“I believe that any state, they should look very closely at Arizona,” Glenn Hamer, president and chief executive of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, said on Thursday. “My guess is that after what has happened here, I’d be very surprised if this type of bill could pass in any state in the country.”
It’s worth looking at why exactly all of these businesses were so vocal in their opposition to the Arizona bill.
Business groups that spoke out against it quickly identified a host of problems, which is why “virtually every major business group in Arizona” opposed it, Hamer said.
“When you have a case where the economic consequences can be severe, and there’s no specific Arizona problem identified…it’s not terribly difficult to come out with a decision,” he said.
“They didn’t want to be viewed as not being open and ready to do business with everyone,” said Dick Castner, western regional director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
And looming over all of this was next year’s Super Bowl, set to be played in Glendale, Ariz. “We do not support this legislation,” the host committee said in a statement earlier this week, worrying about how the bill could blunt the game’s impact on the state economy. The NFL said it was “following the issue.”
There were also misgivings among people who had initially supported the bill, with three Republican state senators who voted for it turning around and calling for a veto.
“There were some second thoughts among even those who voted for it,” Castner said. “My guess is that same feeling may be going through the minds of folks who have at least up until now supported these types of measures in other states.”
Hamer also has this simple advice for any other states considering such a bill: “Don’t do it.”