INDIANAPOLIS (WEHT) – The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has announced its top legislative priorities for 2020.
The chamber has emphasized the need for state lawmakers to pass legislation to decrease the smoking rate for Hoosiers and get vaping products out of the hands of young people.
The business organization is also promoting talent attraction efforts and development of a state energy plan.
These priorities were among those unveiled on Monday at the Indiana Chamber’s annual legislative preview in Indianapolis.
Between 2012 and 2018, vaping usage among high school students increased 387% and nearly as much among middle school students.
Smoking costs Hoosier businesses more than six billion dollars in annual productivity losses and increased healthcare costs.
A couple of the chamber’s objectives for 2020 centers around economic development and talent attraction. They say the state has more job openings than job seekers and the state’s talent pool isn’t growing quickly enough.
Another target area is boosting regional economies, siting employers surveyed said applicants weren’t attracted to the community where the company was located.
The entire list of Indiana Chamber top legislative priorities:
- Addressing the vaping dangers and reducing the state’s smoking rate by increasing the legal purchase age on both from 18 to 21, as well as instituting a tax on vaping products and increased tax on cigarettes
- More transparency in health care costs and lessening the incidence of “surprise billing”
- Unemployment insurance tax liability certainty for employers while also ensuring fund solvency
- Reducing or eliminating unnecessary professional licensing requirements that can hinder talent attraction
- Create regional management authorities across the state to boost quality of place funding to make local communities and economies more vibrant
- Development and implementation of a diversified energy policy that ensures the state’s continued access to adequate, reliable, affordable and cost-effective energy
- Strengthening Indiana’s high school accountability system to provide greater transparency and comparability for parents and more meaningful outcomes for students
- Requiring Indiana high school seniors to complete the FAFSA – with an opt-out option – so more receive financial aid and pursue credentials and degrees
- Significant investment in Indiana’s water infrastructure and prudent planning for the future
A detailed rundown of the Indiana Chamber’s 2020 key legislative initiatives (priorities and additional areas of focus) can be found here.
(This story was originally published on Nov. 18, 2019)