Bill to allow Arizona Office of Tourism to sell artwork stalls in Senate

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 1:11pm

A measure to allow the Arizona Office of Tourism to sell goods and services to raise money has stalled in the state Senate. 

The bill would create a new fund for tourism development as well as allot it to own a license and sell artwork. Office director Debbie Johnson is pushing the bill, saying it could raise $10,000 to $20,000 a year to start. 

Republican Sen. Warren Petersen said opening the door to a government agency to raise money this way raises concern. 

"This is a scandal in the making or a future scandalous headlines in the making. Basically, we're going to give somebody taxpayer dollars, allow them to purchase, buy things, run businesses. But they don't have the risk a normal taxpayer has," Petersen said.

In order for the bill to move forward, several Republicans say it would need to provide more guardrails on the Office. There was no immediate response from Johnson.