Like many of our Investors, it’s that time of year when we’re wrapping up our budgets and events for 2017, and turning towards planning for the new year. For advocacy, that means putting together our 2018 Legislative Survey and Legislative Agenda.
We’ve spent the past few months traveling to chambers across the Upstate Chamber Coalition, from Cherokee to Oconee, to talk to businesses about what their barriers to success are and how they might be fixed legislatively. We take the feedback we receive in these sessions, and develop our Legislative Survey, which is how we gather data from our Investors on a number of issues that will guide us in our advocacy in Columbia and Washington.
This year, it’s more important than ever that you participate in this process. When the Statehouse and Congress are in session, there are bills being voted on every day that affect the health of your business and your employees. The Chamber cares about these issues because we know our Investors are busy running their business; they don’t have time to keep up with marathon committee meetings and track legislation. That’s one void the Chamber has made a priority to fill. We have two staff-members that are boots on the ground in Columbia, and keep in regular contact with our federal delegation to make sure we know what’s coming down the pike for business.
But if we don’t hear from you during our listening tours, on our legislative survey, or as we’re traveling around the Upstate to speak to groups, we don’t know how to advocate for you.
On this year’s survey you’ll see some of the usual suspects for a business survey, but the Chamber is also looking to gather feedback on a number of new issues that we need our Investors’ input:
- Taxes & Regulations: While we’re always gathering feedback on how taxes and regulations are burdensome to business, with Congress and the Statehouse working on tax reform packages, you can expect to see more detailed questions on how and what kind of taxes affect your business.
- Legal Reform: Recent Supreme Court decisions at the state-level have lessened protections for businesses in civil suits; we want to hear from investors on how this could affect you.
- DACA and Undocumented Students: Even though South Carolina faces significant workforce shortages, South Carolina is one of two states that do not allow DACA and undocumented students to attend public Universities, and requires them to pay out-of-state tuition if they do attend college in the state. South Carolina also bans granting occupational licenses, e.g. nursing, cosmetology, and real estate, to DACA and undocumented students.
- You’ll also find questions on a number of other issues like transportation, the state pension system, workforce expansion, and ethics reform.
While it may not be popular around the dinner table, the Chamber wants to talk about your politics, your opinions, and better yet, your ideas for solutions.
Our 2018 Legislative Survey will be open through October 27th, so please take five minutes to tell us how you feel about these important issues. We want to hear from you!