Indy Chamber Details Legislative Agenda, Elects Leadership

Posted: Updated:
Connie Bond Stuart will serve as chair of the chamber's board of directors for 2018. Connie Bond Stuart will serve as chair of the chamber's board of directors for 2018.
INDIANAPOLIS -

The Indy Chamber has released its agenda for the next session of the Indiana General Assembly. At its annual membership meeting Tuesday, the chamber detailed its legislative priorities for 2018, which include a continued expansion of affordable pre-k for low-income families and an increase in the state's cigarette tax.

The chamber's agenda is titled "Indy: Open for Business." President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Huber says Indianapolis has a competitive business climate, but it can always do better. "To be ‘Open for Business,’ we have to be open for talent – welcoming a diverse workforce with protection from discrimination, investing in education from preschool through adult vocational training, and elevating ‘livability’ as an economic issue."  

The chamber provided some of its priorities for 2018, including:

  • Creating an inclusive climate for a diverse workforce, through a statewide anti-discrimination law that encompasses sexual orientation and gender identity, bias crime penalties and restoring in-state tuition and financial aid for foreign-born graduates of Indiana’s K-12 system;
  • Reforming the distribution of local tax revenues to reflect a regional workforce and support regional growth by allowing equitable investment in infrastructure and other public services;
  • Creating a healthier, more productive workforce – and reducing healthcare costs – by raising the state cigarette tax (using the proceeds to tackle pressing public health issues), raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, and allowing employers to screen prospective workers for tobacco use;
  • Exploring regulatory reductions, state grants and tax incentives to encourage new development on brownfield sites – vacant or unused properties, often former industrial facilities with environmental issues.

Additionally, the chamber says it will continue to "advocate for local government flexibility on tax and budgetary policies, streamlining of township government, support for local transportation priorities and public transit options, and non-partisan redistricting reform."

The chamber also elected new leadership for its board of directors. Connie Bond Stuart, regional president of southern and central Indiana for PNC Bank will serve as chair for 2018, while Lisa Schlehuber with Elements Financial will serve as vice-chair. Rafael Sanchez, CEO of Indianapolis Power & Light Co., has been elected treasurer and Jim Birge with law firm Faegre Baker Daniels will serve as secretary.

"The Indy Chamber is rethinking economic development, focusing on today’s opportunities and tomorrow’s challenges,” said Stuart. "We’re pushing specific policies – supporting microloans for small businesses, applying the state sales tax exemption to software companies – that will pay dividends quickly. We’re also pursuing a longer-term agenda for upward mobility and growth, which includes making pre-K more accessible and affordable for underserved residents."

The chamber also named currently board chair Brian Sullivan "Life Director" and he will continue his service on the board.

  • Perspectives

    • #MeToo, Bullying And What We All Can Do Now

      Indeed, it is an interesting time with so much continuing to come out in Hollywood, the media, other industries, and even our state government related to the sexual harassment of women - women who have remained silent for years. Like those women, I too have been harassed in various ways over the course of my career, even in recent years - and yes, even in top leadership roles. The headline about my departure or the email citing that I was moving on never fully told the real story.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Maggie Galloway accepted the top prize for Inscope Medical. (Picture Courtesy: inX3)

      Organizers Cancel INX Event

      A multi-day event celebrating Indiana innovation that debuted last year will not return this year. In a joint release, INX organizer inXInnovate LTD and the Venture Club of Indiana say INX, originally scheduled for September 18-19 in Indianapolis, has been canceled. The groups cite "unforeseen circumstances" for the cancellation. Last year's event, which took place at The Union 525 in downtown Indianapolis, featured events including the Venture Club's...

    • Elkhart Industries 'Beyond Just The RV Market'

      While Elkhart County is known as the Recreational Vehicle Capital of the World, companies in more diversified sectors are also enjoying significant growth. "I think (the economy) is a little stronger than people might realize and it's beyond just the RV market," Welch Packaging Chief Executive Officer Scott Welch said during an Elkhart Town Hall edition of Inside INdiana Business With Gerry Dick. His company manufactures custom corrugated boxes and he was joined by...

    • Salesforce Begins Pathfinder, Reorganization Efforts

      Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) is underway with the first cohort of its Pathfinder Training Program that is part of the tech giant's ongoing Indianapolis growth. The company is partnering with Deloitte to provide business and technical training to Ivy Tech Community College students and Hoosier veterans looking to become Salesforce administrators and developers. The program comes as the company realigns its Marketing Cloud organization. In a statement, Salesforce says it...

    • Ed Gebhart

      Fadness Appoints Gebhart Chief of Police

      Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness has appointed Assistant Chief Ed Gebhart to chief of police for the city of Fishers. He has been with Fishers Police Department since 2000. Gebhart has held several ranks during his tenure including patrol officer, field training officer, background investigator, sergeant, director of training, patrol commander, followed by his most recent role as assistant chief in 2016. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.

    • Fort Wayne Radio Icon Butcher Passes Away

      A fixture in the Fort Wayne radio scene has passed away. Charly Butcher spent more than 30 years in Fort Wayne radio with a successful morning show on WMEE-FM and, most recently, as host of "Fort Wayne's Morning News" on WOWO radio. Butcher was 61. Butcher was part of WMEE's popular "Those Two Guys In The Morning" show with Tony Richards in the 1980s. He joined WOWO in the mid-2000s as host of "Fort Wayne's Morning News With Charly Butcher."