During its annual legislative reception this past week, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce released its 2017 Legislative Agenda.
The agenda, focusing on issues that affect all businesses in the region, outlines key priorities at the local, state and federal levels for the Chamber. These legislative priorities will be advocated for in the South Carolina General Assembly.
"Our 2017 State Legislative Agenda focuses on the business community's top priorities of addressing our state's crumbling infrastructure, building a skilled workforce pipeline and providing a regulatory environment that supports business growth," Mary Graham, the Chamber's chief advancement officer, said in a statement. "We base our agenda on the issues most critical to the business community as well as those the General Assembly is willing to tackle. There are a number of complicated issues in the 2017 session including pension reform, infrastructure and even a change in the state's leadership. Our goal is to arm our state lobbyist, George Ramsey, with a set of priorities that are achievable in this legislative session."
The 2017 Legislative Agenda’s key priorities involve infrastructure, talent, military base retention and expansion, and taxes and regulation. The Chamber hopes to successfully lobby for funding to deal with the state’s infrastructure.
The Chamber also plans to support funding for the Education Finance Act, support a bond bill allowing universities to make technological advancements, and secure $25.6 million to renovate Trident Technical College’s Berkeley campus.
Additionally, the Chamber will focus on military exemptions – allowing military retirement income benefits to be exempt from state income tax.