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Dorn Policy Group

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What is the I-17 Widening and Improvement Project?

By | General Lobbying, Uncategorized

If you have ever driven to northern Arizona, you know the only direct route from the Phoenix area is Interstate 17 (I-17). Recently, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) announced its intention to make improvements to the highway to increase capacity and safety. But, how exactly will ADOT achieve this goal?

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top government relations firms. We are advocacy professionals who strive to obtain the results our clients want. ADOT is one of many state agencies we have extensive experience with and are proud to work with on a number of projects. Read our blog post below and learn what the I-17 widening means for our state and future travel up north. 

What is Going Into the Improvement Project?

Back in 2019, Governor Doug Ducey announced his intention to improve the I-17 north of Phoenix. The investments in the project – which exceed $300 million – will widen the interstate to three lanes along a 15 mile stretch from Anthem to Black Canyon City. Additionally, the interstate will feature an 8-mile system of flex lanes between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point. 

Why Widen the I-17?

The improvements to the highway have been a high priority for elected officials and infrastructure professionals for many years. On an average weekday, about 25,000 cars travel the interstate; while on weekends that number can easily double. Moreover, if an accident happens on the highway it can significantly delay traffic. 

Doug Nintzel, a spokesman for ADOT, explains, “We’ve always faced this challenge of I-17 in that Black Canyon City region being such a mountainous, winding area and it’s prone to fender benders, to crashes, to even disabled vehicles.” He continues, “It’s going to make a world of difference as we look to things like busy holiday weekends when traffic may come to a standstill, the summer months and summer weekends, the ability to have this extra traffic capacity will make a big difference. Especially if you had an incident out there.” 

The Infrastructure of the I-17 Widening Project

The project will support northbound traffic by addressing key improvements, such as:

  • Adding lanes to achieve three general-purpose lanes in each direction from Anthem Way to north of Coldwater Canyon Road 
  • Adding two flex lanes parallel to the southbound lanes from north of  Coldwater Canyon Road to the Sunset Point Rest Area
  • Improving bridges, drainage, traffic, and roadways to accommodate the proposed widening
  • Relocating or protecting utilities in the corridor
  • Adding intelligent transportation system (ITS) technology to improve traffic flow and the operation of the flex lanes
  • Improving signage

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 government relations. We work with all levels and departments of government to ensure the demands of our community and clients are met. We partner with a wide range of industries, including those in transportation, education, energy, healthcare, and many more. Contact us today and learn how we can help you enhance your government relations.

Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona

Client Spotlight: Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona

By | Client Spotlight

Our brain is one of, if not the most critical part of our bodies. The Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona is stepping up to serve thousands of members of the disabled community and their families in Arizona. Dorn Policy Group is honored to partner with the Alliance to advocate for support from our local government officials. Read our article below to learn more about our partnership and what we are doing to help their cause. 

Who is the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona?

35 years ago, the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona was founded in Tucson by a group of parents on a mission to advocate for their pediatric and adult children with a brain injury. Today, the Alliance is a statewide organization that supports individuals with brain injuries and the experts who serve them. Their primary focus is prevention, education, and awareness. 

Additionally, they hold a 4-day camp for adult brain injury survivors called Camp Can Do. A signature program that connects survivors with nature, forms worthwhile friendships and enjoys increased independence. The camp is composed of physical and occupational therapy students serving as volunteers with the goal of helping campers gain real-world experience and promote social activity. 

COVID-19 Impacts the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted most aspects of our world, from our education and healthcare system to our businesses. The virus has touched everyone and every industry, and the Brain Injury Alliance is no exception. 

While the coronavirus is often considered a lung disease, the virus can cause issues with neuro-coupling mechanisms in the delivery of oxygen to the organs in our body. Additionally, the brain is susceptible to injury when there is oxygen deprivation and can lead to neuro-fatigue, memory issues, post-COVID strokes, and other emerging neuro-ailments. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona was unable to host their annual Brain Health Gala, which typically earns $250,000 in donations towards the organization. The nonprofit also canceled its 2020 and 2021 fundraising walk event which raises $45,000 annually towards various programs. Camp Can Do was also canceled. 

