Ppa 2010 v8 for comments

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Ppa 2010 v8 for comments

  1. 1. 2010 Public Policy Agenda for Gubernatorial Race-v7 (ROUGH DRAFT) 6/17/10 Introduction While the Columbus region has navigated the current downturn with greater success than many areas of Ohio, our business leaders and citizens recognize the economic success of all regions in the state are interconnected. Therefore, the region’s future development depends on the ability of the state to achieve economic advancement. The Columbus region, and the state as a whole, must address the financial, industrial, and cultural changes, which are taking place around the globe, in order to remain competitive in the national and international business environment. To that end, the Columbus Chamber encourages the candidates for Governor of Ohio to adopt the following policies to move Ohio citizens and businesses toward a positive economic future. 1
  2. 2. 2010 Public Policy Agenda for Gubernatorial Race-v7 (ROUGH DRAFT) 6/17/10 Strengthen Economic Development Practices The state of Ohio must improve its economic development practices. Current development policies and tools must be modified and augmented to encourage economic growth. The Chamber supports the following:  Streamline the timeline for crafting economic development incentives so that government can rapidly act to attract jobs and investment.  Preserve the array of robust and adaptable tools that state and local economic development officials use to influence favorable corporate location and expansion decisions.  Identify existing local businesses and industries undergoing transition. Create job retention incentives that, on a limited basis can be offered to corporations that have been acquired or have merged. These would be awarded particularly when the retention of a corporate headquarters is at risk.  Continue to support regional marketing efforts funded through the Ohio Business Development Coalition so that every region in our state can market its respective strengths using a framework that ties into a statewide marketing effort.  Ensure that government is organized in a way that facilitates regional economic development; harmonize the regional boundaries of all state agencies that have a role in economic development, such as the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio Department of Development, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and the Ohio Environment Protection Agency. 2
  3. 3. 2010 Public Policy Agenda for Gubernatorial Race-v7 (ROUGH DRAFT) 6/17/10 Improve our business-friendly environment. A receptive environment for business investment is necessary to encourage future economic expansion. However, sympathetic policies can only go so far. The Ohio government needs to demonstrate its devotion to existing business by taking action:  Abolish the state’s requirements that prevailing wage apply to private-sector projects.  The cost of state government needs to be realigned with the resources that are available to fund it. Ohio’s Metro Chambers will be recommending how the state can reconfigure the business of government in a way that increases flexibility, holds government leaders accountable for outcomes and reduces costs. These recommendations should be implemented. As a part of these increased efficiencies, the last phase of the 5-year reduction in the state income tax should be implemented.  Support “green” business initiatives, and encourage government at all levels to do likewise in order to improve our environment, decrease costs, and enhance our reputation.  Combat the lack of venture capital by encouraging the state to be more creative with its own assets and use them to infuse capital into start-up and early-growth-stage companies.  Implement Governor Strickland’s initiative to drive unnecessary and duplicate regulation out of state government so that businesses are better able to compete without government interference.  Prioritize changes to the Ohio worker’s compensation insurance system; advocate increased efficiency and competition in the administration of insurance claims. 3
  4. 4. 2010 Public Policy Agenda for Gubernatorial Race-v7 (ROUGH DRAFT) 6/17/10 Grow existing businesses and strong sectors of the economy. Past experience shows that 3 out of 4 new jobs are created by businesses with an existing presence in the region. This illustrates the potential value of our existing industries. Two industries, healthcare research and technology as well as logistics and distribution, represent existing economic growth engines for the Columbus region. State government should encourage growth in these sectors through the following steps:  Invest in technology that will allow our healthcare systems to communicate with one another and their associated physicians so that all medical professionals treating a patient have access to the same information. This concept, known as a Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO), will reduce the risk of treatment errors and cut costs by eliminating unnecessary or redundant tests and procedures.  Support funding for completion of ProjectONE, the Ohio State University Medical Center expansion and development program projected to add 10,000 jobs and $1.7 billion to the regional economy by 2015.  Provide funding for the nearly $1 billion of infrastructure projects needed in the Rickenbacker area.  Support the building of other innovative proposals that will enable Columbus to become the national leader in logistics technology and innovation.  Eliminate unnecessary legal barriers in state law for leveraging private-sector support for the construction of needed infrastructure.  Support CSX’s plan to expand its intermodal capacity in the Columbus region. 4
  5. 5. 2010 Public Policy Agenda for Gubernatorial Race-v7 (ROUGH DRAFT) 6/17/10 Strengthen our downtown. In addition to supporting our existing industries, the Columbus Chamber advocates the following initiatives to spur growth and redevelopment in the existing core of downtown Columbus:  Fund the development of the Whittier Peninsula to the south of downtown to compliment the work already planned for the Scioto Mile.  Design and fund the interchange of Interstate 70 and 71 so that it provides ample caps to re-weave our central city communities together.  Ensure that state government locates its major offices in downtown Columbus. In addition to increasing the density of downtown’s daytime population, it makes sense to locate the state’s management and policy-setting jobs in proximity to the center of state government.  Support the creation of Columbus Commons in the former downtown location of the City Center.  Endorse alternative transit routing through downtown Columbus to encourage additional ridership and reduce impact on existing traffic flow. 5
  6. 6. 2010 Public Policy Agenda for Gubernatorial Race-v7 (ROUGH DRAFT) 6/17/10 Make improvements that will lead to growth. To recapture our regional economic vitality, redevelopment efforts cannot end at our downtown district. Government leaders must align our core renewal efforts with plans that will nurture the growth of new and existing businesses throughout the region. Government leaders should:  Facilitate the assemblage of land leading to the implementation of Ohio State’s West Campus master plan.  Support significant infrastructure improvements, such as the I-270/ Route 33 interchange.  Push for modifications to the regional transportation grid that will improve supply chain operations for our region’s manufacturers, such as Scotts and Honda. 6
  7. 7. 2010 Public Policy Agenda for Gubernatorial Race-v7 (ROUGH DRAFT) 6/17/10 Build a pro-growth workforce. Finally, for existing businesses to remain competitive, and to promote Ohio as a viable location in which to grow a business, government must initiate improved efforts to develop and maintain a competitive workforce. The following actions represent a foundation to build on:  Appoint a cabinet-level official that is accountable as the state’s lead workforce development official. The Director of the Department of Development is best suited to serve in this capacity.  Redraw the boundaries for the states’ workforce investment Boards so that they encompass and support the metro regions.  Devote at least 30% of Workforce Investment Act funds to training jobs and professions that are growing or are in demand  Establish better tools and monitoring so that taxpayers know what kinds of training are provided.  Direct dollars toward initiatives that help keep our senior workforce trained.  Spend workforce funds to create internships at our region’s businesses; as well as advocating amendments to the federal Workforce Investment Act, when it is reauthorized, so that it awards funding for businesses to host internships.  Funding the University System of Ohio in a way that aligns with the needs of our state’s regional economies. Students pursuing a state-subsidized degree at a state college or university should be confident that the degrees they are pursuing will be useful in the labor markets where their school is located.  Show that our state values diversity by enacting a law that prohibits workplace and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation.  Infrastructure dollars should be spent in a way that considers the impact on workforce subgroups, such as today’s young professionals. 7

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