The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce seeks to advance the commercial, financial, industrial, civic, and social interests of our community. These economic building blocks will benefit all Idahoans, and for these reasons, our Chamber recommends the following legislative action:
2017 Legislative Priorities
The Board of Directors of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce has adopted the following Legislative Priorities for the 2016 Idaho Session, based on member responses to our Annual Advocacy Survey and the professional input of the Chamber Advocacy Council.
Implement an Idaho solution to provide necessary comprehensive health insurance coverage for approximately 78,000 Idahoans who are currently ineligible for both coverage under Medicaid and incentives to purchase coverage through the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange.
(92% of respondents ranked Important, with 74% ranked Moderately or Extremely Important.)
Implement and align pre-kindergarten through post-secondary education, with an emphasis on STEM and literacy; and continue to expand the capacity of Idaho’s career technical educational programs (CTE), leading to high demand, high wage jobs.
(96% of respondents ranked Important, with 78% ranked Moderately or Extremely Important.)
Lower the supermajority to 60% from the current 66 2/3% to assist tax supported governmental entities, including school districts, to pass the bonds necessary for investment in schools and infrastructure.
(88% of respondents ranked Important, with 68% ranked Moderately or Extremely Important.)
Preserve and protect urban renewal and tax increment financing against further curtailments to their practical use, and adopt other research based forms of development financing.
(90% of respondents ranked Important, with 73% ranked Moderately or Extremely Important.)
Actively support the Idaho National Laboratory’s mission as a multi-program national laboratory, which includes:
1. Nuclear Science & Technology. Research and development into advanced nuclear technologies, including Small Modular Reactors, and the life extension of commercial light water reactors.
2. National and Homeland Security. Support the growth of the INL’s world class cyber-security capabilities and the rapid expansion of Idaho universities collaboration in cyber-security.
3. Energy & Environment. Encourage continued strong collaboration between the State of Idaho and the INL in clean energy development through the Center for Advanced Energy Studies and other research opportunities.
(91% of respondents ranked Important, with 72% ranked Moderately or Extremely Important.)
Support legislation which reduces barriers and encourages additional and more substantive electrical generation and transmission capacity across the state. Increased capacity is critical to industrial and commercial growth, as well as testing an operating of commercial small modular reactors in Eastern Idaho.
(92% of respondents ranked Important, with 60% ranked Moderately or Extremely Important.)
Protect municipal water rights from curtailment, thus allowing cities and urban economies to continue to grow.
(75% of respondents ranked Important, with 52% ranked Moderately or Extremely Important.)
Lower the corporate and individual income tax rates in Idaho to make our business environment more competitive and attractive to surrounding states.
More closely align sales tax distribution payments to communities based on the amount of sales tax receipts obtained within that community, giving communities a greater motivation to improve their business environment.