Members of The Network’s Leadership Council visited the State Capitol on April 26 to advocate for continued investment in efforts that benefit Southwest Missouri through several specific Chamber board-approved legislative priorities.
The delegation in Jefferson City included Network Chair Bryant Young, Insurors of the Ozarks, along with other Leadership Council members who represented a variety of area employers, including: Ollis/Akers/Arney Insurance & Business Advisors, OMB Bank, SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging, Throughline Architecture, LLC, Central Trust Company, Aon Risk Services, Trustpoint – Sandler Training, and FORVIS, LLP.
The group shared the importance of encouraging support for long-term and predictable transportation funding, investing in local communities, providing robust funding for public-12 and higher education, improving the existing initiative petition system, fostering a business climate that encourages entrepreneurship, and discussing innovative solutions to workforce barriers. These topics were discussed with several regional lawmakers, House of Representatives and Senate leadership, Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, and more.
During a meeting with Representatives Betsy Fogle and Stephanie Hein, the delegation emphasized the importance of investing in childcare as a means of removing workforce barriers. Potential investments currently under consideration include significant funding proposals for childcare providers and programs, as well as the proposal of a childcare tax credit for providers, guardians, and employers.
Additionally, Rep. Hein encouraged the group to remind legislators that the Springfield-area is one of importance in the state.
“Emphasize that there is a lot going on in Springfield, and we have a lot to offer,” said Representative Hein. “We don’t individually represent a district – we collectively represent Springfield,” she said.
The delegation also met with Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe and thanked him for his ongoing commitment and support for predictable transportation funding and his leadership statewide on childcare initiatives, arts and culture, small business support, and more.
Lt. Governor Kehoe expressed the importance of young professionals getting involved and was appreciative to hear from young leaders on key issues.
“Great chambers always signify a great community, and Springfield is a really great community,” said Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe. “The way that communities grow or die is when young people choose to get involved.”