Maintaining a business-friendly climate is essential to growing our regional economy. The Chamber's public policy platform is centered on policies that will assist overall economic growth in the region. The attendees of Morning Network on Jan. 20 got an update on the Quad Cities Chamber's legislative priorities, issues for both the Iowa and Illinois legislative sessions and the importance of advocacy volunteer engagement from Chamber governmental affairs staffers Jason Gordon and Henry Marquard, and Pryce Boeye, chair of the Chamber's Business Advocacy Council.
- Workforce - A comprehensive statewide study has been proposed to determine our needs and ensure alignment between all entities involved in workforce issues.
- Creating a bio-chemical renewables tax credit - This is an industry that is on the cusp of experiencing huge growth opportunities, and some of Iowa's neighboring states have already created a similar incentive.
- Education Funding - Funding must be sufficient to ensure the quality of education is at the level to continue to address the region's workforce needs.
- Continue existing incentives, like historic tax credits and Tax Increment Financing
- Tax Reform - Iowa is hurt by its overly complex tax structure, which has earned Iowa to be ranked 40th on the 2016 State Business Tax Climate Index.
- A sound, fiscally responsible state budget needs to be approved
- Workers' Compensation reforms are needed that include causation
- Targeted Industries Growth Strategy and Study
- Creation of a state historic tax credit program - This is critical to continue downtown revitalization efforts.
- Renewal of Enterprise Zones in the Quad Cities - This has been tremendous for encouraging development and expansion for businesses located in struggling areas.
- Low Carbon Portfolio Standard legislation - This will help ensure the long-term viability of Exelon's Quad Cities Generating Station.
- The passage of a capital bill - This should include funding support for important developments such as the I-74 Bridge, passenger rail, and Western Illinois University.
The first of our four Legislative Luncheons kicked off yesterday in Illinois. Attendees shared their thoughts and concerns with Illinois state representatives and senators and had the opportunity to learn more about the Chamber's legislative priorities for Illinois. Representatives stressed that the business community has the ability to make a difference and should be active in voicing its needs and priorities. We encourage everyone to get involved and communicate with their elected officials by attending our Legislative Luncheons:
Iowa Legislative Luncheons
Illinois Legislative Luncheon