Area Chambers & NCI’s 2012 North County Legislative Agenda

North County Inc. the Greater North County Chamber, the Maryland Heights Chamber and Northwest Chamber have announced their annual Legislative agenda for the North County region for 2012. Except of that agenda follow:

Economic Development

Economic Development Tax Credits. We support the protection of proven, performance-based tax credits.

Job Training. We support continued funding for job training.

Small Business and Entrepreneurial Growth. We support policies that stimulate an entrepreneurial culture and enhance the growth of small businesses. We support greater access to markets for minority and women business enterprises in the public and private sectors.

Redevelopment. We support initiatives to spur redevelopment efforts in economically distressed areas, such as tax credits for brownfield cleanup.

We support meaningful liability reform for brownfield sites to encourage their turnover to a productive use.

Sustainable Development. We support legislation that creates regional solutions and partnerships to improve neighborhoods in downward transition.

We support legislation that provides for a rebuilding and conservation of assets, while guarding against policies that cannibalize St. Louis County.

Logistics and Distribution. We support incentives and funding to enhance the region’s logistics, distribution, and transportation infrastructure capabilities, with an emphasis on international cargo and global competitiveness.

Education

Early Childhood Education. We support policies that expand access to high quality early childhood education programs, especially for at-risk children.

Funding. We support the Missouri’s Vision project that calls for Missouri’s schools to be ranked in the top 10 by 2020.

We support legislation mandating fair and accurate property assessments.

We oppose programs that would divert public funding into private institutions if it is detrimental to our public school systems.

Autonomy. We support the local autonomy of school districts.

Charter Schools. We support current charter schools using public funding be held to the same accreditation and academic standards as public school systems.

Student Placement. We support the Cooperating School District for Greater St. Louis’ critical characteristics that are needed in legislation to establish reasonable parameters for the movement of students from unaccredited districts to accredited districts.

Higher Education Funding. We support protecting core funding and stable allocations during the current budget shortfall.

We support secure funding for renovation of Benton-Stadler science complex on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus, continued renovation of science labs for St. Louis Community College, and a plan to provide capital funding for maintenance and repair of buildings and equipment for both.

We support the final equity adjustment payment be provided to the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ base budget to address long-standing, system-wide equity issues.

Healthcare

Funding. We support adequate funding of state health care programs and enhanced use of available federal funds to reduce the number of under and uninsured.

We support full, affordable and comprehensive access to health insurance, as well as informed choice of doctors, hospitals and insurance plans.

We support adequate and timely Medicaid reimbursement to providers.

We support renewal of the Federal Reimbursement Allowance (FRA). We continue to urge Congress and the State of Missouri to support the Federal Reimbursement Allowance Program to its fullest extent on behalf of the citizens of Missouri.

Other. We support certificate of need regulations that ensure a level-playing field between hospital and specialty providers.

Transportation

Funding. We support adequate Missouri transportation funding and a formula that reflects the economic strength and development needs of the St. Louis region.

We support the emphasis on maintenance of existing infrastructure.

We support maintaining St. Louis’ representation on the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

We support various forms of user fees be considered as one source of new transportation funding.

Transit. We support policies and funding for Metro that promote more effective and sustainable system operations, as well as system expansions in accordance with the Long-Range Transit Plan.

General Issues

Copper and Other Metal Theft Prevention. We support State legislation to set guidelines for the sale of scrap metal, particularly copper, to help prevent theft of such metals.

Predatory Lending & Payday Loan Operations. We support legislation that would impose stricter regulations, with penalties, on lenders who engage in unfair and deceptive lending practices.

Right to Work Status. We support the State maintaining the status quo as to workers right to organize.

Tax Structure Review and Taxation for Local Governments. We support a tax structure review due to structural deficits caused by an out-of-date revenue system.

Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. We support the concept of the collection of electronic sales tax for online and remote sales purchases.

Emergency Cell Phone Fee. We support legislation to authorize a county-by-county vote for a cellular phone fee to fund enhanced 911 mobile services.

Oversight. We call for all legislation to clearly define expected measurable outcomes and accountability measures with built in oversight and transparency.



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