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Advocacy

One of the benefits of being a member of the Chamber is we work hard to ensure our legislators know what our position is on issues that impact local businesses and our community.  Your local Chamber operates as an independent 501c6 organization. So although you may hear about the Missouri and US Chambers taking a position on an issue, we may or may not agree with their position.  Also, your local Chamber does not endorse any political party or candidate.

Issue for Chamber Consideration

Being an organization with a small staff, it is difficult for us to keep up-to-date with all of the issues that impact our members. If you know of an issue that could affect business and you think the Chamber should consider taking an official position on the issue, click here to fill out the online form and submit it for consideration. The issue will then be sent to our Public Policy Committee to review.  If the issue is not part of our current legislative agenda, a recommendation from the committee will be sent to the board which will vote on whether to support, oppose, or take no action.

NOTE:  Anyone wanting to speak or present on an issue or initiative at the Chamber's Public Policy Committee will be asked to fill out this form.

Transportation & Infrastructure

Having up-to-date transportation systems in place is a vital piece of economic development as well as a key component to the quality of life of St. Charles County residents. The St. Charles Regional Chamber believes transportation and infrastructure are vital to the region’s economic growth. Our region’s transportation system provides critical connections between residents, job centers, schools, emergency services, and other vital resources and amenities.

  • Support sustainable funding for a comprehensive transportation system
    Missouri’s highway system is the 7th largest in the U.S. with more than 33,000 miles of state highways and more than 10,000 bridges, yet in 2013 Missouri ranked 41st in revenue per highway mile in funding it’s system. As more electric and fuel-efficient cars are purchased, the need for fuel decreases, which will continue to decrease the revenue received through the motor fuel tax. We cannot maintain and build a 21st century surface transportation system through outdated funding methods and support and encourage legislators to look at various sources. Adequate funds must be available for the maintenance and improvement of the state’s transportation system. Investment in transportation improvements is a major economic engine that drives job creation, personal income and adds value to Missouri’s economy. The Chamber supports the creation of a sustainable transportation funding plan.
  • Bike / Pedestrian
    As residents continue to seek a healthy lifestyle and various transportation options and companies seek a good quality of life for their employees, we cannot ignore the need for trail / multi-use path options for individuals who want to walk or bike safely. We encourage transportation officials and legislators to consider including funding for these when making improvements or constructing new highways and roads.
  • Public Transportation
    As St. Charles County continues to grow, unemployment rates remain low, and our senior population increases, there is a need for a more reliable source of public transit. Additionally, studies have shown that millennials like having transportation options. We support and encourage action and funding to increase the availability of a public transportation throughout St. Charles County and the region keeping in mind how autonomous vehicles and busses impact any potential system.
  • Public transportation is both a workforce and economic development tool in our communities statewide.
    We must adequately fund and modernize public transit systems so that they are more accessible and efficient for residents and visitors alike.
     

Other Infrastructure

  • Increase funding for broadband
    More than 1.2 million Missourians do not have access to high-speed internet. Increased funding is needed to expand broadband access across the state. Broadband access is critical to ensure Missouri remains competitive in a 21st century economy.

Education & Workforce Development

A well-educated and capable workforce is imperative to Missouri’s economic success. The St. Charles Regional Chamber supports a broad-spectrum approach to educating and training Missouri’s students and workers. STEAM programming, virtual classrooms, rigorous academic standards that meet employer needs, curbing the need for remediation in post-secondary education and the workforce, striving to include business leaders in the classroom, worker training and certification programs are important tools for Missouri.

  • STEAM
    STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century! The Chamber supports the efforts of local school districts and legislators to fund and support STEAM initiatives.
  • Certified Work Ready Community
    Post-secondary education isn’t for everyone; however, employers need to know that employees are being placed in jobs that match their skill set. The Chamber supports regional efforts to make St. Charles County a Certified Work Ready County.
  • Adequately support all levels of education
    The St. Charles Regional Chamber supports efforts to provide every Missouri child with access to a top-notch education and workforce training. We support efforts to adequately fund all levels of education from Pre-K through 12 to post-secondary. We support the full funding and allocation of resources for innovative programs and those with a proven track record of success, including adequate broadband internet access for all Missouri students. We believe that well-educated, competent and capable students are the key to Missouri’s long- term economic health and competitiveness. The St. Charles Regional Chamber supports engaging businesses in the process of educating and training Missouri’s students.
  • Increase funding for higher education
    Well-educated, competent and capable students are the key to Missouri’s long-term economic health and competitiveness. Therefore, we oppose cuts to higher education and support increasing funding levels to postsecondary institutions, including community colleges and universities.
  • A strong education system is key to Missouri’s long-term economic health and competitiveness.
    We support efforts to adequately fund all levels of education, from elementary to higher education. Additionally, we should increase funding and accessibility of student scholarship programs, like the A+ program.
  • Support efforts to expand, fund and incentivize alternative career training pathways, including apprenticeships, internships, externships and other on-the-job training programs
    A well-prepared workforce is imperative to Missouri’s economic success. This requires raising early awareness of and opportunities for alternative career training pathways, including workplace-based training programs that can closely align training with the specific needs of an occupation or industry. Job-training funding aids in the attraction of new business and the expansion and retention of existing businesses.
  • We support a broad-spectrum approach to upskilling and right-skilling our state’s workforce to address labor shortages and help businesses’ growth.
    This includes adequately funding our existing workforce development programs, like Fast Track and Missouri One Start job training, and advocating for new policies that are responsive and flexible to businesses’ needs for skilled workers today while anticipating employment needs of the future.
  • Maintain and grow our workforce, while taking steps to retain our existing talent, including incentives for workers in high-demand fields such as technology.
  • Childcare is a pivotal workforce development issue.
    Missouri should increase the accessibility and availability of high quality childcare for working parents.

