2014 Advocacy Agenda

We are advocating on your behalf to advance an agenda that seeks to improve the region’s business climate and competitiveness in five critical areas. A framework of our 2014 Agenda includes:

Talent:  Building on the region’s greatest competitive advantage by strengthening state education, training, and retention efforts while improving access to top international talent.

  • Immigration reform – Lead a national coalition of chambers of commerce working for legislation that expands temporary (H-1B) and permanent visas for skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and graduates.
  • Charter school expansion – Implement a “floating cap” to increase the supply of charter schools where demand for them is high, to expand opportunity and close the achievement gap.
  • Internship initiative – Expand the reach of the Chamber-Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Internship Collaborative and its InternHub.com website, to strengthen connections between employers and students.

Cost competiveness:  Working to make state business tax policy and business costs more competitive with other states in order to drive job growth, investment, innovation, and expansion

  • Business taxes –  Work to improve state and city tax policy, by advancing pro-growth reforms proposed by the Chamber and preventing the adoption of uncompetitive tax policies.
  • Employment costs – Advance the competiveness of Massachusetts employment costs, such as those related to unemployment insurance taxes.
  • Health care costs – Make Massachusetts health care costs more competitive, while preserving the state’s leadership role in research and innovation, as its  2012 health care cost law is implemented.

Transportation and Development: Advancing transportation and development initiatives key to strengthening our region’s stance as a world-class destination to do business.

  • Regional infrastructure – Work with leaders in business and government to expand international connections at Logan Airport and make improvements to the Port of Boston.
  • Smart permitting – Advocate for permitting principles across city agencies that include enforceable deadlines, simultaneous agencies review, and clear schedules, making them easy to navigate while maintaining substantive standards.
  • South Station expansion – Work with government and business leaders to increase rail connections and facilitate new waterfront development by expanding South Station.

Innovation: Advancing several key issues to help Greater Boston’s industries – both emerging and established – succeed in a global, knowledge-based economy.

  • Financial services initiative Strengthen the financial services sector by advancing competitive tax and regulatory policies, creating a structure for collaboration between the sector and state government, and promoting the sector’s economic and social impacts.
  • Research funding – Work with university and business partners to secure increases in government research funding, which drive scientific and medical breakthroughs fueling the innovation economy.

Ballot questions: Working for the rejection of three ballot proposals:

  • Gas tax indexing – Work with a broad coalition of business and other civic groups to defeat Question One, which would repeal indexing of the gas tax to inflation, a policy critical to the funding of the state’s 2013 transportation bill. Learn more.
  • Expanded Bottle Deposits – Oppose Question Two, which would extend the state bottle deposit requirement to all containers of nonalcoholic drinks.
  • Gaming – Oppose Question Three, which would repeal the state’s gaming law, given the Chamber’s support for the law and the Chamber study that documented the economic impact of destination resort casinos. Learn more.