Tech leaders throughout the state hope a new Indiana Chamber of Commerce initiative will help bridge the gap between businesses and the Statehouse. Fishers-based CloudOne Inc. Chief Executive Officer John McDonald says tech execs are more focused on growing their businesses more than public policy, but says the controversy surrounding RFRA "shows us that that isn’t a good policy." The Chamber says the Indiana Technology and Innovation Council, which meets for the first time today, will also help state legislators better understand the tech industry’s impact on the present and future economy.
The Chamber first announced the council in June. At the time, Vice President of Engagement and Innovation Policy Mark Lawrance said the group would take a "big tent approach" to lobbying efforts on issues including business climate, entrepreneurship and capital formation. It is made up of representatives from the Indiana Chamber and its member companies.
The Indiana Technology & Innovation Council is made up of two committees. The Tech Policy Committee focuses on lobbying efforts at the Statehouse, while the Program and Trends Committee will work with business organizations throughout Indiana to develop a statewide platform.
The council aims to provide Indiana companies with an avenue to communicate with state legislators. For his part, McDonald says he does not want the state to put what he believes are hurdles in the way of growth, such as "social issues (that) impede on our ability to hire people" and additional taxes.
Lawrance says the council will serve companies throughout many industries, saying it will work with not just tech-centered companies, but tech-enabled companies. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday morning at 9:45 at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.