Economic Development

  • Encourage entrepreneurial and small business development
    We support initiatives and programs that enhance entrepreneurial growth by increasing access to investors that provide for the crucial need for seed and early stage venture capital in Missouri companies.
  • Support for Right To Work
    The Chamber supports Right To Work.  Every one of Missouri’s neighbor states, except Illinois, have already passed Freedom to Work protections. If Missouri joins the 27 other states in the U.S. that have enacted this law, we can finally compete on a level playing field for jobs and business investment. Also, site selectors turn a blind eye to Missouri and other states that mandate union membership. When Gallup interviewed national site selectors, they learned Missouri is losing a staggering 40 percent of potential company relocation and expansion opportunities because we don’t have Freedom to Work.
  • Increase tourism funding
    State investment in tourism supports economic growth, job creation and tax revenue. We support increasing funding of tourism promotion and other tourism-related programs as it would positively impact many communities across the state.
  • Invest in entrepreneurship
    Enhancing the ability of entrepreneurs and small businesses to create their businesses and products while providing incentives to investors is a pathway to securing Missouri’s future as a hub for innovation and technology. Restoring funding for the Missouri Technology Corp. (MTC) is one potential policy option that could support this effort.
  • We support comprehensive efforts to maximize Missouri’s position as an emerging technology hub.
    By enacting innovative policies and increasing investment, our state can grow its global tech and innovation footprint.
  • Economic development is predicated on public safety.
    We support our law enforcement officers and first responders and believe Missouri should adequately invest in public safety departments and programs. This will help keep our communities safe.
  • Small businesses are the backbone of our economy.
    Therefore, Missouri should increase access to funding and other resources for small businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs to help them confidently start, grow, expand, or recover.

Business Climate

  • The State should protect businesses and schools from expensive COVID-19 related lawsuits if they reopen safely, following government guidance.
    The State should provide safe harbors from liability for manufacturers that have produced Personal Protective Equipment and health care workers treating patients during the covid-19 emergency.
  • Adopt a framework for collection of sales tax from out-of-state sellers.
    Missouri should adopt a law to require the collection of sales tax for online and other transactions involving out-of-state sellers without a physical presence. Missouri is one of the few states to not pass legislation in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Wayfair ruling.
  • Protect small businesses and Missouri jobs from the impact of burdensome and costly regulations

Taxation & Fiscal Policy

  • Adopt a framework for collection of sales tax from out-of-state sellers.
    Missouri should adopt a law to require the collection of sales tax for online and other transactions involving out-of-state-vendors without a physical presence but should not pass a tax cut offset. Missouri needs to understand how much revenue is collected before we decide what to do with it.

Other

  • Support the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA)
    The Missouri Nondiscrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace by extending the existing Missouri Human Rights Statute to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and allied people. We believe its passage encourages diversity and will attract business to Missouri.
  • Preserve communities of interest when drawing state legislative districts.
    Communities of interest are groups of individuals who are likely to have similar legislative concerns and would benefit from common representation. We support keeping communities of interest whole in redistricting processes.
  • Create a statewide prescription drug monitoring program.
    A prescription drug monitoring program would reduce drug abuse and diversion and help drive down costs associated with prescription drug abuse for employers. Missouri remains the only state in the nation that has not passed this type of legislation.
  • We support our law enforcement and first responders who keep our communities safe.
    Dialogue and action on social issues must continue and individuals and businesses having those conversations and carrying on their enterprises must be able to do so safely.
  • We support efforts to overhaul Missouri’s initiative petition process as it affects voters statewide.
    The sharp increase in the number of initiative petitions filed coupled with confusingly worded ballot language on very complex constitutional proposed changes underscores the need to reform the process.
  • Our state’s robust military community is a large asset.
    We should remove barriers to retention of our honorable military members and their families so that they make Missouri their permanent home to both work and live.