FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kevin Flynn
Business and Industry Association
Office: 603.224.5388 x114
BIA Releases 2017-2018 Public Policy Priorities
Workforce development, energy & health care costs top list of business concerns
(Concord) – Initiatives that promote a deeper and more skilled pool of workers, as well as efforts to control the high cost of electrical energy and health care are among the leading priorities identified by the Business and Industry Association for the next biennium. New Hampshire’s statewide chamber of commerce also said protecting business tax cuts and implementing infrastructure improvements are part of their 2017-2018 Public Policy Priorities document released today.
“Our focus will be on legislation and regulations which promote job creation and workforce development,” said BIA President Jim Roche. “In the meantime, both large and small employers remain concerned about the state’s exorbitant electricity prices caused by the regional energy crisis. Paying electric rates that are nearly 55% higher than the national average is stunting economic growth in New Hampshire.”
The priorities listed in the document cover a range of topics in fiscal policy, economic development, human resources, health care, workforce development, energy, and environmental regulations. Among the 49 positions identified in the document are opposing another broadbased tax; supporting balanced, fair, and efficient energy project siting policies; advocating for improved transportation and water infrastructure; protecting phased-in business tax reductions; and encouraging initiatives that give the next generation of workers 21st century skills.
“Business-friendly legislation passed in the last biennium led to increased state revenues and a stronger state economy. Our hope is the incoming members of the General Court will continue to consider the policy priorities of business when drafting legislation and regulations over the next two years,” said Roche.
BIA established its priorities through a four-step policy development process conducted this summer. First, in partnership with local and regional chambers of commerce and trade associations, BIA held roundtable discussions throughout the state asking business leaders to share their top business challenges. Next, BIA members had the opportunity to refine and further prioritize key concerns through an online survey. BIA’s five policy committees, comprised of volunteers from member companies of all sizes, vetted the preliminary list of concerns and recommend specific policy priorities to the association’s board of directors. Finally, the board selected and approved the final list of top public policy issues for the coming biennium.
About the BIA:
The Business and Industry Association is New Hampshire’s statewide chamber of commerce and leading business advocate. The BIA represents more than 400 members in a variety of industries, including advanced manufacturing, high technology, professional services, financial services, health care, hospitality and tourism, public utilities, higher education and insurance. Member firms employ 86,000 people throughout the state, which represents one in eight jobs, and contribute $4.5 billion annually to the state’s economy. Through advocacy with state legislators and regulators, the BIA works to promote a healthy business climate and robust economic future for New Hampshire. For more information about the BIA, visit www.BIAofNH.com.