Chamber Pushing For Healthier Indiana

Posted: Updated:
Legislative leaders previewed the session at Monday's annual Chamber Luncheon. Legislative leaders previewed the session at Monday's annual Chamber Luncheon.
INDIANAPOLIS -

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce says much of its focus for next year's legislative session will be pushing measures that improve the state's health. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Brinegar says smoking costs Indiana businesses more than $6 billion per year in higher healthcare costs, lost productivity and absenteeism. The chamber is again supporting a cigarette tax increase of $2 per pack and raising the legal smoking age to 21. Brinegar says, while the opioid epidemic is getting a lot of nationwide attention, tobacco is a "far greater problem" when it comes to public health and business impact in Indiana.

During an interview with Inside INdiana Business reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Brinegar also outlined the chamber's stance on medical marijuana. He says until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves marijuana for a valid medical purpose, the chamber will remain opposed. Brinegar also says that chamber and business leaders from states where it is legal have told him that, in many cases, workplace injuries increase and productivity goes down.

The chamber has already spoken out in favor of bias/hate crime legislation. Brinegar has said such a statue is "not only the right thing to do, it is also important to helping our employers recruit and retain talented employees." During today's Legislative Preview Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) said legislation allowing for longer sentences for hate crimes could and should pass both houses.

The chamber is also supporting legislation to move up the year that the state school superintendent will become an appointed, rather than elected position. The change is currently sent for 2025, but Brinegar says there is an argument to make the transition earlier since current Superintendent Jennifer McCormick has announced she is not running again.

Brinegar is also pushing more support for Governor Eric Holcomb's Next Level plans as well as continued evaluation of the state's workforce development program.

You can see the chamber's full list of priorities by clicking here.

  • Perspectives

    • What Do Customers Really Think of You?

      Ask a business owner how her customers think about the services they receive or the products they use, and you’ll hear comments like "they love us." But when a third party asks those customers the same question, the results can be eye-opening. I recently shared the story about developing a customer profile for a professional services firm that was eager to grow but lacked useful marketing intelligence about the business it was already handling. We helped them...

    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

    • Scotty's Brewhouse Files For Bankruptcy

      Indianapolis-based Scotty's Brewhouse has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company says the decision was "driven largely by the challenges of some specific locations and was necessary because of the way the company was structured corporately." As a result of the deal, Scotty's will close four of its restaurants by the end of the year. In a news release provided to Inside INdiana Business...

    • Indy Chamber Unveils Legislative Priorities

      The Indy Chamber has released its legislative agenda ahead of the 2019 Indiana General Assembly. Priorities include early childhood education, hate crimes legislation and an increase to the state's cigarette tax.

    • Shelbyville to Debut Giant Sculpture

      Officials in Shelbyville will this evening unveil a new art installation in the city's downtown. The city says the four-story, $150,000 sculpture known as Blue River - Wind, Rain and Water anchors its ongoing commitment to public art.

    • Dept. of Labor Honors Eleven Fifty

      Fishers-based Eleven Fifty Academy says it is the first in Indiana and one of just a few in the nation to be recognized by the U.S. Department of labor as a registered software development apprenticeship program. The department is taking part in a ceremonial signing with the academy this morning at Eleven Fifty's headquarters in Launch Fishers. Founder Scott Jones says, with tens of thousands of tech jobs available in Indiana, the designation shows Eleven Fifty is...

    • Indy Airport to Introduce New Airline

      Indianapolis International Airport will today host an event to welcome a new airline. Airport officials say the provider will add more routes to IND's growing roster of options. Earlier this month, the airport reported record-breaking traffic in the third quarter. IND said the more than 2.4 million passengers that passed through the airport in the third quarter of 2018 marked an 8 percent year-to-date increase over last year and the best third quarter in the facility's history.