Legislative Issues and Elected Officials

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Federal Elected Officials

U.S. House of

Federal Issues

139th Airlift Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard

The Chamber is concerned about the recent Air Force decision leaving the 139th out of the plan to recapitalize the existing fleet of C-130H model aircraft to the newest C-130J aircraft. The Chamber believes this puts the long-term viability of the Wing in jeopardy. The proven 139th war-fighting capability and the global contributions of the Advanced Airlift Tactical Training Center are a vital component of our State and Nation’s strength and are vital to our local economy.

The Chamber therefore strongly supports:
• The immediate capitalization to C-130J model aircraft.
• The ongoing process of relocating facilities to the north end of the airport, following the Wing’s master plan, for continued mission success of the 139th Airlift Wing.

Health Care

The Chamber supports continued efforts by the administration and congress to work together to bring about reforms that provide an affordable, accessible and sustainable health care system that provides stability to private sector employer health care.

Economic Development/Energy

The Chamber supports policies that encourage investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, reliability, and enable balanced energy solutions that do not  eliminate energy options or place unreasonable economic burdens on industry, businesses, and residents.

Broadband Funding

The Chamber advocates for federal funding to assist with the expansion and improvement of broadband service in the rural areas of Northwest Missouri and  Northeast Kansas to better retain and serve residents in the rural areas with working remotely, internet medical services, and to support business growth and development.

Immigration Reform

The Chamber calls on Administration and Congress to pursue to reform existing immigration policy to provide for the appropriate legal status for immigrant workers in order to address the workforce demand of employers in the country. This should be based on established needs and refrain from enacting greater restrictions and regulations on employers.

Infrastructure Funding

The Chamber calls for support from federal and state authorities, including the Highway Commission, to prioritize and fund the entire Interstate 229 project.

State of Missouri

Missouri Senate —

Missouri House of Representatives —

State Issues

Higher Education 

The Chamber supports additional funding for Missouri’s higher education institutions, including necessary funding for maintenance of buildings and the state’s retirement system for employees. Furthermore, the Chamber supports the unique mission of Missouri Western State University as the state’s applied learning institution, as well as the implementation of a fair and adequate funding model for all Missouri universities.

Workforce Development

The Chamber asks for continued 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.

Pre-K through 12 Education

The Chamber supports maintaining the integrity of the current foundation formula, while increasing and providing appropriations for fully funding the  foundation formula, transportation formula, summer school and early childhood education. Additionally, the Chamber supports the creation and development of programs aimed at enhancing workforce development by reaching the goal of 60 percent of all students achieving a certificate or degree beyond high school. The Chamber also supports the creation and development of intervention and support programs leading to academic and attendance improvement for all school districts. Missouri ranks 50th out of 50 states for teacher pay for the second year in a row. The Chamber supports looking at ways to increase teachers’ pay in

Workforce and Childcare Funding

The Chamber supports the creation and development of programs to increase labor market participation. Identified as one of our grand challenges in the “All Things Missouri Database” as more than 30 percent of work-aged adults are not in the workforce. We call for the state to provide resources to further understand the population and develop strategies to attract more adults into employment. Additionally, the Chamber supports enhanced support for childcare funding as a workforce development necessity.

Mental Health, Substance Abuse Prevention and Public Safety Funding

The Chamber supports increasing access to quality mental health and substance abuse prevention. Focusing on this health care crisis may prevent more serious and costly problems from developing. Such measures may also help municipalities from managing crime by addressing mental health issues and reducing substance abuse while better managing the homeless population. The Chamber supports creating and developing programs to keep and attract more healthcare professionals. Some of our largest employers have indicated that health care is an essential aspect of economic development, the local healthcare system is critical to our community.

