The goal of our Advocacy & Public Policy strategic focus area is to “be the voice on local, state and national issues that positively or adversely affect our members and the region.” Taking our previous policy positions and listening to our members through a survey conducted each year, we develop and release our legislative priorities for the following year. Our 2021 Legislative Agenda addresses our key public policy and legislative priorities and outlines our 2020 legislative wins.
Public Policy Priorities
Support swift completion of Interstate 69 in Indiana between the Kentucky/Indiana state line on the southern border and Indianapolis on the northern border; completion to include new Ohio River bridge.
Support a regulatory environment and funding streams that enable the movement of people, products and information around our region and around the world; from increased broadband accessibility and capacity to expanded services at Evansville Regional Airport (EVV), to water and sewer piping and all the other investments that make the economy flow.
FORTIFY OUR TALENT
Support local and state efforts designed to grow our talent pool, enhance the skills of our workforce, and to align our state’s talent base with the needs of employers in a system that values the spectrum of educational options from vocational education to professional degrees.
ELEVATE REGIONAL SUCCESS
Support policies and projects designed to stimulate and leverage public and private investment as part of a regionally-driven plan to make our communities even more livable and attractive, with the ultimate goal of growing out of the pandemic with a strong workforce.
STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY HEALTH
Support policies and programs designed to improve the physical and mental health and overall wellness of our workforce, including: reducing tobacco use, addressing the drug epidemic; ensuring access to affordable, high-quality care; supporting walkability initiatives; etc.
EMBRACE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Keep the value of diversity, inclusion, and equity at the core of all of our efforts, embracing protections for vulnerable members of our community and working to eliminate legislation and regulations that have a more significant impact on minority populations.
- Change policies and grow funding to ensure strong broadband options are available throughout our region to allow businesses to thrive and create opportunities for equal success no matter where a business is located or where a customer, worker, or student may live.
- Establish legislation that shields employers who follow public health guidelines to protect employees & onsite customers from COVID-19 exposure.
- Leverage federal resources to support Hoosier businesses, workers, and families to stabilize today and create better opportunities tomorrow.
- Use pandemic learnings to create more sensible, efficient and accountable government structures and processes that provide basic protections for Hoosiers and fuel future growth.
STRENGTHEN OUR WORKFORCE
- Create programs and incentives designed to attract more people to choose Indiana as a place to live and work.
- Encourage policies that support lifelong learning and increase the educational attainment level of Hoosiers across the state.
- Support efforts at the state and local level to decrease and ultimately eliminate the drug epidemic seen throughout Indiana.
- Support increasing the cigarette tax as an effort to decrease smoking rates, lower healthcare costs, and improve the health of Indiana’s workforce.
ENSURE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE
- Support efforts to increase transparency of healthcare cost drivers and create opportunities to reduce costs for employers and employees while protecting and enhancing the quality of care provided to Hoosiers.
- Support policies that encourage regional planning and provide funding to catalyze quality of place and talent attraction projects while maintaining a regional collaboration model that cultivates high quality communities across Indiana.
INVEST IN EDUCATION
- Support levels of funding for education from PreK to K-12 to Higher Ed to implement and maintain programs that support future employment needs, attract high quality educators to lead classrooms, and maximize resource allocation through high-functioning systems.