DRIVING BUSINESS GROWTH AND EXPANSION
Economic Development Tax Credits:
Support the expansion of proven tax credits that leverage private investment and
stimulate employment and economic growth for our region. Eliminate sunsets and caps on proven tax credit programs, including the Missouri Quality Jobs Program. Oppose efforts to cap or reduce Missouri Historic Preservation Tax Credit, and maintain its transferability. Support the use of tax credits for job retention activities. Increase job training tax credits for companies that retain or expand their workforce.
Support coordinated, sustainable state policies and programs for technology-based economic development, as outlined in the “Grow Me State” Initiative, to address Missouri’s critical shortfall in risk capital including: (1) establishing an angel tax credit,
(2) expanded funding for the Missouri Technology Corporation, (3) seed capital funds and programs which improve the
conversion rate of R&D work and innovation into entrepreneurial firms and commercially viable products. Support funding for the Illinois Opportunity Fund to match increased venture capital investment opportunities in Illinois. Encourage state pension funds to establish policies for local private equity investments and economically targeted investments. Increase funding to entrepreneurship centers and to the Innovation Challenge Grant program in Illinois and
to the St. Louis-based Innovation Centers
Support legislation in Missouri to codify state case law regarding the at-will doctrine to require evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the employer before an employee may receive “whistleblower” protection. Require evidence that any act which the employee refused to conduct would have violated the law.
Support initiatives to spur redevelopment efforts in the center city and economically distressed areas:
• Federal Historic Tax Credit – Raise the value of this tax credit to allow a 25 percent tax credit against the costs of rehabilitating an historic building or a building within
an historic district. Extend the tax credit availability for use in the construction of owner-occupied units.
• Brownfield Redevelopment – Increase direct funding and tax credits for brownfield cleanup. Enact meaningful liability reform for brownfield sites to encourage their turnover to a productive use. Support increased funding for the Illinois Municipal Brownfield Redevelopment Grant program.
Small Business Growth:
Encourage policies that stimulate an entrepreneurial culture and enhance the growth of small businesses. Provide direct assistance to small businesses with high-growth potential such as: grants for professional services, mentoring and training through the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), greater access to low-interest loans for start-up and expansion capital or state matching-grants for federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Encourage greater access to markets for minority and women business enterprises in the public and private sectors. Support pooled-purchasing associations to offer
self-insured coverage under ERISA to small businesses, individuals and the self-employed. Support above the line deductions for individuals who pay their own health insurance premiums.
Promote fair trade legislation or agreements that enhance our member companies’ ability to compete in the global economy by breaking down barriers and by increasing export trading.
Plant/Medical Sciences Industry:
Support full funding of Missouri’s Life Sciences Trust Fund and oppose the diversion of funds into general revenue. Oppose limitations on types of research funded by the Life Sciences Research Board. Support further development of wet lab space and incubators. Support programs that encourage college and university/business collaboration and strengthen the workforce for the plant and life sciences industry. Support continued capital and operating funding for the National Corn-To-Ethanol Center in Edwardsville to continue its research into fuel ethanol
production and usage.
Stem Cell Research:
Preserve protections for all types of stem cell research, therapies, or cures that are allowed under federal law, as enacted in the Missouri Constitution in 2006. Oppose efforts to overturn or restrict those protections.
Support policies that encourage investment in technology infrastructure and
promote customer choice. Support policies that establish minimal regulatory treatment of all providers of telecommunications and video services to enhance infrastructure investment and maximize consumer benefits from competition.
Support incentives to filling station owners to install E-85 gasoline pumps to complement the federal tax credit for E-85 pumps.
Support a repeal of the $500 loss limit in Missouri’s casinos to make Missouri more competitive with other states.
Restore full funding to the Missouri Arts Council and Cultural Trust partners as defined in state statute. Oppose any attempts by other groups to receive revenue from the athletes and entertainers tax.
Oppose the Patent Reform Act to the extent that it is a threat to American innovation, jobs and competitiveness.
Research and Development:
Support increased federal funding for research and development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy. Support state and federal initiatives to improve math and science education in the St. Louis region.
