At the 30,000 foot level

From the Chamber’s standpoint, the session was a successful legislative session. At the same time, the prevailing philosophy in both the House and Senate leans decidedly toward an agenda that favors ever greater spending on governmental programs.

Two dynamics continue in the Legislature: Having relatively few business voices leads to an incredibly large number of bills that would place burdens on businesses or hurt our competitiveness, and there’s a growing divide between urban and rural lawmakers on everything from social issues to guns to economic matters.

Against this backdrop, we who represent the business community too often measure our success by what didn’t happen compared to what might have been. Some might say, it’s like playing four quarters of defense.

Tremendous effort was needed to halt the imposition of an unwieldy, unworkable and unmanageable paid family and medical leave act that would have left small businesses crippled by excessive employee absenteeism and new taxes (likely to escalate in the future). Despite claims by the proponents that they worked with the business community, the reality is they were unwilling to consider alternatives that business could have supported.

Let’s hope that in this upcoming election more members get elected who have actual experience running or managing a business. Those members – Democrat and Republican – would have reference points to guide them toward a more positive outlook about economic growth and job creation – the ultimate solutions to ending poverty. Here, then, is a more detailed look at the second session of the 56th Legislature defined by the agenda we established for ourselves at the beginning of the session.

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