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Business Advocacy in 2012 - Did Our Efforts Pay Off?

by Stephanie Coleman | Nov 08, 2012
Over the past year, we’ve been working at the Chamber to more fully engage our members in business advocacy. Why? Because the more you become involved, the stronger our collective influence will be as we advocate for policies that lead to job creation and economic growth.

But, as many business leaders can attest, our efforts are only as good as the results they produce.

That’s why we’re excited to share our 2012 Legislative Scorecard, which reports how our elected officials responded to the needs of Nashville and Middle Tennessee businesses over the past year.

The Chamber’s policy positions reflected in the scorecard advance four specific community priorities:

    1. The creation and cultivation of an environment where business can prosper.
    2. Support of talent development for the region’s workforce.
    3. Policies contributing to a quality of life that attracts and retains residents and
    4. Efforts to ensure economic prosperity in Tennessee and the Nashville region.

So, how did we measure up?

In short, the 107th General Assembly concluded a legislative session that was good for business. Throughout the session, the Chamber advocated for business-friendly legislation based on the state legislative agenda crafted in January with feedback from members. The legislature took action supporting 61 percent of the Chamber’s agenda items; opposing 11 percent of our agenda items; and taking no definitive action on 28 percent of our agenda items. Legislation that positively impacts business includes a phase-out of the state’s inheritance tax, expansion of the FastTrack economic development program, expansion of tax increment financing to be used for private economic development projects, further definition of the state’s unemployment laws and a continued push for education reform.

On the local front, Nashville’s Metro Council took action supporting 67 percent of the Chamber’s agenda items and took no definitive action on 33 percent of our agenda items. Specific advancements in our policy priorities include supporting funding for Metro Schools as a city budget priority, using economic development incentives as tools to encourage relocations and expansions in Davidson County, investing in public infrastructure to improve our quality of life, and supporting programs that reduce barriers to prosperity such as poverty and homelessness. Additionally, Metro Council’s commitment to the expansion of Metro Nashville’s transit system was evident by the approval of funds for the Murfreesboro Road bus rapid transit and University Connector.

As we look toward 2013, we want to remind all of our members to fill out our annual policy survey by this Friday, Nov. 9. Feel free to contact me if you need your survey link and password. We look forward to hearing your input!

Category: Legislative Issues