A competitive business climate, investment in infrastructure, support for economic growth, and investment in education and workforce top the list of issues the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce will push with legislators in 2018.
“The Chamber’s public policy platform is truly reflective of the needs of area companies,” says Kristin Glass, Interim CEO, Quad Cities Chamber. “In the coming months, business leaders will work together to encourage legislation that will help our economy and community continue to grow. I encourage anyone who is interested in these matters to get involved in our collective advocacy efforts.”
The Chamber has set forth a comprehensive package of priorities addressing local, state and federal levels of government.
State of Illinois Priorities
The Quad Cities Chamber is urging Illinois lawmakers to approve a responsible budget and continue fiscal reforms including: ensuring budget and obligations are fully funded, increasing school funding to reach targets set by the evidence-based model, fully fund higher education and tuition aid, ensure adequate funding for road and transportation maintaining, and pass a capital bill and continue funding for priority projects.
The Chamber is also asking leaders to foster economic growth through the renewal of Enterprise Zones in the Quad Cities, creation of economic development tools including a state or county wide Historic Tax Credit program or Quad Cities River Edge Redevelopment Zone, and to reform proof requirements for the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Tax Credit.
State of Iowa Priorities
The Chamber is asking Iowa lawmakers to support workforce development and education, support important economic development tools and growth opportunities, change the education funding formula to ensure equal funding per student, enact tax reform that would simplify and streamline Iowa Tax Code, and to enhance transportation connections between the Quad Cities and the rest of Iowa.
Other issues within the policy platform include the request to grow Iowa’s economy by supporting funding for the High Quality Jobs program, Historic Tax Credits, preserve TIF, Urban Revitalization Zones and other economic development tools for local governments.
The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce is asking Congress and the Administration to put policies in place to spur economic growth by strengthening long-term energy production and access, investing in transportation and infrastructure, and to support the growing Quad Cities defense industry.
Advocacy in Action
In 2017, the Quad Cities Chamber was successful in advancing several key legislative priorities. Those include:
- Work with Illinois legislators to secure Exelon in the region and pass mental health legislation that allows providers to better serve our citizenry and save taxpayer dollars.
- Work with Iowa legislators to protect the commercial property tax backfill to ensure our cities and counties received promised funding from the state, protect economic development tools from being eliminated, and advanced workers' compensation reform to address rising medical costs.
- Secured legislation at the Federal level which reinstates the year-round Pell Grant, an important workforce training tool; advanced legislation that will provide more opportunities for the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, as well as legislation that ensures Rock Island Arsenal tenants are able to continue their leases on the Arsenal.
“Over the years, the strength of the Chamber’s advocacy efforts is powered by thousands of companies acting as one, and it has resulted in many community priorities gaining substantial support from the local, state and federal governments,” says Glass.
The Quad Cities Chamber will host a series of events during which members of the business community can engage with policymakers.
Quad Cities Chamber Legislative Events:
Iowa Legislative Luncheons: January 29 and March 16
Illinois Legislative Luncheons: February 9 and April 6
Quad Cities Day in Des Moines: February 7-8
Quad Cities Days in Springfield: March 7-8
Quad Cities Days in D.C.: March 21 - 23
For more information visit QuadCitiesChamber.com/public-policy
About: The Quad Cities Chamber is a champion for business and community growth in the region.