Indy Chamber Releases 2023 Legislative Agenda to Accelerate Indiana’s Economic Competitiveness
Regional businesses focused on investment in Indiana’s economic fundamentals
Ind. (December 15, 2022)—The Indy Chamber held its annual all-member meeting Tuesday, endorsing legislative priorities on behalf of thousands of employers across the nine-county Central Indy region.
Central Indiana continues to drive economic growth for the Hoosier economy. Over the past five years, Indy has established itself as a top market in the Midwest, attracting 54,000 jobs and $10.5 billion capital investment. The region has also garnered recognition for incentivizing the creation of good and promising jobs and supporting diverse business owners.
However, barriers remain to realizing the region and state’s full economic potential. To accelerate our competitiveness against national peer markets, the business community and state legislature must find common ground on strategies to drive competitiveness for talent, image, business, and place.
“The opportunity to address barriers to our economic competitiveness has never been more critical—significant investment opportunities at in play in innovation-driving industries like life sciences, tech, and advanced manufacturing as a result of the shift back to U.S.-based production,” said Melissa Proffitt, Chair of the Indy Chamber Board of Directors. “The time is now to accelerate our regional economy so that Indy can be the premier destination for talent and opportunity for all.”
The Indy Chamber’s legislative agenda is titled “Accelerating Competitiveness,” and is focused on five key priorities:
- Funding Indiana’s Roads: As the Crossroads of America, equitable investment in both fast-growing metros and rural communities is essential to compete against peer markets—the Indy Chamber encourages changes that will support infrastructure maintenance in metros while keeping rural communities whole, as well as long-term strategies to replace declining fuel-based revenues.
- Investing in Hoosier Health: Improving health outcomes is paramount to our state’s success and to Hoosier wellbeing. The state ranked 40th for overall life expectancy, 48th in per capita public health funding, and sees above-average costs for healthcare. The Indy Chamber supports efforts to reform and invest in public health services and to lower the costs of healthcare, so Hoosiers can live healthier lives and access economic opportunity.
- Bridging the Talent Opportunity Gap: Indiana’s college enrollment dropped 12 percent from 2015-2020. The Indy Chamber supports the automatic enrollment of eligible students in the 21st Century Scholars program, whose participants are more likely to complete college, and expanding access to and the affordability of early education to help ensure a positive trajectory.
- Outperforming on Economic Development: Prioritizing investments in talent attraction, retention, quality of life, and housing are key to retaining and bringing in new businesses. The Indy Chamber supports the allocation of regional economic development funding, including $500 million to fully fund READI 2.0, and strengthening our competitive advantage in sports and tourism to attract large-scale and world-class events.
- Advancing the Vitality of Downtown: Downtown Indianapolis is the skyline of the state and our most valuable quality-of-place asset. It’s also the largest city in the nation without dedicated funding to support cleanliness, safety, and downtown beautification. The Indy Chamber supports strategies to support and transform Downtown Indianapolis’ as the best place in the nation to live, work, and visit.
Indy Chamber Interim President & CEO Moira Carlstedt added that “our 2023 legislative agenda equally advocates for the needs of businesses and Hoosiers alike, and investments in talent, image, business, and place will ensure we are setting the stage for a vibrant future.”
“We anticipate constructive dialogue with lawmakers on these issues and other ways to strengthen Indiana’s fastest-growing region and most productive economy,” Carlstedt finished.
Beyond the priority issues, the Indy Chamber will continue to pursue policies aimed to provide elements of a more competitive and inclusive economic climate, including advancing public transportation strategies and supporting a vibrant business climate. Learn more about the Legislative Priorities on the Indy Chamber’s website.
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About the Indy Chamber
The Indy Chamber is the voice of progress and improvement for the Indianapolis region’s business community. With a membership of nearly 2,000 businesses in the Indianapolis region, the Indy Chamber is leading the effort to strengthen the business climate, improve education and health outcomes, revitalize neighborhoods and enhance the region’s workforce. For more information, visit IndyChamber.com.