Clear Lake Area Chamber Legislative Agenda
DNR - Plan for Dock / Boat Lift Growth on Clear Lake. Current DNR Rules, having no plan for growth, will have a negative effect on tourism and lake property values.
Water Quality / Lake Restoration - Support a zero P fertilizer bill, general water quality legislation and continued funding for the Lake Restoration fund.
Iowa Right To Work Law / Iowa Fair Share Law – Support Iowa’s current Right to Work law and opposes any legislation that would jeopardize Iowa’s designation as a Right to Work state or require any employee, including state employees, to pay an agency fee or “fair share” fee to a union. We specifically oppose adding items that can be negotiated to Iowa’s public employee collective bargaining.
Property Tax Reform - Lawmakers should explore a property tax system that would allow individual counties or regions to develop a system that meets their specific needs. The tax system may differ across the state, recognizing Iowa’s divergent needs. In addition, consideration should be given to the establishment of a Commission to redesign Iowa’s property tax system. The Commission would submit their plan to the legislature and the governor who could either ACCEPT or REJECT the plan, but not modify it.
School Funding - Support and recognizes that adequate funding of Iowa’s public schools is critical for our students to be prepared for to become contributing member of the 21st century workplace. This would include setting allowable growth (6%) that encourages continuous school improvement. Continuous improvement includes the Iowa Legislature insuring the third year of funding of the Iowa Voluntary Preschool Program thus insuring that all of Iowa’s four-year old children have access to a qualified preschool education. Financial support of the Iowa Professional Development Model, the Iowa Core Curriculum, and requiring Iowa’s school districts to continue their efforts in developing rigorous standards and benchmarks and designing formative assessments must be supported in order for Iowa to once again lead the nation in school improvement measures.
Mental Health Program Funding – The Chamber recognizes the significant economic impact of Opportunity Village in the community of Clear Lake. The Legislature's appropriations directly and indirectly control funding for Village services. Of particular importance are the allowable growth dollars for county Mental Health funding which is set by the Legislature. Counties leverage these funds with federal Medicaid match drawing down 2 dollars for each dollar spent locally. Since county fund balances for Mental Health have declined dramatically, the allowable growth annual allocation is most critical in this year's budget.
Income Tax Reform - Implement meaningful tax reform by using a revenue-neutral, flat tax plan with two tiered rates.
Workforce Training - Adequate resources must be made available to community colleges to enable them to deliver the needed training programs, including advanced ESL courses.
Business Retention Strategies - Support Iowa’s current statute for workers’ compensation regarding injuries on the job, and to oppose legislation that will change Iowa's workers' compensation law to employee choice of provider.
Prevailing Wage - Oppose mandating prevailing wage rates for public construction projects. This measure would significantly increase the cost of such projects at a time when public entities are already struggling with budgets.
Regional Airport - Support grant funding and other economic opportunities for municipal airports which band together local governmental entities, which seek to emphasize advantages of an entire region of the State, in order to improve air service options; maximize Essential Air Service (EAS) funding; and increase enplanements.