What Dorn Policy Group Did to Help the Brain Injury Alliance

Advocacy is vital for most companies, but this is especially true for nonprofit organizations. Dorn Policy Group is experienced in providing organizations like the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona with advocacy for both policies and funding.


Under our guidance and advocacy efforts, we were able to secure the Alliance with much-needed funding from the CARES Act. With this funding, the organization will use its $133,000 allotment to support the growing demand for its services during the pandemic. 

Additionally, we help each of our clients by:

  • Monitoring government-related activity that can potentially affect their organization and industry
  • Cultivating community relationships in both the public and private sectors to secure funding
  • Informing our client on existing laws and regulations, as well as proposed legislation that may hinder their operations. 

Dorn Policy Group Helps Nonprofits Move Forward

As one of the top Arizona lobbyists, we know how important it is to be noticed by key elected officials and community leaders. We are proud to assist the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona in their initiative and look forward to their future growth.

By partnering with Dorn Policy Group, you can rest easy knowing that you have skilled advocates looking out for your best interests. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you today.

the American flag and the Clean Elections Committee

What Is The Clean Elections Commission?

By | Uncategorized

Have you ever wondered what the Clean Elections Commission is? The Citizens Clean Elections Act, passed by voters in 1998, is administered by a five member, non-partisan Commission. It established a system for voter education, clean funding for candidate campaigns, and campaign finance enforcement. But what is its purpose?  The Act was created to restore confidence and citizen participation in the election system, as well as improve the integrity of government while also promoting the freedom of speech. 

The Different Clean Elections Programs

The Clean Elections programs consist of many different areas of focus including voter education, public financing, campaign finance enforcement, and the clean elections fund. Let’s take a look at each program separately: 

  • Voter Education: This program consists of a robust voter education plan. Its focus is to educate voters about the logistics of voting. 
  • Public Financing: The Commission provides a public financing program to qualified statewide and legislative candidates. To qualify, they must collect a certain number of $5 qualifying contributions and agree to not accept contributions from PACs and corporations. 
  • Campaign Finance Enforcement: This program allows The Commission to assess civil penalties on both participating and non-participating candidates. 
  • Clean Elections Fund: The voters of Arizona established this fund which consists of a 10% surcharge on all civil penalties and criminal fines, civil penalties paid by candidates, and $5 qualifying contributions collected from participating candidates. 

What Is a Clean Election? 

According to Tom Collins, Executive Director of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, a clean election is one where everyone who is eligible to participate, does. If only a small participating group is working to shape the future, it becomes a missed opportunity for improvement. 

To encourage more people to vote, the Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) focuses on voter education. Voter participation is up during presidential election years and down during off years. Typically, local elections receive the lowest turnout. The CCEC has introduced new tools and services designed to carry voters through the election process from beginning to end. As part of the CCEC statewide debate program, voters will be given the opportunity to ask candidates questions either in-person or online. The public can rely on the CCEC to guide voters through the process of getting to know the candidates to help them assess and cast their ballot. 

How To Register To Vote

Voting is an opportunity to participate in the political process. There are several requirements when registering to vote in Arizona including being a citizen of the United States and being 18 years of age or older on or before the general election date. For the full list of voting requirements and to find out how to vote, click here.

Dorn Policy Group Will Advocate For You

Lobbying encourages people to participate in government and voice their concerns. With nearly 60 years of combined government relations experience, Dorn Policy Group, Inc. can advocate on your behalf at the Federal, State, County, Municipal, District, and Tribal levels. 

Contact us to learn more about how to become a partner with Dorn Policy Group, Inc.

