2010 Federal “Opportunities Agenda”
The Lincoln Chamber’s key federal objectives for 2010:
INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING: The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce views the shortfall in infrastructure funding as one of the biggest obstacles facing communities across Nebraska, as well as across our nation. Failure to address this funding shortfall will have serious economic implications for our state and nation, including its major cities. The Chamber will work cooperatively with the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County, and other organizations & coalitions to develop and advance solutions. This will be a primary focus of our federal policy efforts. We recognize our federal delegation for their leadership and call upon them to continue to prioritize and work diligently toward funding solutions as they approach reauthorization of the federal highway bill.
RESEARCH & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: The Lincoln Chamber will place particular emphasis on supporting research-related federal requests that are complimentary to the strategic plan adopted by the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development. The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce is certain that significant opportunities exist for University of Nebraska campuses to benefit from grants and other sources to fund research and development projects. Further, the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce believes innovation is essential to job and investment growth in today’s economy, and that university research provides a base for such innovation. Capitalizing on opportunities for public/private partnerships that leverage such research to create high-quality jobs and build our capacity for innovation will be essential for Nebraska’s future growth. The Chamber will work cooperatively with the University of Nebraska, 2015 Vision, the City of Lincoln and other organizations and coalitions to secure federal research, facilities, and economic development funding.
CVB AND EVENT FACILITIES NEEDS: The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce will work to support and assist the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau in working to execute its mission of bringing more visitors, events, and conventions to the Lincoln area. We will support efforts to gain federal funding for the development of a new arena, sports fields, environmental assessments, infrastructure, and planning for the West Haymarket sports triangle.
ENERGY POLICY: The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce believes our economic future and competitive position are closely tied to our national energy policy. Federal policy initiatives should support a) the vital role agriculture plays in developing sustainable energy, b) implementation of a market-based, long-term plan to create more available and affordable energy; and c) a rational & economic-based approach on energy mandates (for example: cost-efficient technologies used for controlling carbon emissions must exist prior to considering mandates on coal powered power plants). In addition, energy policy should include proper allocation of funds to energy assistance for those citizens in need.
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce believes federal elected officials must address entitlement reform and federal spending discipline as a serious issue facing our country. Health care reform legislation was enacted this year with a promise the new entitlement would produce substantial deficit reduction. The promised deficit reduction will require a dramatic change in the way Washington, D.C. operates. We call on all NE federal delegation members to support greater fiscal discipline, focused and productive expenditures, and spending restraint in the adoption of federal budgets in order to create a more competitive climate for private sector job growth.