PUBLIC POLICY BOOKMARK
The goal of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce is to advance the commercial, financial, industrial, civic and social interests of our community. The Chamber recognizes the importance of each of these aspects in creating a balance and quality of life for those in Eastern Idaho. The entire state of Idaho depends on the strength of each region to contribute to a vigorous economy, quality educational opportunities, and the health and well-being of all Idahoans. For these reasons, the Chamber supports the following issues and actions:
- The Chamber supports the water rights agreement between the Nez Perce Tribe and the state of Idaho and asks the Legislature to join Congress in approving the agreement.
- The Chamber encourages the Legislature to establish and support Snake River Plain Aquifer recharge sites as identified by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Idaho Department of Water Resources.
Science, Technology, Energy and Environment
- The Chamber thanks the Legislature for its history of supporting the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). We ask the Legislature to pass a resolution to Congress in support of the INL’s role as the nation’s lead laboratory for nuclear energy, consolidating the remote power generating program and processes at the INL, and continuing the significant accelerated cleanup work now being performed that positions the INL for future missions.
- The Chamber asks the Legislature to support science, technology, energy and environmental initiatives, including research and development of reliable and economic energy sources of all kinds.
- The Chamber supports the Governor’s proposed financial incentives to attract high-tech companies to relocate and start up in Idaho, and supports the Governor’s Advisory Council for Science and Technology and its efforts to attract new business to Idaho and expand high-tech industry within the state.
- The Chamber supports the Governor’s call for an additional $375,000 to support science and technology initiatives and to coordinate efforts to attract new federal research dollars to Idaho.
K-12 Education: The Chamber believes that excellent public education promotes a robust economy and asks the Legislature to provide the tools necessary for schools and educators to do this job well. To accomplish this, the Chamber supports full funding for:
- Remediation programs required by the State Board related to No Child Left Behind.
- Statutory steps and lanes of the State Teacher Salary Index as required by Senate Bill 1560.
Higher Education: The Chamber believes that the availability of quality higher education is vital to stability and growth of the economy and asks the Legislature to provide for the infrastructure and program needs of the Eastern Idaho Technical College and University Place in Idaho Falls. Accordingly, the Chamber asks the Legislature to:
- Fully fund the Division of Professional-Technical Education’s capacity building enhancement request.
- Support the Governor’s budget request for higher education including funding that supports collaboration at Idaho’s three multi-institution post-secondary education centers, including the Idaho Falls Education Center/Idaho Falls Higher Education Coalition (University Place in Idaho Falls).
- Provide for occupancy costs, enrollment workload adjustment and deferred maintenance.
Health and Human Services
- The Chamber supports the Governor’s proposed increase of $276,300 for home- and community-based health services.
- The Chamber supports the concept that a higher percentage of revenues collected from the increase in the cigarette tax (2003 HB 264a) should be used to fund public health care programs.
Tax Incentives for Business Relocation and Expansion
The Chamber supports the use of tax and other incentives to attract and expand business in Idaho and asks the Legislature to be cognizant of the effects on other tax payers, local governments and taxing entities when enacting state tax breaks.
Cultural Tourism and the Arts
The Chamber asks the Legislature to provide full funding for the Idaho Commission on the Arts and asks the Legislature to support efforts to develop and promote cultural attractions in eastern Idaho, which will aid in increasing tourism to the region.
The Chamber recognizes the need for an improved road system throughout the state, and supports development of an integrated and coordinated state transportation plan, which includes air, rail and public transportation, in conjunction with a progressive highway program.
The Chamber supports the concept of contractor registration and encourages the Legislature to enact meaningful protections against unscrupulous contractors.