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Public Policy & Legislative Advocacy

The Springfield Regional Chamber supports businesses by diving deep into key issues and advocates on behalf of its members, so you can focus on doing business. As the only Chamber in the region with a history and commitment to legislative action and a registered lobbyist on staff, we serve as the voice for business and provide our members with a seat at the table and unparalleled leadership on issues that matter to you.

Legislative Advocacy

The Chamber’s Legislative Agenda is focused on ensuring that local, state, and federal legislation support a strong regional business climate and economic growth. We work to create legislation and policies that will support job creation, catalyze economic development, bolster our economic health, capitalize on the diversity of our workforce and our industries, protect the competitiveness of our region and the Commonwealth as a whole, and build a more prosperous future.

For the 2023 legislative session, our work will focus in four key priority areas:

Budget & Tax Policy

Federal Stimulus: Advocate for the inclusion of fair and equitable stimulus funding to support our region’s cities and towns to supplement budgetary shortfalls resulting from the pandemic.

State Budget: Support fiscally sound legislation and policy which rebuilds the Stabilization Fund, develops new revenue through sports wagering, identifies opportunities for revenue-enhancing measures, while opposing new broad-based taxes which would hinder the region’s economic recovery.

Taxation: Monitor all proposed changes to tax policy and advocate for those that would enhance the region’s competitiveness, promote job creation and catalyze economic development.  Advocate for an increase in the exemption and the removal of the clawback provision on the estate tax.

Local Aid: Advocate for fair and equitable funding for local aid.

Fair Share Amendment: Advocate for clarity and fairness in the assessment of this new tax and advocate for all new revenues collected to be allocated to the identified priorities of transportation and education.

HealthCare

Health Equity: Support legislation and policies which address racial, ethnic, socio-economic, sexual orientation, and gender identity disparities in our region, with a consistent regulatory structure to collect data.

Health Care Workforce: Reduce administrative burdens by developing reasonable and timely licensing and credentialing procedures, including interstate licensing compacts. Support telehealth services which increase access to appropriate care.

Behavioral Health: Recognizing the growing need for behavioral health services, the Chamber will support evidence-based legislation and policies that expand access to these services.

Health Care Costs: Support legislation and policies that help ensure transparency, contain costs, and oppose mandated and/or expanded benefits that are not evidence based and whose costs exceed their value.

Provider Reimbursements: Advocate for appropriate commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid payments so as not to penalize our regional health care providers or drive-up commercial insurance costs.

Federal and State Oversight: Monitor legislative, regulatory, and fiscal changes to the health care system, and advocate at the state and federal level in order to avoid negative impacts to the health care system in our region.

Workplace and Workforce

Unemployment Insurance: Continue to advocate for a modernization of the state’s UI system and monitor changes that would increase costs for employers.

Paid Family Medical Leave: Monitor and advocate as appropriate to ensure reasonable implementation for the business community as proposed changes are made.

Workforce Talent: Support legislation and policy recommendations that promote inclusive skills development including career-technical initiatives and the expansion of apprenticeship programs. Support and advocate for the creation of job pathways and diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines for fields where there are projected major skills gaps including healthcare (CNA’s, home health aides), manufacturing (skilled labor), human services and the trades.

Early Childhood Education: Advocate for legislation and policies which support and strengthen our regional economy, workforce, communities, and future with affordable, universally accessible, stable, high-quality early childhood education for all families in our region.

Independent Contractors: Encourage reforms to better reflect the current economy, promote entrepreneurialism and incentivize business growth while promoting regional equity.

 

Energy, Infrastructure and Environment

Energy: Advocate for a comprehensive energy strategy which maintains sufficient and equitable capacity and affordability for continued growth of the region’s business community, including maintaining a balanced energy portfolio, development of alternative renewal energy sources, ensuring a safe, reliable and adequate supply of natural gas, continued conservation, and energy efficiency measures.

Infrastructure: Support legislation and policies that provide fair, equitable, and responsible investments in the maintenance and development of infrastructure such as energy, road and rail, real estate and housing, telecommunications and broadband, that preserve and strengthen the regional economy and its communities and catalyze economic development, with a focus on the unique challenges of the region’s Gateway Cities.

Environment: Support responsible policies to protect our environment without adding unreasonable or inequitable cost burdens on the region's business community. Environmental protection and a sound business environment do not need to be mutually exclusive, with both resulting in new technological advances, manufacturing opportunities, job creation and efficiency, all the while preserving and protecting the environment.

Our Strategic Partners

We recognize that we are stronger together and have developed strategic partnerships across the Commonwealth and represent the region at all levels to bridge the gap between the west and the east.

The Springfield Regional Chamber is one of the founding members of Western Mass. Businesses Against Human Trafficking, an organization committed to training and awareness of the risks of human trafficking to businesses. Other members include:

MGM Springfield

ERC 5 – Five Town Chamber of Commerce

Sheraton Springfield

Hampton Inn

Red Roof Inn

Springfield Redevelopment Authority

United Way

Hilton Garden Inn

Peter Pan Bus Lines

Baystate Health

Square One

Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau

Legislative Steering Committee

Our Legislative Steering Committee is made up of Chamber members and is divided into four subcommittees that perform in-depth research and analysis to identify our priority areas and develop our annual plan of action.

ALLISON EBNER
Chair
Employers Association of the NorthEast
Workplace & Workforce Subcommittee Chair

DOMINICK IANNO
Vice Chair

MassMutual
Budget & Tax Policy Subcommittee Chair

THOMAS R. CREED
TD Bank
Energy, Infrastructure and Environment
Subcommittee Chair

DANIEL KEENAN
Mercy Medical Center
Health Care Subcommittee Chair

JENNIFER CONNOLLY
Junior Achievement of Western Mass., Inc.

TARYN DUFFY
MGM Resorts - Springfield

MICHAEL R. KNAPIK
Baystate Health

JOE LAWLER
USI-Springfield

 

EILEEN LEAHY
Comcast

FRANCES MARTHONE
Shriners Children’s New England

JOSEPH MITCHELL
Eversource

NANCY MIRKIN
Polish National Credit Union

JENNIFER MURPHY
Appleton Corporation

ROBERTO NIEVES
Common Capital, Inc.

JOHN M. O’BRIEN
J.M. O’Brien & Company, P.C.

SUSAN O’CONNOR
Health New England

STEVE PARASTATIDIS
PeoplesBank

BROOKE THOMSON
Associated Industries of Massachusetts

THOMAS J. TUBMAN
American Energy Coalition

ROBERT P. ZIOMEK
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Foundation, Inc.

Questions About Specific Legislation?

Is there a bill being considered that may affect your business? Are you looking for information on a particular issue?

Email us ([email protected]) or call 413.455.1310 to see what we can do for you.