The Arizona Trail located in Arizona

Dorn Policy Group is Proud to Promote Funding for The Arizona Trail

By | Environmental

As an Arizona resident, you probably already know how important recreational trails are to our state. Not only does it allow us to enjoy the natural beauty of our communities, but studies have also shown they promote great health and invite tourism. Recently, Dorn Policy Group, Inc. has partnered with The Arizona Trail to advocate for increased funding to help protect and advance their 800-mile path from Mexico to Utah. 

For over 20 years, Dorn Policy Group, Inc. has been one of Arizona’s trusted lobbying firms, providing exceptional advocacy and consultation in government relations. We partner with organizations to ensure their goals are being met and voices are being heard by Arizona’s elected officials. Read our article below and learn about our partnership with The Arizona Trail.

What is The Arizona Trail?

This incredible organization was the dream of Dale Shewalter, who envisioned a state-long trail that would connect Nogales to the Utah state line. The idea was embraced by trail enthusiasts and park systems from the local, state, and federal levels. 

Since then, The Arizona Trail has become one of the country’s premier long-distance trails for its diverse mountain ranges, canyons, deserts, and historic sites only seen on its path. Through its dedication and passion for Arizona’s beautiful landscape, the organization demonstrates what trail users and land managers can accomplish when they share a common vision. 

Today, The Arizona Trail contributes significantly to Arizona’s $21.2 billion outdoor recreation economy and has become a beloved strip of natural land for outdoor enthusiasts. In 2006, it was designated a State Scenic Trail and a National Scenic Trail in 2009.

What is Dorn Policy Group Doing to Help The Arizona Trail?

Part of The Arizona Trail’s mission is to encourage exploration and connect people with nature. But, state funding is absolutely vital for any park or trail system. It ensures the grounds, trails, and the beauty of the environment are properly maintained to benefit enthusiasts and local wildlife alike. 

While the Arizona Legislature worked on the state budget this year, supporters for the Arizona Trail began advocating for a modest appropriation towards the organization’s efforts. This funding would be used to hire conservation corps to conduct priority trail construction, maintenance, and wildlife mitigation beyond most volunteers’ expertise. 

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. led the charge in advocating for an additional appropriation towards this wonderful organization. We have been involved in similar advocacy efforts in the past by supporting public safety, health, and recreation organizations in Arizona. For The Arizona Trail, our team of government relations specialists strategically found ways to best present our client’s case to our elected officials. This cemented incredible results for the organization and highlights just how important this trail is to our economy.  

Dorn Policy Group is Proud to Help Move Organizations Forward

As one of the leading Arizona lobbying firms, we know how important it is to be noticed by key elected officials and community leaders. With such a large, diverse community in Arizona, it can be difficult getting your voice heard. Dorn Policy Group, Inc. ensures your cause is amplified and that you benefit from strong government relations and proper support from your elected officials. Contact us today and learn how we can help your organization move forward.

government Referendums and Propositions

What are Referendums and Propositions?

By | General Lobbying

Do you want to see a piece of legislation on your next voter ballot? Referendums and propositions are two processes used to do just that. 

What exactly are referendums and propositions, and what are their roles in the democratic process?

What is a Referendum?

Referendum is a general term which refers to a measure that appears on a voter ballot. It allows citizens, through the petition process, to refer acts of the legislature to the ballot before they become law.
Additionally, it permits the Legislature itself to refer proposed legislation to the electorate for approval or rejection. 

There are two types of referenda; referendum measures and referendum bills.

Referendum measures are laws recently passed by lawmakers that are placed on the ballot because of petitions signed by citizens.

Referendum bills are proposed laws referred to the voters by lawmakers. 

What is a Proposition?

A proposition is typically a proposed piece of legislation that a portion of the state population wishes to see enacted. They are usually a result of an initiative, a method by voters to propose new laws or amend existing ones through the petition process.

Propositions can be controversial, as groups are often willing to legislate in areas that politicians would not touch for fear of the political consequences. 