Community Revitalization Funding

To retain and grow population, the Chamber supports adequate workforce housing and neighborhood revitalization. We wish to continue to expand the Workforce Housing Tax Credits, supporting rent to own or an ownership plan, offering tax credits twice a year. Additionally, we support legislative efforts creating tax exempt bond financing linked to owner-occupied housing developments. Also, we support the creation of a fund for down payment assistance and the ability for cities to impose a semiannual registration requirement for properties vacant for six months that have municipal code violations.

Tort Reform

Missouri has been known for its unfriendly business practices when it comes to legal matters. The Chamber endorses certain reforms to the State’s tort laws to address such issues as venue shopping, statute of limitations requirements and merchandising practices laws.

Infrastructure Funding

The Chamber calls for support from the governor, Legislature, and Highway Commission to prioritize and fund Riverside Road (Route A/C) improvements including modifications of the intersection configuration at Riverside Terrace, addition of safety improvement for area employers and vendor traffic, and consideration of road widening and bridge replacement over U.S. Highway 36 on Riverside. The Chamber also calls for support to prioritize and fund U.S. Highway 36, which has been affected by Interstate 70 construction and increased traffic.

Health Care

The Chamber supports continued efforts by the administration and congress to work together to bring about reforms that provide an affordable, accessible and sustainable health care system that provides stability to private sector employer health care.

Local Officials

Buchanan County Officials
Buchanan County –

St. Joseph City Officials
St. Joseph

St. Joseph School District Officials
St. Joseph School District –

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 work with the community to engage in a dialogue to determine what the residents’ vision is for the District and what they will support. In addition, the Chamber supports initiatives that support pre-K learning, career readiness and a robust vocational and technical education program to meet workforce development needs in the community.

Downtown Development

With private sector development underway in the downtown area, the Chamber encourages the City to continue its support of redevelopment initiatives, as well as the expenditure of public capital improvement funds as necessary to encourage continued and 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 residential properties and provide
for a method of removing litter and trash from residential neighborhoods. In addition, the Chamber plans to continue its work with the business community with the Adopt-A-Block program.


St. Joseph residents and businesses continue to place a high priority on addressing crime and maintaining a safe community. Ongoing efforts have reduced crime in a number of categories. The Chamber would like to encourage continued support of the Police Department. 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.

Tourism/Meeting Facilities

The Chamber supports local tourism and the positive economic impact it has on the community. Over the years the City has continued to suffer from a lack of adequate public meeting facilities and event space. 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 the area. The City and County are asked to consider public funding and or public/private funding of meeting space, as well as recreational amenities to support tourism in St. Joseph.

Future Development

The Chamber supports creating a plan and implementing policies that encourage and facilitate looking at future areas outside of the City limits for residential and industrial development that addresses such issues as infrastructure, developable land, and annexation to support future community and business growth.


The Chamber supports initiatives to pursue development of housing stock that currently may not exist in St. Joseph which is attractive to various age groups and encourages professional segments (such as doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, etc.) of the workforce to live in St. Joseph. Such housing may include quality apartment complexes or housing developments with a full spectrum of services and amenities. The Chamber views quality and attractive housing alternatives as a support mechanism for a robust workforce development program and as an enhancer in creating a quality of life in the community. The Chamber supports the use of TIFs and other incentives to encourage developers to reach an acceptable ROI on such developments. The Chamber supports public/private initiatives to develop housing options to provide a wide array of quality, affordable housing for the employees of St. Joseph employers.

Neighborhood Revitalization

As part of the Imagine St. Joseph 2040 plan, there is a critical need to revitalize the older neighborhoods in St. Joseph. Great progress has been made with the passage of a rental inspection program, as well as the creation of a local Land Bank. The Chamber suggests the City and County support neighborhood revitalization efforts through funding to address infrastructure needs, as well as the creation of programs, such as revolving loans for property owners, policies and providing resources to support opportunities to restore and improve housing in the older, historic neighborhoods of St. Joseph.

Government Websites
U.S. President –
U.S. Senate –
U.S House –
Missouri Government –
Missouri Senate –
Missouri House –
Buchanan County –
City of St. Joseph –