With just a few weeks left in 2016, it’s time to look forward…not just to the New Year, but towards a new strategy for long-term economic growth. That’s the message of the Indy Chamber’s 2017 Legislative Agenda – thinking big, and thinking beyond the two-year budget cycle to make investments and policy choices that will shape Indiana’s future.
We expect a productive partnership with Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana General Assembly on common goals like expanding early childhood education and sustainable funding for transportation infrastructure; we will also continue pushing for progress on statewide anti-discrimination protection, regional mass transit and local tax fairness.
Hear more about these and other key priorities at Pancakes & Politics on Wednesday, where your Indy Chamber business advocacy team will preview the Legislative Agenda and discuss other anticipated hot-button issues. Join us for the scoop from a panel that also includes House fiscal leaders Rep. Tim Brown and Rep. Greg Porter, and (new to the speaker lineup) Danny Lopez, Chief of Staff to Governor-elect Holcomb.
The Legislative Agenda will be officially released late this week. Expect our top issues to be familiar: Expanding pre-K, a long-term infrastructure funding plan, and a continued focus on transit and anti-discrimination protection for all Hoosiers. As we live, work and do business across county and city lines, we also continue to support strategies for metropolitan growth and investment, including an incremental Local Option Income Tax that remains in the county of employment.
You’ll also hear more proposals for state and local economic incentives that encourage high-tech investment, support innovation and entrepreneurship, and reward new development on former industrial sites.
The Indy Chamber’s ‘Accelerate Indy’ regional strategy identifies talent as a top economic issue that will also be a recurring theme in the legislative agenda: In addition to pre-K access and affordability, we’ll ask lawmakers to strengthen K-12 programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and look forward to working with Speaker Bosma to promote effective, employer-driven workforce development.
Pushing Mass Transit towards the Finish Line: Finally, during this season of giving, we’re asking for an early holiday gift: One more push to capitalize on the resounding victory of the mass transit referendum across Marion County (nearly 60% of the vote, winning 19 City-County Council districts).
The City-County Council still must approve the full quarter-percent tax that voters embraced to implement all the Marion County Transit Plan. There is bipartisan support for mass transit, and we expect the transit resolution to be introduced in January; but we can’t take this final step for granted.
Help us tell the City-County Council that their constituents – people and employers – want to invest in practical access to jobs, education and daily necessities for themselves and their neighbors. (Find your City-County Councillor.)