Greenville Chamber publishes its 2019 Public Policy Agenda

Officials say expanding local transit is a critical business recruitment and retention issue.   File photo

The Greenville Chamber has published its 2019 Public Policy Agenda, which focuses on subjects such as state pension tax reform, augmenting teachers pay, and engaging Greenville residents to participate in economic growth.

The policy agenda is a result of a membership-wide survey of approximately 2,000 investors, insights from the Chamber’s Legislative Issues Committee and Chamber’s Board of Directors, and the BOD’s approval.

“Each year, the Greenville business community is increasing its engagement in important, pro-business policy issues,” Greenville Chamber President/CEO Carlos Phillips said. “Whether those issues are education, workforce or tax reform, the business community is rallying to be the ‘sane middle’ voice to support inclusive, economic growth for the entire Upstate.”

Presented as one of the top state priorities for this year is the need to increase teacher pay to the Southeastern average, which was a state priority almost 15 years ago.

The pension system was also included as a priority for 2019. 

“The state pension system is a black hole that threatens public finances and our local governments’ ability to provide education, infrastructure, and public safety,” Phillip Kilgore of Ogletree Deakins, the Chamber’s 2019 board chair, said. “The General Assembly took a few modest steps in 2018, but needs to finish the job of reforming the system in 2019 to provide local government – and business taxpayers – certainty as we continue to grow.”

Greenlink’s expansion is still the top local agenda item. According to Jason Zacher, senior vice president of Business Advocacy, expanding the local transit system is a critical business recruitment and retention issue. 

“Mass transit is not a social service, it is critical infrastructure and should be treated as such," Zacher said. "Greenlink is drastically underfunded compared to our peer communities across the Southeast. In a metro area our size, it is essential that we are able to move residents to work, education and health care."

Know more about the 2019 Public Policy Agenda and Advocacy Guide here.

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Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce

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