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Advocacy Efforts in Full Swing

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

The Indiana General Assembly is in the midst of its 2018 session. It’s a short session, so this is a critical week for bills to pass one house if they hope for approval before the early March adjournment. Your Chamber is keeping close tabs on the House and Senate dockets, and where appropriate is weighing in on key pieces of legislation that we believe could impact you, your business, or our regional economic development efforts.

We believe our advocacy efforts are one of the most critical roles we can play on behalf of the business community. In fact, if you go back to our origins more than 100 years ago, that’s exactly why we were formed, to advocate on behalf of the business community. Today, we’re active on the local, state and federal levels on issues that influence economic growth.

At the Statehouse, we’re keeping a close eye on TIF (Tax Increment Financing) and Tax Abatement, two important tools that our communities have used to help secure key private investments. TIF also played a critical role in the required local match on our Regional Cities projects. Speaking of Regional Cities, we’re also advocating for a Regional Development Tax Credit, an important tool that could be placed in the toolbox of communities should future grant allocations like the Regional Cities grants not be available. We’ve joined with our peers from the other major metro areas in the state to help lead that charge.

We’re also keeping a close eye on the workforce development proposals. In the end, we believe that is what this session will be remembered for (plus Sunday Alcohol Sales), and we want to make sure whatever is proposed and passed meets your needs as an employer, we know for many of you your workforce is your top concern. Though we recognize there is no “easy” fix to the workforce issues our companies face, we do believe there are a number of fixes that will better stock your pipeline long term.

Want to hear more about what’s happening at the Statehouse? Make plans to join us on Friday, February 16 at noon at The History Museum in South Bend for our next Third House Meeting. At our January Third House Meeting, all NINE of our local legislators joined us for the update. A big thanks to Senators Bohacek, Mishler, Niezgodski, Zakas and Representatives Bauer, DeVon, Dvorak, Taylor and Wesco for caring about those issues important to the business community! 

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