• St. Louis Regional Chamber Delegation Advocates for Earned Income Tax Credit, Transportation and Innovation Funding at Annual Day at the Capitol

    Jan 19, 2018

    Lobby Day 1A delegation of over 60 private sector executives and leaders visited Jefferson City on January 17th as part of the St. Louis Regional Chamber’s annual Regional Day in Jefferson City. The Chamber once again joined with partner organizations and local chambers of commerce to discuss regional policy and legislative priorities with members of Governor Greitens’ cabinet and leaders in both the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives.

    The Chamber’s top legislative issue for 2018 is passing a statewide Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which will break the cycle of poverty and grow Missouri’s economy by encouraging more individuals to enter the workforce. EITC has strong legislative sponsors in both the House and Senate and the policy closely reflects Governor Greitens’ remarks calling for a system that lifts people out of poverty and into the middle class, based on hard work and personal responsibility. Other priority legislative issues for Missouri include investing in innovation and entrepreneurship through the Missouri Innovation Fund, increased state funding for transportation and public transit, inclusive employment law reform and restoring trust in the justice system.

    The delegation shared the Chamber’s top priorities with the General Assembly and had the opportunity to hear from the top executive and legislative leaders about their vision for the future of business in Missouri. The policy priorities continue the Chamber’s focus on advocating for forward-thinking economic policies that will create jobs and grow the regional St. Louis economy.

    “The Chamber’s top priorities are all about increasing our economic prosperity for all St. Louisans,” said Hart Nelson, Vice President of Public Policy at the Chamber. “We know the key to supporting our business community is by investing in our regional workforce and infrastructure, and making sure we can attract and retain talented people and companies from across the world."

    In addition to meetings with senior members of the Greitens Administration, the delegation met with Speaker of the House Todd Richardson and Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard. In all, the delegation met with over 30 legislators from the St. Louis region and across the state to advocate for policies that will make St. Louis a more inclusive and attractive place to live, work and invest for all people.

    Check out photos from the event on the Chamber's Flickr page.

  • Infrastructure Task Force Report on the Right Track

    Jan 03, 2018

    MO fuel tax mapAfter over half a year’s work, the 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force issued its final report on the state of Missouri’s transportation infrastructure.  The report lays out a thoughtful, three-part roadmap of recommendations to improve Missouri’s transportation system that recognizes the need to invest more in infrastructure to develop and maintain a system that will deliver economic growth.

    As St. Louis Regional Chamber President and CEO Joe Reagan has repeatedly noted, “deferred maintenance is not a capital plan.” The Chamber has for years strongly supported policies that would increase public investment in our transportation infrastructure.  We commend the Task Force in calling for an immediate investment package of $400-500 million annually to improve our roads and bridges, including a 10-cent increase in the gasoline tax and 12-cent increase in the diesel tax.

    A fuel tax is a form of user fee that captures income from both Missouri residents and non-residents who transit our state, increasing the revenue available for infrastructure funding.  The Chamber also supports the Task Force recommendation to index the fuel tax and other user and operator fees to account for inflation so that the purchasing power of these revenue streams do not diminish over time, which has contributed to our current underinvestment.

    We are also encouraged by the Task Force’s forward-thinking recommendation to invest more in modes of transportation that are increasingly needed to compete for workforce and jobs. A dedicated revenue stream of $50-70 million to increase investment in mass transit, rail, airports, and river transportation will allow us to take full advantage of our geographic advantage as the hub of four interstates, six class 1 railroads, five airports, and the third largest inland port in the United States, as well as providing options for the car-free lifestyle favored by increasing numbers of St. Louisans.

    At our Chamber Champions event in November, the Regional Chamber recognized Representative Kevin Corlew for his work establishing the Task Force and for his service as Chairman during the public hearing process. The report he and the dedicated public servants of the Task Force produced creates a clear vision of what we need to do.  We look forward to working with Rep. Corlew, the General Assembly and Governor Greitens to deliver the transportation infrastructure Missouri deserves.