What’s New for 2022: Public Policy Agenda

With input from members and community stakeholders, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce recently released its 2022 public policy agenda.

Over the course of four months, the Chamber conducted its annual survey, researched the findings, spoke with various stakeholders and worked with the public policy committee and board of directors to finalize these priorities.

Our main policy focus will remain on talent and economic development. Our members made it clear that talent attraction and retention is the Chamber’s top policy priority — with a clear focus on economic development a close second. Other policy priorities from the survey are public safety, healthcare as well as transportation and infrastructure.

Other new focus areas to the policy agenda include:

Economic and Community Development
  • Support for the creation of a state historic preservation tax credit (77% approval of expanding incentive toolbox)
  • Support community efforts to keep Minor League Baseball and the Chattanooga Lookouts in town and ensure their long-term success in Chattanooga (78% support)
  • Support efforts by elected officials and the community at large to address affordable and workforce housing options in Hamilton County (61% support)
Education and Workforce Development
  • Support efforts to address Hamilton County Schools Capital needs that appropriately advance talent and workforce development needs (82% support)
  • Support for Chattanooga State’s Logistics & Transportation Hub project
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion — support programs and initiatives that strategically serve to increase diversity and inclusion throughout our economy (CC) (67% support)
  • Address legislation that impacts diversity, economic inclusion and a welcoming environment for talent attraction and retention.
Transportation & Infrastructure
  • Support for Amtrak’s long-range strategic plan, which adds Chattanooga to their regional rail network
  • Support efforts to modify the state’s COVID-19 omnibus law to address the concerns of business community members

The 2022 Tennessee legislature was called to order in early January to begin the second half of 112th General Assembly. The Legislature worked quickly to draw and propose new legislative districts in the state House, Senate and Congressional districts in the state. Those maps have been sent to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee for his signature.

With the release of Governor Lee’s fourth budget and his State of the State address on January 31, the General Assembly will shift its focus on the bills that have been drafted and working through the Governor’s legislative priorities. The filing deadlines were in the first week of February, with over 2,800 bills being filed throughout the two-year legislative term.

The Chattanooga Chamber is actively involved in advocating for these policy priorities and will work to monitor legislative action to advocate on behalf of the Chattanooga business community.

Read the full public policy agenda, here.

Contact Justin Groenert at [email protected] to receive public policy updates through the nightly newsletter, The Last Call.

 Author Bio:

Justin Gorenert, Vice President of Public Policy, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, has a longstanding history of supporting civic and social organizations. He holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Southern, Indiana, Evansville, and has served in the Chamber since 2019.

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