PUBLIC POLICY BOOKMARK
The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary organization of individuals and businesses that have joined together to advance the commercial, financial, industrial, civic, and social interest of the greater Idaho Falls area. We encourage the Legislature’s action in the following areas:
- The Chamber strongly supports adequate funding for education that is essential for the economic health and well-being of our State.
- We support cooperation between the Legislature, State Board of Education, and State Department of Education.
- Continue separate and distinct funding for delivery of collaborative postsecondary education in the Upper Snake River Valley by the Idaho Falls Education Center/Idaho Falls Higher Education Coalition (Eastern Idaho Technical College, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho.)
- Provide funding for faculty and staff salaries to offset the cost-of-living increases.
- Provide full funding for the statutory steps and lanes of the State Teacher Salary Index as required by Senate Bill 1560.
- Restore Standards Implementation Budget.
- Continue to fund technology and related support personnel.
- Continue the state funding for “Safe and Drug-Free Schools.”
- Continue funding for professional-technical high schools.
Adult Basic Education
Continue funding for Adult Basic Education to help under-prepared citizens improve their job skills and earning potential.
Health & Human Services
- The Chamber supports the study of new ideas and concepts in the health care system, which supports increased affordability and accessibility to the business community.
- The Chamber supports the transfer of $3,778,700 ($2,425.700 from General Funds and $1,353,000 from Federal Funds) for vocational and employment services for adults with disabilities from the Department of Health & Welfare to Vocational Rehabilitation, a division of the State Board of Education.
Science, Technology, and Energy
- The Chamber requests legislative support for science, technology, and energy initiatives, including research and development for reliable and economic alternative energy sources, infrastructure security, and needed technological advancements to expand the economy and increase Eastern Idaho commerce.
- The Chamber requests continued legislative support for the important role the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) and Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-W) play in scientific, technological, and energy advancements; the new nuclear research mission of the INEEL and ANL-W as part of the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, Science & Technology; and the accelerated cleanup of the DOE facilities in Idaho.
- The Chamber requests continued legislative support for minimizing water leaving Idaho for fish migration and for retention of the four lower dams in the Snake River.
-Environmental interests threaten to bring suit against the Bureau of Reclamation for operation of the Upper Snake River Reservoir System to increase flow augmentation for fish passage, regardless of water availability during drought conditions, and continue to request removal of the lower Snake River dams for fish passage. Either action would result in negative economic impacts for the state of Idaho.
-As pressure increases for alternative uses of water within and outside the state, and present water rights are challenged under the definition of beneficial use, the Chamber urges the Legislature to take actions pertinent to protecting the state’s sovereignty over management and control of the water and river systems within the state of Idaho.
The Chamber supports full funding of the Idaho Commission on the Arts to ensure that all Idahoans have the long-term economic and cultural benefits of the arts, and the opportunities to have quality experiences in the arts.
The Chamber requests active support for funding and participation on the Idaho Task Force on Public Transportation to ensure that public transportation becomes a significant component of our transportation planning. In addition, we request consideration of legislation that would positively impact public transportation in both urban and rural areas of Idaho to meet the diverse needs of Idaho’s citizens.