,  but still garnered support from 84 percent of voters. An overwhelming majority of Arizona’s electorate agrees: Congress needs to tackle high prescription drug costs because some people can’t afford to buy medicine and pay for other necessities.

Would Lower Prescription Drug Prices Hurt Pharma Innovation?

While lowering prescription drug prices is highly favorable amongst Arizona voters, pharma’s top argument is that this type of reform could slow innovation and development of new prescription options. A majority of Arizona voters believe there must be a way to reduce prescription drug prices without stunting new product development, with 89 percent agreeing with the statement that “prices can be lowered without harming innovation.”

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. Advocates for Arizona

As one of the leading Arizona public affairs firms, we know how important it is to have relationships with key elected officials and community leaders. With such a large, diverse community, it can be difficult getting your voice heard. Dorn Policy Group, Inc. ensures you are represented in the best possible light. Contact us today and learn how we can help your business find success through strong government relations.

Arizona Water Shortage: What Can We Do?

By | Environmental

In mid-August, a water shortage was declared on the Colorado River for the first time in history. The Colorado River is the water source for around 40 million people in western states, including Arizona. Years of drought conditions have led to record low water levels at Lake Powell and Lake Mead, the river’s main reservoirs. Arizona is in the midst of a historic water shortage, but what can we do about it?

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top public affairs firms. We partner with organizations to ensure their business goals are met and voices are heard by Arizona’s elected officials. Read our blog post below and learn what Arizona officials and homeowners can do about the Arizona water shortage.  

What Does the Water Shortage Mean in Arizona? 

Much of the Western United States is suffering from an intense 22-year drought, resulting in increasingly low water levels, dry soil, and wildfires. The U.S. Department of Reclamation has made cuts to Arizona’s water supply, taking a large hit on the agriculture industry, which relies on large amounts of the state’s water supply for farming. State and national forests and parks, tourism, local economy, landscaping, and home building have also been impacted by worsening drought conditions. A Tier 1 water shortage has been declared, meaning that more water supply cuts are expected in 2022. 

Arizona’s population has experienced rapid growth over the last decade. While more people means more strain on the scarce water supply, population growth has also had a positive impact on water supply. As agricultural land is sold off to residential developers, the strain on the water supply is lowered because people in their homes use far less water than farmers. 

What Can Homeowners Do About the Water Shortage?

While homeowners may not have been majorly impacted by recent small cuts to the water supply, there are still things that they can do to reduce water waste inside and outside of their homes:

  • Make Your Landscaping Drought Resistant: Fill your yard with plants that don’t require regular watering to survive. Cacti, succulents, palms, and synthetic turf can thrive in drought conditions. 
  • Invest in Irrigation: Try to water your yard less, but if you are watering your yard, upgrade to high-efficiency sprinklers and nozzles that use less water. 
  • Avoid Fountains: Don’t install water features in your yard or home.
  • Upgrade Your Bathroom: Install dual flush toilets, low flow faucets, and showerheads to reduce water usage inside your home.

How is Arizona Taking Action

Arizona has focused on water planning and management for over a century. From water supply projects to drought preparedness programs, underground water storage, 100-year water supply requirements, mandatory conservation programs, and the use of reclaimed water, Arizona has made difficult water supply management decisions to meet water demands without rationing.

Professionals who study action plans for ensuring our future generations have continuous access to water say that Arizonans can expect to see significant investments in modern technology creating innovative systems to replenish the water supply and ease the drought. Some action has already been taken toward water conservation in Arizona:

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. Advocates for Water Availability 

As one of the leading Arizona government relations firms, we know how important it is to be noticed by key elected officials and community leaders. With such a large, diverse community, it can be difficult getting your voice heard. Dorn Policy Group, Inc. ensures you are represented in the best possible light. Contact us today and learn how we can help your business find success through strong government relations.

Girl takes online higher education course

Online Courses Impact Higher Education

By | Education

Online options for higher education programs are on the rise. Anything from general education courses to graduate level courses are available to students from their own living room. Learning is more accessible than ever with online courses offering students flexible schedules, affordable options, and location freedom.

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s leading government relations firms that specialize in making your voice heard by key policymakers to maximize your business’s success. Read our article below and learn more about how the availability of online courses may impact higher education.

About Online Courses

Online courses have become even more popular over the last couple of years as COVID-19 made distance learning a necessity in higher education. While many students have returned to campuses and lecture halls, online courses are available as alternatives to traditional in-person learning. A variety of educational institutions offer many different kinds of online learning opportunities through training courses, certifications, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and even PhD degrees. 

Advantages of Online Courses

The availability of online courses has multiple advantages for students beyond what their in-person counterparts offer. For many learners, the primary benefit of online learning is schedule flexibility. Students can earn their degree or certificate around full-time work schedules or on an accelerated timeline. In addition to schedule flexibility, online classes have several other advantages that make achieving educational and career goals more accessible:

  • Lower Costs: While students may pay the same per-credit tuition as on-campus learners, they save by not paying for on-campus housing, meal plans, and commute costs.
  • Comfortable Learning Environments: With the ability to study anywhere, online learners can complete coursework at home, a coffee shop, or a library.
  • Geographic Flexibility: Online learners do not have to relocate in order to attend premier schools. They can live close to family or have the freedom to travel while earning their degree.
  • Improving Technical Skills: Online courses teach students technical skills they need on the job. On top of their normal curriculum, they learn how to utilize software, do online research, and communicate effectively through technology.

Online Courses Impact on the Workforce

Online courses have many advantages for individuals looking to further their education, but they also have positive impacts outside of education. Students who are able to learn online can have a positive impact on the current and future workforce. According to a Brandon-Hall Study, e-learning typically requires 40-60 percent less time than learning the same material in a traditional classroom setting. Students are able to further their education without interrupting workflow. Online students are also more likely to finish their coursework. The Research Institute of America found that e-learning increases retention rates by 25-60 percent. Higher retention rates result in a more educated workforce down the road.

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. Advocates for Higher Education

With a variety of in-person and online learning options available, there’s no better time to consider continuing your education. Elected officials are constantly discussing legislation that impacts educational opportunities across Arizona, but that shouldn’t mean you can’t have a seat at the table.

When you partner with a government relations firm like Dorn Policy Group, Inc., you’re not just getting our support. You gain an invaluable partner that advocates for your success. With nearly 60 years of combined experience, we’re experts in obtaining the results you need for success. Contact us today to learn more about our services and what we can do for you.