Economic Development News
State legislation and budget policies impact local economy
Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
By: Randy Allen, President/CEO
State legislation and budget policy impact us locally in Jefferson City and Cole County just as the legislation affects cities and counties state-wide; however, there are some issues such as state employee pay increases that may have a greater impact on our area than elsewhere in the state.
This month, we’re taking a closer look at current legislative issues and how they may impact our local economy. We’ve narrowed the number of issues to four: State Employee Pay Increase; Transportation Funding; Proposal to build a new Fulton State Hospital; and the Governor’s proposal for the state to attain the St. Mary’s campus and use it for an expansion of Lincoln University programs as well as other state uses.
We have developed articles on several of the issues and have asked our local legislators, Senator Mike Kehoe , Representatives Jay Barnes and Mike Bernskoetter, for their opinions on each of the issues. Finally, we’d like to ask your opinion on the issues and invite you to take the short survey that’s available on our website.
The Chamber’s Public Affairs Committee meets regularly to discuss legislative issues/public affairs impacting our community and makes recommendations for action to the Board of Directors. In December, upon the recommendation of the committee, the Board sent letters to our local state legislators and the governor in support of a proposed 3% state employee pay raise, and appropriations for renovations of the capitol building, and for the design and planning for the replacement of the Fulton State Hospital. In January, the Public Affairs Committee recommended the Board form a task force to facilitate local efforts to seek legislative approval of the governor’s recommendation for a $10M appropriation for the State to acquire the current St. Mary’s campus and locate the Lincoln University Nursing and Culinary Arts programs there. (See related story in this issue.)
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
It’s a privilege to be the capital city of Missouri. It sets us apart from other communities. Sometimes we take for granted the fact we’re home to state government and aren’t fully aware of or appreciative of the economic impact this has on our city and our county. As a leading public policy advocate for local businesses, it is vital the Chamber, together with the City and County, work closely with our state government to ensure that public policy is favorable to our local economy and quality of place.