Biz Bounty

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Frustrated by the slow pace of enforcement of last year's employer-sanctions law, the House Judiciary Committee is set to hear a bill today that would grant a reward to citizens who report companies that hire illegal immigrants: The assets of the company that broke the law.

Rep. Richard Wilkins (R-Sunnydale) says Arizonans are more likely to report companies who have illegal workers on the payroll if there's a bounty involved.

"It's just the right thing to do," Wilkins says. "If people turn in a business, they ought to get a chance to run that business themselves."

Wilkins adds that the transfer of company ownership would also help ensure that legal workers didn't lose their jobs because of a mistake by a business owner or hiring manager.

"This could create a huge fiscal ripple," Wilkins says.

Rupert Giles, head of the Arizona Association of Business and Leisure Activities, says the proposed law "could make it difficult to expand economic opportunities in the state."

The legislation has been tacked on to HB 2401, which originally established a new ski-rental tax to fund target-shooting courses at charter schools.

Lisa Lopfor is a freelance reporter who has previously reported on downtown Tucson and Kokopelli County.

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