Dorn Policy Group Knows Government Referendums and Propositions

Lobbying encourages people to participate in government and voice their concerns. With nearly 60 years of combined government experience, Dorn Policy Group can advocate on your behalf at the Federal, State, County, Municipal, District, and Tribal levels. 

Contact us to learn more about how to become a partner with Dorn Policy Group, Inc.

 

AZadvances researcher working at a lab desk

Client Spotlight: AZAdvances

By | General Lobbying, Healthcare

Here at Dorn Policy Group, Inc., we are proud of the work we do and the relationships we build. As an Arizona-based company, we strive to better our community, and one way we do just that is by partnering with organizations with that same mission in mind. AZAdvances is one of those organizations. They work with Arizona researchers and early-stage life science companies that are discovering, developing, and delivering treatments and cures for some of our greatest health challenges. We are honored to partner with this industry-leading organization and look forward to continuing our work toward a healthier Arizona.

Dorn Policy Group, Inc. was founded on the belief that integrity, tenacity, and client results should be the cornerstones of quality government relations. Since then, we have become one of Arizona’s leading government relations firms and have assisted many well-known companies with their government affairs. Read our article below to learn more about our partnership with AZAdvances.

Who is AZAdvances?

Our client is on a mission to advance health innovations from discovery to development to delivery, by providing ongoing funding and support that moves Arizona discoveries into development. The lack of Arizona-based funding for research and early-stage life science companies can hinder health innovations that benefit all Arizonans. That is why they have partnered with Dorn Policy Group, Inc. – to create a sustainable funding source to address the needs of Arizona-based companies to develop and advance healthcare solutions.

What Does Dorn Policy Group Do for AZAdvances?

Advocacy is key for any company on a mission for change. That is where Dorn Policy Group, Inc. comes in. We provide strategic counsel and issue management, as well as advocate for policies on behalf of our client. Additionally, we alert them to key legislative deadlines to ensure they stay on top of current legislation that may require their attention.

Furthermore, we assist AZAdvances by:
● Monitoring government-related activity that can potentially affect their organization and industry
● Cultivating community relationships in both the public and private sectors to secure project funding
● Educating elected officials on policies and initiatives that promote a robust and competitive bioscience industry in Arizona and develop strong professional partnerships with other like-minded organizations
● Informing our client on existing laws and regulations, as well as proposed legislation that may hinder their operations. Additionally, we provide information to help make educated decisions and take strategic steps to further advance their mission

Dorn Policy Group Moves Companies Forward With Strong Government Relations

As one of the top Arizona lobbyists, we know how important it is to be noticed by key elected officials and community leaders. AZAdvances is an excellent example of a company on a mission to better our community by funding Arizona’s growing bioscience industry. We are proud to assist in their initiative and look forward to their future growth.
By partnering with Dorn Policy Group, you can rest assured knowing that you have skilled advocates looking out for your best interests. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you today.

How Do State, Federal Governments, and Lobbying Complement One Another?

By | Intergovernmental Lobbying | No Comments

Government is a revolving door with elected officials constantly developing new laws and regulations that impact businesses. It’s like that old saying goes: it’s all about who you know. 

How Does Lobbying Affect State and Federal Government?

When it comes to lobbying, we act as the middleman between organizations and elected officials to influence policy decisions on a specific issue. As one of Arizona’s top lobbying firms, we work closely with all levels of government to ensure our client’s best interests are at heart. 

Influencing policy is a core part of a sound democratic system. Lobbying provides the voiceless with a microphone to amplify their message. Whether it be for or against tax reform, minimum wage increases, or regulations that impede business operations, we are your ally in all things public policy. 

Lobbying provides a way for businesses to connect with elected officials on issues that matter to them. Additionally, lobbyists help guide the conversation to ensure your interests are being heard by those that matter.

Lobbying Brings a Balance Between Public Interest and Legislation

With a diverse population comes a variety of opinions, both in government and in the community. Each side wants their voices heard, but with so much commotion it can be hard for policymakers to fully grasp the scope of the issue. 