Support increased federal authorization and appropriations for research in defense-related businesses. Support increased opportunities for small and medium-sized defense contractors. Support continued appropriations for the C-17 transport planes and the Future Combat Systems program.
Arch Grounds Connector:
Support action on the Arch Grounds Connector and a revitalization program that will encourage active use of a portion of the Arch Grounds.
Chouteau Lake District:
Support funding from the Water Resources Development Act for the Chouteau Lake District and for the St. Louis Regional Greenways Plan.
River Locks and Dams:
Support funding from the Water Resources Development Act to upgrade locks and dams along the Mississippi River and Illinois River. Support funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to repair the Wood River levee and levees in the St. Louis District. Support flood plain mapping by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that encompasses the entire St. Louis Corps of Engineers District.
River Edge Program:
Support the continued funding of the brownfield clean-up grants and economic development incentives for the River Edge Program in East St. Louis.
Mississippi River Bridge:
Support dedicated funding from Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation for construction of a new Mississippi River Bridge.
Illinois Infrastructure Improvements:
Support funding in the capital bill for transportation projects in Southwestern Illinois to augment the region’s economic growth. Support the region’s listed projects in Illinois Department of Transportation Highway Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2008 through 2013. Support increased funding for public transportation in Madison and St. Clair counties.
Missouri Transportation Funding:
Further educate the business community and the public on the need for increased transportation funding for Missouri’s transportation system. Advance a sustainable plan to increase funding for transportation
projects across the state. Support a funding formula that reflects the economic strength and development needs of the St. Louis region. Oppose attempts to redistribute money away from St. Louis region. Maintain St. Louis representation on Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.
Support increased funding for system expansion and operations.
Support passage of the primary seat belt law to save lives from vehicle accidents and to increase federal funding for transportation safety projects.
Higher Education and
Support job training funding to aid in the retention of existing businesses. Support increased funding for workforce training and skills development with special emphasis on advanced manufacturing, information technology and life sciences. Support collaborative partnerships with schools, community colleges, community-based organizations and businesses to enhance and improve educational opportunities for all students.
University of Missouri-St. Louis:
Support increased funding for the University of Missouri–St. Louis to address system-wide equity issues. Support funding for the continued implementation of the campus master plan and for the completion of the Business, Technology and Research Park.
Support capital funding for construction, maintenance and repair of buildings and equipment as well as development of new campuses and centers. Support funding
for life sciences initiatives at community
colleges that encourage job training and workforce development, worker training and economic development.
Southern Illinois University
Support funding in the state capital budget bill for the renovation and expansion of the Science Laboratory and Classroom Building. Support continued state funding of the SIUE School of Pharmacy with an appropriation from the Board of Higher Education. Support SIUE’s efforts to become a NCAA Division I athletic program.
Early Childhood Education:
Support policies that expand access to quality, licensed childcare programs for at-risk young children. Support a statewide quality rating system for early childhood programs.
St. Louis Public Schools: Support stability in the governance of the St. Louis Public Schools and the work of the Special Administrative School Board. Support legislation granting the sponsorship authority for new charter schools to the Mayor of St. Louis.
K-12 Scholarship Tax Credits: Support the Missouri Student Success Scholarship Program to provide opportunities to students in disadvantaged school districts to obtain
a quality elementary and secondary education. Support governance reforms and organizations that improve the academic performance of students in under-performing public schools.
Missouri: Support adequate state funding for MoHealthNet to enhance available federal matching funds and reduce the number of uninsured in Missouri. Closely watch the impact of the proposed Insure Missouri initiative on businesses and the
St. Louis safety net.
Illinois: Ensure adequate and timely Medicaid reimbursement to hospitals in Madison and St. Clair Counties and to
St. Louis hospitals serving Illinois patients. Assist small business owners with lowering double-digit increases in their healthcare costs. Oppose new health insurance mandates and liability that undermines employers’ abilities to provide high-quality health insurance at a reasonable cost to their employees.
Certificate of Need: Support certificate
of need regulations that ensure a level-playing field between hospital and