Purpose of the Public Policy Agenda
The Davis Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) is governed by an elected Executive Board (Board) which acts as the primary voice for Chamber members. The Board defines and promotes key issues to improve the public and private business environment in Davis County. The Board established the Legislative Affairs Committee (LAC) to represent the Chamber at the Utah State Legislature and to handle legislative issues at all levels of government.
This Public Policy Agenda outlines the Chamber’s position on critical areas of interest. Members of the Chamber are encouraged to bring legislative issues or concerns to the LAC. The LAC is charged with researching and discussing salient issues, and developing an appropriate action plan. The LAC is vested by the Board with the authority to take actions on issues that are consistent with the positions stated in this Public Policy Agenda. Positions adopted by the LAC are submitted to the Executive Committee of the Board for approval if they fall outside the scope of this document.
The LAC meets twice a week during the Utah State Legislative Session, once as a committee and once with the Davis County Legislative Delegation. The LAC meets monthly throughout the year and on an as-needed basis.
The Chamber supports strong initiatives to maintain a highly trained, educated, and competent workforce. Business prosperity is dependent on successful public, charter, and private primary education and quality institutions of higher education. The Chamber supports legislation which maintains education as a top priority for funding and meets the following criteria:
- Promote strong partnerships between K-12 schools, applied technology colleges, and local universities to develop and maintain a seamless system of learning.
- Encourage all students to master essential learning skills, develop civic responsibility, and pursue careers that contribute to the economic vitality of Davis County.
- Support State Custom Fit and USTAR Technology Outreach funding to enhance business performance and the transfer of technology and intellectual property.
- Reward quality education which increases the potential of overall education, and improves student productivity and performance.
- Support regional innovation centers and promote economic development through the Davis Applied Technology College, Weber State University, and the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative.
- Support the funding of the North Front Business Alliance.
- Support legislation that improves funding for education at all levels.
- Support continued and expanded North Front Business Alliance and Business Resource Center funding for the Davis Applied Technology College.
- Support bills that foster partnerships and programs to encourage school/business interchange.
- Seek funding to stabilize or increase Custom Fit and USTAR Northern Utah Technology Outreach.
- Support the APPLE Initiative to fund education.
- Stay involved in the Prosperity 2020 movement.
The Chamber has always promoted a strong economic development infrastructure for Davis County, which includes initiatives promoting aggressive business attraction, business development and business incubation. The chamber strongly endorses the County Commission and the Council of Governments’ (COG) efforts concerning economic development. Our charge is to be a resource and to provide assistance when and as needed.
- Support County led initiatives on economic development to foster local job growth in order to minimize job commuting.
- Support land planning initiatives for Economic Development Areas (EDA’s), Community Development Areas (CDA’s), and promote cooperative agreements for economic development between cities and county government.
- Support existing industrial parks as well as city and/or county programs that facilitate the retention, expansion and recruitment of businesses to Davis County.
- Expand our economic development capability with the state and other economic development agencies such as the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah).
- Encourage a county-wide commitment to regional economic development that promotes regional land planning for higher wage jobs.
- Proactively support and promote Hill Air Force Base.
- Support and promote the Utah procurement team, a public/private/non-profit partnership with GOED/PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center), LSI (Logistic Specialties, Inc.) and UDA (Utah Defense Alliance), to further drive new job creation and economic growth for Davis County and the State of Utah.
- Support and promote the Utah Defense Alliance (UDA) and the Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA) to further develop Falcon Hill and other related development on Hill Air Force Base.
- Support colleges and universities offering programs that prepare the workforce for key economic clusters in Davis County.
- Encourage legislation that offers tax favorability in promoting Davis County as “open for business” and commerce-ready.
- Support initiatives that encourage business relocation to or expansion within Davis County including business recruitment and implementation of ‘supply chain management’ aligned with the Governors’ Office economic clusters.
- Utilize all funding sources available to help retain and expand business in Davis County.
- Support initiatives that encourage equity and market based solutions for alcohol related legislation and regulations.
The Chamber supports publicly funded projects which improve the local economy or have a positive economic impact on businesses in Davis County, but is cautious of government competition with private businesses. Capital projects supported by the Chamber in the past include the Davis County Justice Center, Davis Applied Technology College, Weber State University - Davis Campus, Utah State Botanical Gardens, and the Division of Workforce Services building. Community development projects supported by the Chamber in the past include ongoing promotion of the Davis Conference Center, Davis County museums, and Antelope Island and other natural assets. The Chamber recognizes the value of arts and museum facilities in the county.
- Seek funding for the development of projects, facilities, and efforts that enhance the quality of life in Davis County.
- Work directly with the State Building Board, Capital Facilities Appropriations Subcommittee, and other state-level prioritizing bodies to build support for needed capital projects in Davis County.
- Support strategic investment in facilities and infrastructure projects using various funding mechanisms, including bonding, at times when interest rates are low and construction costs are down.
- Advocate for the value of capital facilities as a means to provide construction jobs.
The Chamber recognizes that quality, affordable, and accessible Health Care is critical to maintain a healthy, satisfied, and productive work force. The ever increasing cost of Health Care continues to place an additional burden on businesses and employees alike.
The Chamber supports public policies that:
- Improve the quality of health care while maintaining access and affordability.
- Minimize the conflicts between providers, insurance plans, and businesses allowing full use of the free market system.
- Create shared responsibility between individuals, employers, and government.
