Attorney General Mayes Finds ACA CEO Forums Violate Gift Clause

PHOENIX – Attorney General Kris Mayes today announced that the Arizona Commerce Authority's (ACA) CEO Forums violate the Arizona Constitution's Gift Clause. The Attorney General shared the findings with the ACA in a letter sent earlier today. This finding comes after a request for an investigation from the Arizona Auditor General in September 2023 to determine if these forums violated the state's constitutional gift rules during the ACA's sunset review.

"As they currently exist, the CEO Forums violate the Gift Clause of the Arizona Constitution," said Attorney General Mayes. "The current structure of the CEO Forums confers significant value on invited private executives and their guests without obtaining any identifiable value for the state."

The purpose of the Gift Clause is to prevent the government from giving away public assets to private businesses. As such, the Gift Clause prohibits the state from making "any donation or grant, by subsidy or otherwise, to any individual, association, or corporation."

"While the ACA may hold forums that confer a nominal value on attendees, its past forums, including last year's $2 million Super Bowl forum and its planned 2024 Forums, do not come close to meeting that requirement,” continued Mayes. “My office fully intends to uphold the state's constitution and will seek to prevent any future illegal payment of public monies to private entities by the ACA."