2023 Legislative Priorities
The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce is actively engaged and committed to representing Eastern Idaho’s business community at all levels of government. On behalf of our members, local businesses, and the Greater Idaho Falls Community, WE SUPPORT:
Proactive solutions for funding Idaho’s educational system and improving workforce readiness for current and future high-demand careers including cybersecurity, energy, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, computer science, and agricultural technology.
- Complete the funding for College of Eastern Idaho's FutureTech Building, ehich will prepare the regional workforce for the growing economy and support high demand, technical career opportunities.
- Increase support for Career Technical Education by focusing on skills-based training and industry-recognized certifications to develop eastern Idaho’s workforce.
- Create a comprehensive plan to uniformly and thoroughly fund Idaho’s educational system by increasing capacity for education and training through additional funding for capital, technology, and personnel.
- Close the “digital divide” in access to broadband internet to support students of all ages across the state, including addressing the “last mile” gap for Idaho’s rural and underserved communities.
Development and maintenance of Idaho’s infrastructure network.
- Fund local and regional water and wastewater projects, roads and bridges, utilizingfunding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and other federal and state funds.
- Create a Public Works Assistance Account (PWAA) to fund and or assist with maintenance and operation of local and regional infrastructure and improve aging systems.
- Fully fund 21st century broadband access and take immediate action to serve both rural and urban with reliable high-speed, interconnected public access fiber infrastructure to facilitate e-commerce, economic development, online learning, and increased demand for tele-health services.
- Advocate for funding increases in the Division of Aeronautics budget to allow for support of airport infrastructure projects.
Energy, National Security, and Federal Programs
Actively support the Idaho National Laboratory's mission.
- Promote education, workforce, and research to maintain the growth and vibrancy of Idaho National Laboratory’s multi program mission and its workforce of approximately 5,700 employees and 332 Idaho business partners.
- Support efforts to recognize nuclear, hydrogen, geothermal and other clean energy technologies as important assets to the State of Idaho.
- Advocate for grants and programs to support modernizing infrastructure, grid reliability, grid resiliency and affordability.
- Champion Nuclear Consortium initiatives to plan for an advanced energy systems presence in Eastern Idaho and to develop an industry supply chain along with the workforce to make new industry partners successful.
Initiatives that promote business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, and entrepreneurial growth.
- Create new incentives and revenues cities can access through public/private partnerships to help increase housing supply and address affordability in response to housing needs.
- Increase liquor license access for local and regional restaurants.
- Increase funding for affordable, quality childcare by licensed childcare providers through the Idaho Workforce Development Council.
- Preserve and protect urban renewal and tax increment financing by removing the cap on Urban Renewal District valuation upon district closure.
- Support start-ups and tech commercialization to increase and strengthen entrepreneurship activities in Idaho, foster relationships between businesses and academia, and grow
- Promote a business-friendly environment by incentivizing economic development through creative tax incentives and grants, such as (i) tax credits for Qualified Emerging Technology Companies, (ii) grants targeting rural development, and (iii) enterprise zone tax credits.
Economic Growth through effective tax, fiscal, and monetary policy.
- Minimize tax and regulatory fees on businesses and phase-out business personal property tax with provision for ongoing incremental replacement of lost revenue to local units of government and school districts tied to growth in state general revenue funds.
- Require the Idaho State Tax Commission to collect all point of sale tax data.
- Establish alternative funding for the numerous political subdivisions with taxing authority to lessen the reliance on property taxes and provide regulatory flexibility.
- Create tax incentives for business expansion and recruitment to match or exceed neighboring states incentives including performance-based incentives and economic development grants to strengthen Idaho’s position to attract mid-to-high tech businesses.
Personal and Public Safety
Promote personal and public safety.
- Revise public records retention schedules to allow for municipal and law enforcement digital recordings to have their own path for retention and disposal apart from the current “temporary record” designation found in 50-907 and 31-871 of the Idaho Code.
- Authorize Idaho Medicaid to submit a State Plan Amendment to allow public EMS agencies to receive payment for ambulance services provided to Medicaid patients—known as the Idaho GEMT—EMS Supplemental Payment Program.
- Support development of mental health and substance abuse services by including infrastructure funding for primary prevention and early detection and early interventions.
- Pass legislation allowing communities to form law enforcement districts where appropriate to better address law enforcement needs in particular areas.