Quad Cities Chamber announces 2013 legislative priorities


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Posted Online: Jan. 08, 2013, 7:24 pm
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A business-friendly climate, investment in infrastructure and support for economic growth top the list of issues the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce said it will push with legislators in 2013.

"We've met with hundreds of area business leaders and economic development professionals in the past year, and the legislative priorities we've set forth are those that business leaders believe will facilitate job creation and strengthen the business environment in our bi-state region," chamber CEO Tara Barney said.

The chamber wants Congress and the administration to adopt policies to spur economic growth and to avoid sequestration, support advanced manufacturing initiatives, invest in transportation and bolster the growing local defense industry.

"The Rock Island Arsenal provides approximately 8,000 jobs, with an additional 6,000 defense-related jobs off the island," said chamber executive Vice President Paul Rumler. "The defense industry in the Quad-Cities is significant not only to our local economy but to our national security."

The chamber is urging Illinois lawmakers to stabilize the state budget by tackling pension reform and focusing spending on initiatives that produce the greatest return in terms of job creation and private investment.

Business leaders want legislators to maintain and expand economic development incentives, support the state's defense industry and complete capital improvements on the Interstate 74 and John Deere Road corridor, Chicago/Quad-Cities Passenger Rail and WIU-QC's Phase 2 and 3 plans.

"Most importantly, we hope our legislators acknowledge that current public employee pension systems are unsustainable and must be restructured to curb excessive long-term costs to residential and commercial taxpayers," Ms. Barney said.

The chamber is asking Iowa lawmakers to maintain the state's balanced budget, grow Iowa's economy by reducing the commercial and industrial property tax burden, reform public employee pensions, do tax reform,maintain and expand economic development incentives, bolster workforce initiatives and invest in transportation and infrastructure to promote balanced growth in border communities.

The chamber said it will continue to work with city and county governments to advance economic growth and expand the local tax base. In 2012, there were 132 ribbon cuttings representing $157,784,000 in new business investment.

In 2012, the chamber said in Illinois, it advocated for Medicaid reform, extension of Enterprise Zones, the Illinois Capital Plan Renewal, procurement reform and the Hiring Veterans Tax Credit, all of which were passed. Comprehensive pension reform and workers' comprehensive reform also were priorities but did not pass. They are on the docket for 2013.

In Iowa, the chamber advocated to expand and maintain economic development incentives and tools, for commercial and industrial property tax reform, to support education and workforce development and for increased awareness of the region's defense industry. All made strides in 2012 but commercial and industrial property tax relief, which remains a top priority for 2013.

The chamber is hosting an Illinois legislative forum on Jan. 18 and monthly Iowa legislative luncheons on the third Friday in January, February and March. On Jan. 23, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will give a State of the State address in Davenport.

The chamber will host its annual Quad Cities Day in Des Moines on Feb. 6-7 and Springfield on March 19-20. It will take an annual trip to Washington, D.C., with local business and civic leaders Feb. 27 through March 1.

For more information, visit QuadCitiesChamber.com/government-affairs.






















 



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  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.






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