Happy New Year!
I don't know about you, but for me and many folks that I encounter, 2016 just flew by. For many, it was a good year, and if that is true for you, I am sure there is more to be accomplished. That always seems to be the case.
With one major 2016 event behind us, the elections, we can now start to plan and ideally be proactive in our approach to how we want our governmental policies to look. The one place where we probably have more influence, and feel the biggest impact from, is in Des Moines.
The 2017 Iowa Legislature starts on January 9th. If you were at our Fall conference in Orange City (a fantastic gathering by the way), you heard about the Iowa Chamber Alliance and how that group and ICCE can collaborate and lobby on mutually beneficial issues that have meaning in our communities.
In case you missed a recent release, here are some of their 2017 legislative priorities for Iowa:
- Reform, reduce and simplify Iowa's income taxes for businesses and individuals, as a means to better market Iowa as a destination for job creating investments
- Provide a uniform landscape for Iowa's minimum wage and employee benefits, promoting a universal state-wide minimum wage versus a jig saw puzzle approach of local municipalities implementing wage changes
- Maintain Iowa's commitment to economic development incentives and programs.
In workforce development and education; develop strategies to attract and retain talent in the state; develop appropriate programs and training opportunities for workers; providing Iowa's future workforce with a quality education, meeting local community business needs
- Have reasonable and predictable regulations
- Policies that promote significant issues related to our roads, bridges, and other infrastructures, to include the role of broadband in state-wide economic development
You can go to the Iowa Chamber Alliance website for a full listing of their legislative agenda initiatives.
Here's the bottom line. I bet that you can find something or many things for your chamber to promote on their legislative agenda that can and will benefit your own local community. If so, you and your board should talking to your own elected state officials on issues that you feel strongly about.
One result we hope will come out from our legislative collaboration is a regular update which we can forward to you on ICA's agenda as the Legislature continues its deliberations.
Have a great new year. Make one of your resolutions to be as active as you can with the opportunities that ICCE presents to you for your own professional development. If you do, 2017 will be a terrific new year! Oh, don't forget our scholarship opportunities too!
Tim Coffey, M.A., IOM