Indiana Chamber announces top legislative priorities for 2019

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The Indiana Chamber of Commerce wants the state Legislature to take the next steps in skilling up the workforce and fast track a water plan for the state.

Those priorities were announced Monday at the Indiana Chamber’s annual legislative preview in Indianapolis, where General Assembly leaders took part in a panel discussion looking ahead to the 2019 session.

The most pressing issue is having unfilled jobs and getting qualified workers to fill those spots.

Next week, the Indiana Chamber will have two workforce-related announcements: annual employer workforce survey findings and the formation of the Institute of Workforce Excellence.

The Indiana Chamber has also been focused on the state’s water supply, which included a comprehensive 2014 study.

The organization also stressed the need to decrease the smoking rate of Hoosiers – through a two dollar per pack cigarette tax hike and increasing the smoking age to 21.

Additionally, the Indiana Chamber wants to see more effort to get broadband into more rural communities and the effective date moved up for making the state superintendent an appointed position.

A full look at the Indiana Chamber’s top legislative priorities:

– Additional workforce development funding to expand on the initial efforts of the Next Level initiatives 
– Further evaluation of the state’s various education and workforce programs, with prioritization on training for the current job market
– Significant investment in Indiana’s water infrastructure and prudent planning for future needs
– Decreasing the state’s smoking rate through raising the cigarette tax and the legal age limit for smoking and purchasing cigarettes 
– Adopting a meaningful bias crimes statute, with the overriding goal being to remove Indiana from the short list of states without one
– Requiring the completion of at least one career-technical education credit as a high school diploma requirement beginning with the class of 2023
– Maintaining and enhancing our attractive tax climate, with particular attention on reducing government reliance on business personal property tax and thus lessening the burden to businesses
– Oppose the legalization of medical marijuana (as well as recreational) 
– Increased investment/efforts to deploy broadband in rural parts of the state
– Transparency in asbestos trust claims so it’s known if a claimant has already been awarded money from a trust before a monetary judgment for the same health issue is made against the business 
– Moving up the effective date for making the state superintendent of public instruction an appointed position to 2021

A detailed rundown of the Indiana Chamber’s 2019 key legislative initiatives is available at: Indiana Chamber Priorities

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(This story was originally published on November 19, 2018)

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