April 5, 2019

Issues Forum Summary – April 2019

April 2019: A Legislative Update

Guest Speakers: Rep. Micah Caskey and Rep. Seth Rose

The Chamber’s April Issues Forum featured Rep Micah Caskey (R) District 89 and Rep Seth Rose (D) District 72 discussing legislation and critical issues they are focused on this session. The following are highlights of the key messages delivered to the 50+ participants:

  • Taxes are not the only concern identified with economic development opportunities not locating here. The state must do a better job of welcoming business here and make it simpler to obtain the required permits.
  • Act 388 had unintended consequences on small business and that coupled with the fact that more than 65% of the land in the city is non-taxable puts a strain on the tax paying businesses.
  • The sole intent of the definition of the lobbying bill is to address the concern that local government needs more accountability and the public needs to know who is working to influence elected officials on rules, ordinances, and spending. The bill is not intended to keep the general public from taking with their elected officials.
  • The education discussions are critical and the Teacher Bill of Rights is aimed at eliminating the loss of teachers by enhancing their opportunities. For example, teachers who accept a position in a rural school will be given the opportunity for their children to attend a state college with free tuition. A child’s ZIP code should not determine the likelihood of their success in public education.

Throughout the year, you can expect the Columbia Chamber to:

  • Continue to work with members of the State Legislature on bills that mirror our Public Policy Agenda and work to enhance the business and military community.
  • Seek input from Chamber partners to ensure the business voice is represented.
  • Work through the Issues Forum, the Public Policy Committee and the Executive Board to continuously focus attention on issues identified in the 2019 Public Policy Agenda of the cost of doing business, education and workforce and support for the military.

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