It is the lobbyist’s job to articulate one’s case to a wide audience. This will ensure  balance through constructive discussions and exceptional representation of interests. 

Dorn Policy Group Is the Go-To for Lobbying Services

Lobbying encourages people to participate in government and voice their concerns. With nearly 60 years of combined government experience, Dorn Policy Group can advocate on your behalf at the Federal, State, County, Municipal, District, and Tribal levels. 

Contact us to learn more about how to become a partner with Dorn Policy Group.

men working at a desk taking notes

Fact Versus Opinion in Lobbying: What Holds More Clout?

By | General Lobbying

Lobbying is the art of influencing key policy makers in regard to specific issue areas that might affect one or more clients the firm represents. Lobbyists give a voice to businesses by presenting strong and credible information to the people that matter. 

So when it comes to lobbying, what tends to hold more clout, facts or opinions? 

Differences Between Facts and Opinions

To better understand which of the two holds more weight when presenting an argument in front of policy makers, it is important to understand the differences between the two.

Facts

  • Can be verified
  • Are based on research
  • Universally accepted
  • Not debatable
  • Has the power to influence

Opinions

  • Beliefs or judgements 
  • Based on personal views or experiences
  • Cannot be verified
  • Vary depending on the individual 
  • Debatable
  • Have the power to influence

Making the Best Argument as a Lobbyist

Any good lobbyist will know that the most successful lobbyists know how to make a compelling argument that will benefit their clients’ best interests. A key strategy is to  thoroughly explain how the issue will affect their constituents. It is important to get specific when presenting information, as this can be the difference between earning their support or opposition.

Additionally, you will want to anticipate any opposition or counterarguments, and be prepared to respond in a truthful and precise manner. The best policy is to always be honest and be able to back up your arguments with factual evidence.

Why Opinions Should Be Used Carefully

Opinions should be used carefully when presenting an argument, as unsupported opinions cannot only weaken your argument but also your credibility as a lobbyist. 

If your opinion cannot be backed up by reliable sources, then it is best to be left out of the conversation no matter how strongly you might believe it. Instead, try to find a connection between your opinion and factual data. Finding specific evidence that supports your opinion will go a long way in establishing your credibility.

Let Dorn Policy Group Assist Your Business

As one of Arizona’s premier lobbying firms, we know how important it is to be noticed by key policy makers. By partnering with Dorn Policy Group, you can rest assured knowing that you have skilled advocates looking out for your best interests. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you!

woman working on a laptop in an office drinking coffee

How State Budgets are Built and Executed

By | General Lobbying

Every year, or every other year, states face the task of creating budgets that adequately address the needs of their residents while also maintaining their short-term and long-term fiscal objectives. Each state’s budget reflects an estimate of the amount of revenue the state will collect. Depending on the state, this figure is determined by the governor, the governor and the legislature, the legislature, or an independent commission.

The Budget Calendar

For most states, the fiscal year runs from July 1 to the subsequent June 30. The exceptions are New York (whose fiscal year starts April 1), Texas (September 1), and Alabama, the District of Columbia, and Michigan (October 1).

The public budget discussion typically starts when the governor issues his or her budget proposal by a date specified in the state’s laws or constitution, which generally takes place in January or February.

The budget cannot take effect until the legislature approves it and the governor signs it. This is supposed to take place before the start of the fiscal year. If states miss the deadline they must pass temporary spending bills to keep the government running until the budget is enacted and/or temporarily shut down.

State Budget Timeline

The budget cycle varies by state, though most follow a similar pattern. First, the state budget office (in the executive branch) sends instructions to state agencies to follow in preparing their budget requests. These instructions provide a template for presenting financial and descriptive information. They also set limits on certain types of requests and expectations depending on the fiscal environment.

