Public Policy Positions
Transportation & Infrastructure
Having up-to-date transportation systems in place is a vital piece of economic development as well as a key component to the quality of life of St. Charles County residents. The Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce believes transportation and infrastructure are vital to the region’s economic growth. Our region’s transportation system provides critical connections between residents, job centers, schools, emergency services, and other vital resources and amenities.
Missouri’s highway system is the 7th largest in the U.S. with more than 33,000 miles of state highways and more than 10,000 bridges, yet in 2013 Missouri ranked 41st in revenue per highway mile in funding it’s system. As more electric and fuel-efficient cars are purchased, the need for fuel decreases, which will continue to decrease the revenue received through the motor fuel tax. We cannot maintain and build a 21st century surface transportation system through outdated funding methods and support and encourage legislators to look at various sources. The Chamber supports the creation of a sustainable transportation funding plan and ballot campaign.
Bike / Pedestrian
As residents continue to seek a healthy lifestyle and various transportation options and companies seek a good quality of life for their employees, we cannot ignore the need for trail / multi-use path options for individuals who want to walk or bike safely. We encourage transportation officials and legislators to consider including funding for these when making improvements or constructing new highways and roads.
As St. Charles County continues to grow, unemployment rates remain low, and our senior population increases, there is a need for a more reliable source of public transit. Additionally, studies have shown that millennials like having transportation options. We support and encourage action and funding to increase the availability of a public transportation throughout St. Charles County and the region keeping in mind how autonomous vehicles and busses impact any potential system.
Education & Workforce Development
A well-educated and capable workforce is imperative to Missouri’s economic success. The Greater St. Charles County Chamber supports a broad-spectrum approach to educating and training Missouri’s students and workers. STEAM programming, virtual classrooms, rigorous academic standards that meet employer needs, curbing the need for remediation in post-secondary education and the workforce, striving to include business leaders in the classroom, worker training and certification programs are important tools for Missouri.
STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century! The Chamber supports the efforts of local school districts and legislators to fund and support STEAM initiatives.
Certified Work Ready Community
Post-secondary education isn’t for everyone; however, employers need to know that employees are being placed in jobs that match their skill set. The Chamber supports regional efforts to make St. Charles County a Certified Work Ready County.
Adequately support all levels of education
The Greater St. Charles County Chamber supports efforts to provide every Missouri child with access to a top-notch education and workforce training. We support efforts to adequately fund all levels of education from Pre-K through 12 to post-secondary. We support the full funding and allocation of resources for innovative programs and those with a proven track record of success, including adequate broadband internet access for all Missouri students. We believe that well-educated, competent and capable students are the key to Missouri’s long- term economic health and competitiveness. The Greater St. Charles County Chamber supports engaging businesses in the process of educating and training Missouri’s students.
Protect and encourage job-training funding
Job-training funding aids in the attraction of new business and the expansion and retention of existing businesses. However, only 19 percent of requests made in 2014 for job-training funds were awarded.
Encourage entrepreneurial and small business development
We support initiatives and programs that enhance entrepreneurial growth by increasing access to investors that provide for the crucial need for seed and early stage venture capital in Missouri companies.
Support for Right To Work
The Chamber supports Right To Work. Every one of Missouri’s neighbor states, except Illinois, have already passed Freedom to Work protections. If Missouri joins the 27 other states in the U.S. that have enacted this law, we can finally compete on a level playing field for jobs and business investment. Also, site selectors turn a blind eye to Missouri and other states that mandate union membership. When Gallup interviewed national site selectors, they learned Missouri is losing a staggering 40 percent of potential company relocation and expansion opportunities because we don’t have Freedom to Work.
Enact tort reforms, specifically aimed at capping punitive
The Greater St. Charles County Chamber supports limiting the amount of recoverable damages in certain cases. Specifically, we advocate for the legislative action needed to place a cap on punitive damages in common law tort cases. Employers cannot grow and expand operations in Missouri with the uncertainty and potential for outlandish punitive damage awards in the existing Missouri judicial climate.
Restore standard of proof in workers’ compensation discrimination cases
In the recently decided Templemire case, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned decades-old precedent and ruled that a plaintiff need only show a tenuous connection between a claim for worker’s compensation and a subsequent termination in order to prevail on a discrimination claim. The Greater St. Charles County Chamber supports efforts to abrogate the Templemire decision and restore a more justice-centered standard of causation to workers’ compensation discrimination claims.
Protect small businesses and Missouri jobs from the impact of burdensome and costly regulations.