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Connecting with legislators about business priorities

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To kick off the 2022 legislative session, members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors continued the tradition of meeting with regional legislators to highlight business community priorities during the Chamber Board Legislative Luncheon on January 21.

Led by Chamber Board Chairman John Oke-Thomas, the event began with recognition of the numerous Chamber legislative priorities crossed the finish line in 2021, including a mechanism to collect online sales tax, increased funding for infrastructure improvements, COVID-19 liability protections for businesses, and the creation of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Chamber board members and volunteer leaders also took the opportunity to advocate for several business issues, including workforce barriers and potential solutions, support for education, the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant, entrepreneurial support, tort form, initiation petition thresholds, and more.

Lawmakers in attendance also weighed in with perspectives on issues they are focused on, including specifically addressing workforce challenges and initiative petition reform. Legislators currently serving on their respective House or Senate budget committees also focused on the upcoming opportunities at the state level regarding American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Springfield Sen. Lincoln Hough summarized the collaborative approach between legislators and the business community. He said efforts like the legislative luncheon and ongoing advocacy in Jefferson City mean ideas from area businesses carry more weight.

“The businesses that are a part of this chamber and in the southwest Missouri region overall have led the business community in this state,” he said.

Thank you to our event sponsor, the Greater Springfield Board of Realtors.

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