- Continue to support a marketplace for insurance products which allow for lower cost and higher quality health care services.
- Encourage broad-based funding for reform efforts.
- Install plans which encourage wellness and preventive care as well as individual health supported by business, family, and individual health and other incentives.
- Support, strengthen, and preserve prudent programs to provide healthcare for the uninsured.
- Protect Utah’s position as the nation’s leader in continuing to provide high quality and low-cost healthcare.
- Support legislation that decreases overall costs for patients and providers.
- Encourage insurance products that are portable from business to business/job to job.
- Support the Utah health insurance exchange concept and monitor results.
- Endorse policies that protect medical providers who use best practices from unreasonable jury awards.
- Encourage accountability at all levels of the health system – patients, businesses, providers, insurance companies, families, and political leaders.
- Oppose legislation that inappropriately intrudes negatively into physician/patient/hospital relationships.
- Oppose mandates that may increase cost and reduce overall coverage.
- Oppose bills that interfere with the development of health insurance networks.
- Encourage the development of public health policies that responsibly solve and improve public health.
Within Davis County there are 35 governmental entities consisting of 15 municipal governments, one county government, 18 special districts, and one school district. The Chamber recognizes the invaluable services provided by these entities and the role they have in shaping an environment which allows local businesses to thrive and maintain a good quality of life. The Chamber opposes local regulations that restrict fair commerce or unnecessarily compete with private enterprise.
- Support cities’ use of open processes which involve stakeholders in decision making.
- Encourage local and state entities to cooperate and forge meaningful partnerships.
- Encourage active participation in the Davis Council of Governments.
- Support reasonable flexibility to raise revenues to meet local needs and priorities.
- Support strategies that balance the competing demands from the public and the private sectors.
- Support initiatives that encourage economies of scale to ensure adequate funding of the health department and waste management services.
- Resist the federal or state government from preempting local authority to serve citizens.
- Encourage bills that responsibly balance government’s budgets by sharing responsibility with state, local, and federal governments.
The Chamber recognizes the positive economic impact that tourism has on the Davis County Economy and actively supports development of the tourism industry in Davis County. The Chamber encourages use of tourism-related tax revenue to improve and develop programs/venues that attract a broad base of visitors to Davis County.
- Support use of tourism based tax revenue to assist and promote the businesses that generate the revenue.
- Support coordination of tourism opportunities with local entities whenever possible.
- Support legislation that makes the alcohol-beverage industry more equitable and market driven.
- Support measures that market Davis County as a destination.
- Support the tourism efforts of the CVB and the county government.
- Support media efforts to promote tourism.
- Discourage programs that allow travelers to use a tax-exempt status to avoid paying transient room taxes.
Transportation issues are critical for the economic vitality and growth of Davis County. The continuation of the West Davis Corridor through Northern Utah is essential to the local and regional economy. The completion of commuter rail and the south portion of the Legacy Parkway (a Utah State Scenic Byway) enhance the quality of life for local residents and business owners and lessen the negative impacts on the environment associated with transportation. Projected increases in population and commercial traffic through Davis County make State funding for continued improvement of transportation a high priority.
- Ensure that Davis County receives a fair share of transportation project funding.
- Assist development of proper funding for I-15 and other projects in Davis County including lane gains and corridor preservation.
- Support funding for Highway 89 improvements from Farmington to South Ogden.
- Support efforts to continue development of the West Davis Corridor to Weber County.
- Support the transportation priority lists developed by the Council of Government Transportation Committee and by the Chamber Transportation Committee, as approved by the Chamber Board.
- Encourage a fair and equitable distribution of transportation and transit services.
- Support the development of East/West corridors within all of Davis County.
- Support development and expansion of transit options within Davis County.
The Chamber recognizes that federal and state policies regarding public utilities impact the businesses and the citizens of Davis County. The Chamber and its members have a vested interest in prices paid for services, not only because of their impact on the cost of doing business, but also due to their potential impact on economic development. The Chamber favors reasonable regulation, trusting that the marketplace will drive price and quality.
The Chamber recognizes the critical role that clean, cost effective, and available energy plays in fostering industry and its effect on our cost of living.
Environmental quality is a factor in Davis County’s economic prosperity and quality of life. Environmental components such as clean air and water, adequate sewage and solid waste treatment, and a desirable landscape are essential to maintaining a community where people desire to live, work, and purchase goods and services. Environmental conditions directly impact public health, as well as local business sectors such as the brine shrimp industry, the tourism industry, construction, and retail businesses related to wildlife watching, outdoor recreation, and bird-feeding.
Environmental planning, management, and regulation need to be conducted in accordance with sound scientific principles, economic considerations, public participation, and attainable goals.
- Support state and federal policies that protect and enhance utility services.
- Seek to foster positive incentives for existing and new providers to make capital investments.
- Support product and service innovation, including the wide-spread development of high-speed, broadband telephone and internet services.
- Encourage reasonable regulation that encourages marketplace controls.
- Support capacity increases to allow business and residential growth.
- Support development of efficient and environmentally clean energy sources.
- Support programs and policies that address water supply issues including water quality, conservation, and development.
- Promote a long-range planning approach to local growth and development issues.
- Promote the use of Envision Utah tools and principles where appropriate.?
- Support policies that encourage land and water conservation while providing for economic stimulation.
- Encourage the development of trails and promote walking communities.
- Encourage broad-based partnerships and planning efforts (e.g., Envision Utah) that ?support the Chamber’s mission.