MENU

Legislative Issues and Elected Officials

For a printed brochure of ALL elected officials, please e-mail here.

Quick Links:

 

Federal Elected Officials

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

Federal Issues

Missouri River
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 that the Corps and our Congressional delegation ensure the project remains a priority to completion. Further, the Chamber calls on the Corps of Engineers to effectively manage upstream releases to effectively control potential flooding conditions downstream.

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, the Chamber endorses the new U.S., Mexico & Canada (USMCA) trade agreement recently negotiated by the three countries. The new agreement provides beneficial updates to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Further, the Chamber expresses concern and reservations concerning the use of tariffs to address trade issues with international trading partners. The outcome of which could negatively affect local businesses and the export of agricultural products from the region.

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 a sustainable health care system, expands meaningful coverage to the uninsured, and provides stability to private sector employer health care plans. Further Congress should be aware of the potential issues associated with the financial stability of local and rural hospitals and pass legislation that better financially secures such hospitals to allow for medical access for patients outside major urban areas.

Tax Reform
Congress and the administration have passed revisions to the tax code that have created an environment that has stimulated economic growth in the country. The Chamber supports pro-growth tax reform and supports making the tax cuts permanent in the future.

Federal Support
Previously Congress utilized funding earmarks to address federal support of projects and programs at the state and local level. This was replaced about 10 years ago with federal grant programs aimed at specific types of projects like transportation. The result is smaller communities have not received funding through these grants and large urban areas have benefited. The Chamber asks that a system that is fair to both rural and urban communities be put in place that allows more direct involvement of Congress in how these funds are awarded and distributed.

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 sustainable funding plan to provide long-term financial resources necessary to improve the state’s transportation system, including Missouri highways, ports and airports.

Workforce Development
The Chamber supports greater engagement by the state in preparing Missouri’s workforce for current and future jobs. This includes more effective alignment of educational resources in the state to address a continuum of education from Pre-K through degree attainment. There should be a priority on career readiness at the high school level, STEM education in K-12 schools, focus on vocational and technical training and alignment of degree attainment to careers in Missouri.

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.

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 systems and local hospitals.

Increase Resources to Support Entrepreneurship
The Chamber supports the passage of legislation that would provide for Angel Investment Tax Credits in Missouri to encourage investment in startup companies in Missouri. Also, the state should provide funds to support co-working space throughout the state, as well as restore funding to the Missouri Technology Corporation.

Tourism Funding
With St. Joseph’s rich history and unique quality of life amenities, the St. Joseph economy benefits from tourism. The Chamber asks the Legislature to increase the state’s funding for tourism marketing, generally, and to provide additional funding to local tourism organizations in Missouri.

Sales Tax Fairness
Considering the recent U.S. Supreme court ruling, the Chamber supports legislation in the state that would ensure that sales tax is paid on online purchases collected by the state as now allowed, providing a level playing field between online retailers and local retailers. The Chamber calls on the Missouri Legislature to explore options to implement a solution in Missouri, as other states are now moving forward.

 

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
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 the need for 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 current 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 and car thefts. 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 and residential neighborhoods to form partnerships to help and support the 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.

Future Development
The Chamber calls on the City and County to work together to plan future areas for residential development that addresses such issues of infrastructure, developable land and annexation to support future community growth.

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