Rapper and part-time NBA team owner Jay-Z helps us title this week’s update, as a high-profile hearing on SB7 generated plenty of attention. The bill would change the game for Indy’s sports and hospitality sector, expanding our convention capacity while keeping the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse – and kicking in some critical support for the future of pro soccer in Indianapolis too.
Of course, more hotel rooms and modernized venues can help make Indy a more welcoming place to visit. But these investments can’t be optimized if our legal system sends a different message.
We’re still looking for a game-changer in the fight for substantive action against bias crimes. The remnants of SB12 have been assigned to the Courts & Criminal Code Committee and await a hearing, though lawmakers have heard plenty – from the business community, Hoosiers of all backgrounds, local officials and national civil rights leaders – about the need for specifics to make a meaningful bill.
Economic (Re)Development Remix
We’ve been clear that in today’s talent-driven economy, SB12 is an economic development bill. In the realm of more traditional economic incentives and programs, SB563 is a package of important updates and additions to our arsenal for attracting new jobs and investment.
We covered the fundamentals of SB563 a couple of weeks ago and support the bill. Along with our partners are the Indiana Economic Development Association, we’re seeking a few minor tweaks to make it even more effective:
The bill was heard and held in Ways & Means this week, so we look forward to discussing these changes further with key legislators.
You down with CIB?
Yes, as noted before, we support strengthening the financial position of the Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board to allow needed investments in Banker’s Life, the Convention Center, and our other sports and hospitality assets (and ensuring our supply of downtown hotel rooms anticipates growing demand).
We testified in favor of SB7, which allows extension of the county ticket tax and tax increment financing from the downtown sports development district for the CIB to fund these priorities, including potential financing of a permanent stadium for the Indy Eleven, if the franchise is able to join Major League Soccer as an expansion team. Like SB563, it was heard and held in Ways & Means on Wednesday.
In other action this week:
In many ways, advocacy is about relationships – at the Statehouse, with our members and across Indiana, giving us the ability to mobilize support and negotiate in good faith over issues of importance to the future of the Indy Region and the state.
That’s why it was heartening to see the great turnout this week for our Pancakes & Politics event, and to see so many local Chambers of Commerce from every corner of Indiana at the annual Chamber Day at the Statehouse on Tuesday. We certainly have strength in numbers, and in our collective commitment to issues like bias crimes.
Working together, we’re making a difference and envisioning a brighter future for our state (take some inspiration from this great video by our friends at Imagine Indiana). So stay involved with the Indy Chamber, sign up for Indiana Competes, and keep supporting our partners in progress – even when the going gets tough, our relationships make us tougher to ignore. (And if you don’t know – now you know!" - Notorious)
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