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Legislative Issues and Elected Officials

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Federal Elected Officials

U.S. House of Representativeswww.house.gov
U.S. Senatewww.senate.gov

Federal Issues

Sales Tax Fairness
The Chamber supports federal legislation that would ensure that sales tax is paid on online purchases through a uniformed approach among the states, creating fairness to local retailers who today must collect sales tax, putting them at a competitive disadvantage.

Regulatory Reform
The Chamber supports reform of the existing regulatory system that would restore checks and balances to the administrative rule-making process and provide improved opportunity for public input, so there is greater understanding of regulatory impacts on business.

Funding for River Levees
The community has received funding for improvements to the Missouri River levees and work has begun on the necessary improvements. The Chamber advocates for continued federal funding through the Corps of Engineers and asks the Corps and our Congressional delegation to ensure the project remains a priority to completion.

139th Airlift Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard
The Chamber supports growth and expansion of the 139th Airlift Wing, including modernization of the existing fleet of C-130H aircraft while pursuing future recapitalization of the fleet to C-130J models. In support of the 139th mission, the Chamber supports the acquisition of a C-130H simulator and expansion of international partnerships to enhance the Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center (AATTC).

International Trade
The Chamber supports efforts to expand the growth of international free-trade agreements that will open additional markets to local business, stimulating job growth and new investment. Specifically, while the Chamber endorses potential beneficial updates to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it supports NAFTA and believes that it must remain a viable trade agreement to support export markets in both Mexico and Canada.

Health Care
The Chamber supports continued efforts to improve the administration of the Affordable Care Act and encourages the administration and Congress to work together to bring about reforms that provide sustainable health care systems, expand meaningful coverage to uninsured, and provide stability to private sector employer health care plans.

Tax Reform
Congress and the administration have proposed revisions to the tax code that have the potential of creating an environment that will stimulate economic growth in the country. The Chamber supports pro-growth tax reform that includes lowering tax rates on business, addressing taxation of overseas earnings and adopting a neutral depreciation schedule for business investment.

State of Missouri

 

State Issues

Higher Education Funding
The Chamber supports adequate and appropriate state funding for Missouri’s institutions of higher education. Further, the Chamber endorses fair and equitable funding for all of Missouri’s universities, in particular, addressing the need to enhance funding for Missouri Western State University to support the University’s mission as an applied learning institution.

Transportation Funding
The Chamber supports additional funding for Missouri’s transportation system and encourages the Legislature, governor and the MoDOT Commission to consider a combination of funding options to provide the additional financial resources necessary to improve the state’s transportation system, including Missouri ports and airports.

Right to Work Legislation
In 2017 the Missouri Legislature passed Right-to-Work legislation that was signed into law by the governor. Through an initiative/petition process it appears that the issue will come before the voters in 2018. The Chamber supports the implementation of Missouri’s Right-to-Work law passed in 2017, to enhance the attraction of new jobs and investment to the state. It is believed that this legislation would make Missouri more competitive from an economic development standpoint.

Expansion of Medicaid
The Chamber supports the expansion of Medicaid in the state along with appropriate reforms to ensure long-term solvency of the program to provide additional federal funding to support Missouri’s health care system.

Economic Development Enhancements
The Chamber supports the passage of legislation that would improve Missouri’s economic development incentives for both existing business and new business to the state. Specifically, incentives based on new investment by existing business exclusive of job creation. Further, the Chamber endorses additional funding for the state’s employee training programs. Lastly, the Chamber calls on the Missouri Legislature to enact a tax credit program to encourage the growth of angel fund investors in the state.

Historic Tax Credits
The City of St. Joseph has benefited over the years from the State’s Historic Tax Credit Program. The tax credits act as an inducement to investing and rehabilitating both commercial and residential properties. The Chamber supports historic tax credits and believes they should continue and that they not be diminished through lowering the amount of available annual credits.

Sales Tax Fairness
The Chamber supports legislation in the State that would ensure that sales tax is paid on online purchases, providing a level playing field between online retailers and local retailers. While federal legislation is likely required, the Chamber calls on the Missouri Legislature to explore options to implement a solution in Missouri as other states have accomplished.

 

Local Officials

Buchanan County Officials
Buchanan County – www.co.buchanan.mo.us

St. Joseph City Officials

St. Joseph – www.stjoemo.info

St. Joseph School District Officials
St. Joseph School District – www.sjsd.k12.mo.us

Local Issues

School District Tax Levy
The Chamber believes it is important to the community to provide the resources necessary to maintain and support an excellent public-school system. Further the Chamber encourages the School District to implement initiatives and programs that support career readiness and provides exploration of career opportunities on the part of all students. This should include careers in manufacturing and skilled trades.

Public Infrastructure Funding
The Chamber supports the City in considering additional funding to enhance maintenance of existing streets, public facilities, parks, storm water and other public amenities. Funding consideration should include existing revenue, dedicated taxes such as the City’s capital improvement tax, and long-term debt in the form of General Obligation Bonds.

Downtown Development
With private sector development underway in the downtown area, the Chamber encourages the City to continue its support of development incentives, as well as the expenditure of public capital improvement funds as necessary to encourage future private sector investment.

Community Appearance
The Chamber believes that an important part of positioning the community for future economic growth is creating a quality of life that encourages individuals to want to live in St. Joseph and businesses to want to invest in the community. This begins with having a clean, attractive community, in which residents can be proud. The Chamber encourages the City to consider programs and policies that would address the condition of certain properties and provide for a method of removing litter and trash from residential neighborhoods.

Crime
St. Joseph has seen an increase in the level of certain crimes, especially crime involving guns. The Chamber would like to encourage continued support of the Police Department and encourages the City Council to provide the Department the resources necessary to help combat the issue. Further the City is asked to continue to reach out to the business community to form partnerships to help and support activities of law enforcement.

Meeting Facilities
Over the years the City has continued to suffer from a lack of adequate meeting facilities and event space. Changes in the local hospitality business market has resulted in less space than in the past. The effect is that it is difficult to attract any size of association meetings, and in some cases our local companies are unable to address their own meeting needs seeking necessary space out of area. This creates a situation that potentially results in the loss of a local business. The City and County are asked to consider public funding and or public/private funding of meeting space to serve the needs of the community.

Government Websites
U.S. President – www.whitehouse.gov
U.S. Senate – www.senate.gov
U.S House – www.house.gov
Missouri Government – www.mo.gov
Missouri Senate –www.senate.mo.gov
Missouri House – www.house.mo.gov
Buchanan County – www.co.buchanan.mo.us
City of St. Joseph – www.stjoemo.info