Welcome to the Indy Chamber’s 2023 Legislative Agenda, a comprehensive resource that outlines our efforts to unite the Indy Region, tell the Indy story, and grow an equitable economy. In 2022, our agenda was themed, Ready to Rise with a strong focus on the pandemic response and racial equity. 2023 promises to build on those priorities with a focus on regional competitiveness.
In 2022, the Indy Chamber launched the second phase of Accelerate Indy—an economic development strategy to position the Indy Region as the premier destination for talent and opportunity for all. Support from our regional business community has played a critical role in funding this strategy and implementing this work—work that will help our region surpass our national, peer markets, including Denver, Nashville, Charlotte, and Columbus.
Central Indiana continues to drive economic growth for the Hoosier state’s economy. Over the past five years, the Indy Region has established itself as a top market in the Midwest. However, the region and the state still face barriers to realizing their full economic potential—barriers that will take collaboration to overcome. The business community and state legislature must find common ground on solutions to address talent attraction and retention, national image perception, quality of place, and business environment.
When it comes to talent, Indiana is primed for investments in its people. With a historically tight labor market and evidence of drastic declines in college enrollment, we are calling for an evaluation of how to accelerate the 21st Century Scholars Program—an offering that makes students three times more likely to attend college and more likely to complete it.
In addition, chronically poor health outcomes remain a critical challenge to our state’s quality of life and economic competitiveness. Bringing our state investment in public health services and preventative healthcare to levels competitive with the national average is an imperative we cannot afford to defer.
The epicenter of our state sets the tone for national perception, and solutions are needed for Downtown Indianapolis. To compete as the most livable downtown in America, sustainable resources are required to support safety, cleanliness, and planning for a post-pandemic, transformational future of downtown.
Finally, we must confront a key contributor to quality of place: Indiana’s roads. Fast-growing metropolitan communities around the state are severely disadvantaged by the current state road funding formula. Changes to adequately support infrastructure maintenance in metros, while keeping rural communities whole, are essential. The state also must consider long-term strategies to replace declining, fuel-based support for roads as the adoption of electric vehicles accelerates.
Indiana is poised to make transformational investments in the fundamentals of its economic competitiveness: talent, image, business, and place. The Central Indiana business community is ready to partner with the General Assembly to forge solutions and accelerate our state’s competitiveness to continue to compete on the national and global stage.
Partner-in-Charge of Client Relations, Ice Miller
2022-2023 Chair – Board of Directors, Indy Chamber