PUBLIC POLICY BOOKMARK
Legislative Priorities 2013
The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce seeks to advance the commercial, financial, industrial, civic and social interests of our community. These are the building blocks of a vigorous economy that will benefit all Idahoans. For these reasons, our Chamber recommends the following legislative action:
Support the complete, phased-in repeal of the Personal Property Tax, and a pragmatic revenue replacement plan for local communities that is based on current statewide economic data and allows for a streamlined administration process for businesses.
Authorize communities to implement local option taxes that are flexible enough for multiple uses.
Preserve Urban Renewal as the chief economic development tool for Idaho’s municipalities, and oppose legislation that further restricts Urban Renewal Law or Tax Increment Financing.
Implement an Idaho-based Health Insurance Exchange, following an open dialog process, that adequately represents business and individual interests, and which includes the option of regional compacts allowing for the purchase of insurance across state lines.
Science, Technology & Energy
Enact and enthusiastically support the LINE Commission recommendations.
Give school boards and superintendents the local control needed to effectively govern their districts and maximize student achievement.
- Create, expand or fund economic tools (i.e. the Idaho Opportunity Fund) to enhance the Department of Commerce’s ability to partner with municipalities on expansion of existing businesses and recruitment of new Idaho businesses.
- Simplify the existing Hire One Act that is set to expire on December 31, 2013 to make it more business-friendly.
- Support Idaho’s participation in nationwide efforts to adopt simple and uniform sales and use tax system for Internet purchases.
- Develop and implement a plan to restore mental health funding cuts lost between FY09 and FY12 and ensure the Department of Health and Welfare emphasizes providing preventive care services for the mentally ill to avoid incurring the higher costs of institutionalization, hospitalization, or incarceration.
- Establish a task force to examine ways the state can partner with the U.S. Veterans Administration to dramatically improve health care coverage, increase access and reduce claim times for Idaho veterans.
Science, Technology & Energy
- Expand the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) to include participation with interested and willing public/private investors from Idaho and surrounding states.
- Encourage regional transmission line extensions and connections to meet energy needs and to and ensure power delivery to both public and investor owned utilities.
- Promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education opportunities to foster a skilled and competitive workforce and promote an informed citizenry.
- Establish an industry-driven Idaho Nuclear Energy Commission to identify the current strengths and deficiencies present in the state as they relate to the state’s ability to support new and existing nuclear energy related businesses.
- Fund integrated classroom technology and infrastructure.
- Amend Dual Credit for Early Completers funding statute 33-1626 to include all high school students who are on track for graduation as well as those who meet higher education requirements as part of an effort to increase Idaho's "Go On" rate.
- Increase funding of the professional technical education system for job training to help Idahoans retrain and/or upgrade their skills.