For 2017-18, the Committee has changed their focus from monitoring specific local initiative or projects to a broader “Topics of Interest” approach. The hope is this will allow the Committee more flexibility in identify and sharing a greater variety of relevant local events, activities and developments of interest to the membership.
For the 2018-19, the Topics of Interest we plan to focus on and the assigned committee liaison are:
1. Transportation (WisDOT, MCTS, etc)
The Legislative Committee has continued to monitor and share information that impacts the transportation needs of the south suburban communities and businesses. Some of the issues being monitored include the question of funding the transportation needs of the region and the state. The transportation infrastructure is in need of repair or replacement, the mass transit options need to be examined and expanded and new development is requiring new highways and streets in many of our developing communities. Funding options being considered include a higher gas tax, increased vehicle registration fees, toll roads and a transportation fund that is dedicated to transportation.
MetroGo! leads and engages people in creating and advancing a collaborate, innovative, transformational regional transit agenda. The mission of MetroGo! is to engage and inspire people in creating a regional transit network that fuels the economy and workforce growth, and builds vibrant, connected communities throughout the 6-county metro Milwaukee area. Transit is an economic, workforce and quality of life catalyst that positions Southeastern Wisconsin for success as a highly competitive region in the global economy. The MetroGo! Board of Directors includes business leaders from throughout the Milwaukee region. Advising the Board is the Regional Transit Leadership Council, which serves as a vital broad-based, transparent, diverse, and representative group for the entire region and is a source of regional communications, credibility, visibility and influence. It provides a communications platform for dialog, informing members, gaining strategic insights about the diverse needs and perspective throughout the region. The South Suburban Chamber is represented on the MetroGo! Regional Transit Leadership Council. To learn more about transit strategies, solutions and lessons learned both here and in other parts of the country, go to www.facebook.com/MetroGO!
Contact: Barbara Wesener - Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Utilities (Rates, PSCW/regulatory issues, etc)
The availability of reliable, safe and competitive utilities is a cornerstone to driving community development. Today, small to medium businesses face many challenges in establishing and efficiently managing their operations, and for some, increasing utility rates can be a significant challenge. Currently, Southeastern Wisconsin businesses are facing increasing utility costs, especially for electricity, which are now among the highest in the Midwest, and water/sewer. We would like to provide members regular updates regarding legislative and regulatory activities at the local, state and national level that directly affect SE Wisconsin’s utility rates. Our goal is to raise awareness of potential implications that could affect both the long-term viability of existing business and the ability to encourage new business developments in the area.
Contact: Mark Mrozek - Chairperson email@example.com
3. Education & Workforce Development
Many companies in Wisconsin and nationwide are having difficulties finding qualified workers for their operations. The actuarial studies show that there are simply not enough people to fill the void that the Boomers are leaving. Let alone having the proper skills. Therefore, the Legislative Committee will try to raise awareness in regards to the numerous programs that available both from the Wisconsin Legislature, Non-Profits and other workforce industries. Not until 2025 will the next wave of people be ready to enter the workforce. So the concepts of apprenticeships-internal training-mentoring programs within your own company will also be very important.
Contact: Mark Honadel - Member firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Legislative Action & Business Development
State and local policy and development have direct impacts on communities served by the Chamber. The Legislative Committee works to track these issues, share information and host events to better inform chamber members of potential impacts. Issues to be followed include state and county budget discussions with potential impacts on businesses, including: transportation funding, healthcare, and taxes. Community and business development trends that are re-shaping Southeastern Wisconsin and what municipalities are doing to stay ahead of trends, serve the needs of local businesses, and create the environment for continued growth.
Catherine Roeske - Member email@example.com
5. Employer-provided Health Care Landscape
Southeast Wisconsin, along with the rest of the nation, is experiencing an enormous problem with rising healthcare costs. Rising costs are affecting economic growth and are putting a heavy financial burden on small, medium and large businesses, the public sector, individuals and families.
In addition to rising healthcare costs, the current political climate has added uncertainty to the future of the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) and the millions of people currently covered by it. It is our goal to raise awareness of current proposals and possible long term solutions to the rising health care costs, as well as to the repeal, replacement, and/or modifications of the ACA.
John Ackeret - Board Liaison firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Tax Reform