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Issue Background

Equity and Opportunity

The Chamber will focus on key issues that will drive our Equity & Opportunity Position: 

2017 Focus Issue: Champion a Missouri Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) bill to help low-income working families overcome the cycle of poverty.

Support efforts to ensure Missouri has a nimble and flexible economic development structure, allowing it to provide even more effective service delivery and responsiveness to business needs; as part of this effort, review Missouri’s system of tax credits to reflect the reality of the 21st-century global economy and ensure incentives focus on encouraging investment in people and talent.

Advocate for employment law reform in Missouri to foster a more attractive business climate in our region and state. As part of this effort, support reforms that would limit individual liability of managers and supervisors, mirror the federal standard of proof in discrimination cases, tighten whistleblower protection so that it applies only in cases when an employee alerts authorities to an actual illegal act, implement reasonable damage caps, and restore a reasonable threshold for the use of summary judgment in discrimination cases.

Expand need-based aid for first generation, low income, and/or students of color by scaling investment in regional scholarship funds or programs, building an advocacy coalition focused on state education policy, and collaborating with higher education institutions to lower the net cost of a college education.

Support full funding of the Missouri K-12 foundation formula to drive equitable outcomes for students across the state, ensuring that more students are graduating high school ready for college and career.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police, Forest Park

Job creation and sustainable economic growth flourish with open and inclusive education, markets and capital formation. St. Louis will grow by attracting entrepreneurs, innovative employers and talent while embracing the demands of both entrepreneurial risk-taking and closing gaps in economic mobility. Racial and economic impacts need to be factors in policy decision-making.
Public money should focus on community building and improving the fundamentals of community life. The region must review its economic development toolkit and approach to tax credits and incentives to strengthen what works and fix what is broken. When economic incentives are deployed, they should prioritize talent development and capital formation and be based on net new job growth for the bi-state region, rather than shifting jobs across government boundaries.

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