Next, agencies submit these requests to the budget office who then develop the executive budget proposal based on the governor’s priorities. The governor’s budget deadline ranges across states from November to March and is submitted to the legislature. The legislature will then hold committee hearings and deliberate various sections of the budget. Once an agreement is reached, the legislature passes the budget which then goes to the governor for approval. From here, the governor must sign it in order for it to become law or veto it to revise the budget before signing.

Approaching the Budget

Different states use different methodologies to make budget decisions. Most states develop budgets on an incremental basis where they start with a baseline of current spending or service levels and focus more attention on justifications for relevant spending increases or decreases.

Additional ways states approach budgeting is through program budgeting or performance budgeting. Program budgeting brings more focus to programs or activities as the primary budget units, and incorporates information on program missions, goals, and effectiveness. Many states also use performance budgeting to allocate resources based on measurable results.

In addition, nearly all states have a rainy day fund or budget stabilization fund. These funds are only able to be expended if certain conditions are met. Most states also have separate reserve funds specifically for natural or manmade disasters.

Monitoring and Executing the Budget

State budgeting is a continuous process and must be monitored frequently. Throughout this cycle, expenditures and revenues are monitored to ensure funding needs are met. Budgets are also monitored to make sure state resources are sufficient to fulfill spending obligations. Thirty-two states issue interim expenditure monitoring reports on a monthly basis.

States also use their ability to shift funds around as an execution tool. For example, the state budget office may transfer appropriations between departments, between programs within a department, and between spending categories within a program.

Grow Your Network With Dorn Policy Group

Dorn Policy Group specializes in business growth and government relations with our vast network in the Arizona business and political community. We help our clients achieve their growth objectives by connecting them to decision-makers and business leaders. Contact us today to learn more.

woman and man working in a lobbying office together

How a Large Network Benefits You and Your Community

By | General Lobbying

In today’s business environment the people you know and the connections you have are of equal if not more value than what you know. A business network is a vital aspect for every business owner, especially small businesses and start-up companies. 

Getting in front of influential people in your community can open many doors for you and your business. These relationships have a big impact on the success of your business as the knowledge gained during networking is invaluable. There are plenty of ways to network, especially now with the accessibility of virtual events. Whether they’re business seminars, networking groups, or professional associations there are many benefits to gain.

Benefits of Networking

Knowledge

One of the biggest benefits of having a large network is the amount of valuable information and knowledge you will be getting from industry professionals and business leaders. Staying on top of industry trends, business developments, or legislation can keep you aware of things that might be affecting your business. 

Advice

This is especially important for start-up businesses that are trying to get established or begin expanding business efforts. Getting in contact with other successful business people can provide you with advice on what choices to make to further your business. Whether you’re trying to expand your products, service areas, or are having trouble finding reputable vendors or creating partnerships, there’s a high chance these businesses have gone through a similar scenario and can share their thoughts.

Connections 

Who you know will have a major impact on the success of your business. Getting in touch with industry leaders and influential people within your community can create many opportunities for you. Once you put yourself out there, your contacts pool will grow immensely because once you build a connection with a business leader, you will also get connected to all of their contacts. These connections are mutually beneficial, as they can support you and you can give your expertise on matters that affect them.

Better Opportunities

Once you have developed a valuable relationship with fellow business leaders, you will create a sense of trust. This trust will present you with business opportunities that otherwise you would not have received. These opportunities can come in the form of partnerships, expansion, acquisition, leads, sales, and many others.

Elevated Profile

By being actively involved in your community and growing your network, you will elevate your profile among other business leaders. Having a strong network will increase your credibility and pull people in your direction who want to connect, collaborate, or get your expertise. Having a reputable network will not only look good in the sense that you are associated with influential business leaders but also frame you as a knowledgeable, reliable professional.

Grow Your Network With Dorn Policy Group

Dorn Policy Group specializes in business growth and government relations with our vast network in the Arizona business and political community, we help our clients achieve their growth objectives by connecting them to decision-makers and business leaders. Contact us today to learn more.