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:
We support the original intent of HB488 from the 2002 legislative session and the interim tax committee's recommendation to allow the agriculture exemption if the property is being used for agricultural purposes.
Health and Human Services
Restore $503,000 to the budget of the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation for vocational services to individuals with disabilities in the State of Idaho.
- Continue support for delivery of quality, collaborative, post-secondary education in Eastern Idaho by:
- Continued funding for University Place in Idaho Falls
- Make higher education more accessible and affordable to the citizens of Eastern Idaho.
- Provide sufficient funding for Idaho’s colleges and universities to keep up with inflation and increased enrollment.
- Approve permanent state employee salary increases that are in line with the cost of living.
- Approve a substantial increase in facilities maintenance funding for the next year. It would be a wise investment to help the universities and colleges reduce the amount of deferred maintenance through a one-time expenditure from surplus funds.
- Fund the Division of Professional-Technical Education’s requests for:
- Capacity building enhancement
- Instructional equipment & technology
- Impose no unfunded mandates.
- Provide full funding for the remediation that is needed to meet:
- The Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirement of the No Child Left Behind Act.
- Present and future graduation requirements.
- Support the Governor’s and State Superintendent’s increased funding proposals for education and teacher salaries.
- Maintain the 0.3% property tax equalization funding for Idaho public schools, and honor the property tax replacement commitment.
Science, Technology, Energy & Environment
As the Science, Technology, Energy & Environments (STE&E) share of Idaho’s economy continues to increase, the Legislature should promote core competencies in science and technology development, energy research, generation, and responsible environmental stewardship.
- Continue development of incentives for STE&E companies and aspiring businesses in this sector.
- Continue supporting the Idaho Cleanup Project as it positions the INL Site for future missions.
- Support the Governor’s Science and Technology Advisory Council recommendations to integrate the supercomputing National Lambda Rail System for use by Idaho universities and the INL.
- Support the consolidation of the space nuclear power program at the INL.
- Support the INL’s nuclear and energy research mission.
- Pursue additional federal research funds for universities and enterprises within the state.
Cultural Tourism and the Arts
- Support legislation promoted by the Idaho Association of Museums for the exemption of private 501(c)3 museums from state sales tax on purchases.
- Full funding of the Idaho Commission on the Arts.
- Support efforts to develop and promote cultural attractions in Eastern Idaho, which will increase tourism to the region.
Transportation - Infrastructure
- Transportation plays a key role in the economic vitality of the Greater Idaho Falls Area. As such, the Legislature is encouraged to enact and support legislation that continues development of a multi-modal, highly efficient system that includes Eastern Idaho. The transportation system must include a long term vision that supports the most cost effective use of taxpayer dollars.
- Medicaid transportation funding should be integrated with public transportation programs to create a comprehensive transit system, which maximizes benefits for all citizens at the lowest total cost.