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  • The Greater Vancouver Chamber's Board of Directors approves the following list of Legislative Priorities for the 2021 legislative session:

     

    TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE

    • Advocate for a Washington State Transportation Package to include additional funding for replacing the I-5 Bridge.
    • Support an Infrastructure/Transportation package in the US Congress with support for the I-5 Bridge.
    • Support the Clark County Transportation Alliance reflecting the regional consensus on Key policies and “next up” projects to guide state and federal lawmakers.
    • Given new taxes being considered (ie Carbon Tax and Road Usage tax), work to assure the taxes levied relative to fuel or road usage are dedicated to transportation infrastructure.
    • MTCA Funding preservation.
    • Support specifically the re-introduction of the Local Infrastructure Financing Tool (LIFT).

     

    ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

    Tax Policy

    • Carbon Tax – work to get any imposition of a carbon tax to work directly for the support of the economy and if tied to fuel that the funds be dedicated to transportation infrastructure.
    • Advocate for legislation to support Child Care and early learning in support of families adversely impacted by the pandemic.
    • Work to limit the addition of and/or relief from the increasing regulation being forced on businesses of all sizes such as, Paid Family Leave, Exempt/Overtime rule changes, the possibility of Predictive Scheduling and others.
    • Protect against implementation of burdensome business taxes and fees given the toll taken by the COVID-19 restrictions.
    • Urge Clark Public Utilities to consider fiber optic broadband a utility and work with the newly established Office of Broadband in the State Department of Commerce to advance the extension of fiber to the rural portions of Clark County.
    • Carbon Tax – work to get any imposition of a carbon tax to work directly for the support of the economy and if tied to fuel that the funds be dedicated to transportation infrastructure.
    • Advocate for the financial support of frontline medical facilities in any State or Federal funding package resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.
    • Advocate for Federal and State policy to address liability issues stemming from the pandemic.
    • Oppose the implementation of a Capital Gains Excise Tax, which is broadly seen as a step toward a State Income Tax.
    • Protect the viability of the Columbia - Snake River system as efficient freight avenues protecting jobs and exports from throughout the northwest.

     

    ENVIRONMENTAL

    • Support development of a balanced, economically sustainable, and environmentally conscious energy policy for the citizens, employers and farmers of the State, keeping in mind energy sources. The energy policy should protect and grow our nationally competitive power generation and distribution infrastructure.
      • Suggest that the State consider assigning the Policy and its implementation to the Department of Commerce.
    • Advocate for nexus to transportation projects if a Carbon Fuel Tax is introduced which will most certainly result in an increase at the pump of .40 to .50 per gallon.
    • Protect the viability of the Columbia and Snake Rivers system as freight avenues protecting jobs and exports from throughout the northwest.
    • Continue to fund the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA).
    • Advocate for balance among priorities so initiatives like the court ordered replacement of culverts under state roadways to allow for the passage of salmon and other protected species isn’t allowed to divert all the funds.

     

    EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

    • Support in general legislation to support Child Care and early learning, especially in support of families adversely impacted by the pandemic as well as child care business owners.
    • Advocate to expand the education seats available for health care workers in the state especially nurses.
    • Support the capital request for WSU Vancouver’s Life Sciences Building construction ($52.6 Million).
    • Support Career Connected Learning funding request for the six (6) counties in the SW Washington region – one of 9 regions in the state.
    • Support for programs to train within the Construction Trades.
    • Support review of Licensure Reciprocity.

     

    SOCIAL JUSTICE

    • Advocate for legislation to support Child Care and early learning, particularly in support of families adversely impacted by the pandemic.
    • Work with the newly established Office of Broadband in the State Department of Commerce to advance the extension of fiber to the rural portions of Clark County.
      • Additionally, urgent need by some families due to the pandemic and need for remote learning for their children.
    • Support the placement of a facility or facilities in SW Washington to address mental & behavioral health and substance abuse, especially among the homeless.

     


     

    SHARED LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

    For the 2021 Legislative Outlook Livestream event in December 2020, partners of the Chamber, Identity Clark County (ICC) and the Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) have worked alongside the Chamber to create 2021 Joint Legislative Priorities for the upcoming year. View the joint priorities, here.

     


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  • These as well as the recurring items, such as continued support for the Bi-State I-5 Replacement Bridge efforts including the local office, are the priorities brought forth by the Public Affairs Committee, and ratified by the GVCC Board of Directors, in representation of all of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce members. If you have any questions or thoughts you would like to add, please connect with us at YourChamber@VancouverUSA.com.