AIM Legislative Policy
AIM Policy & Planning Committee, 12/10/2009
2010 POLICY STATEMENT
The principal purpose of Associated Industries of Missouri is to “promote a favorable business climate for business, manufacturing and industry.” AIM has, therefore, formulated the following statement of policy which clearly states the objectives of this association.
This association realizes that the people of Missouri can only be successful if the business community of this state is successful. AIM is dedicated to helping industry and business in Missouri succeed by empowering its members through communication, education and advocacy before the General Assembly, administrative agencies, courts and the public. These policy statements serve as guides to allow AIM’s staff to promote this vision and to ensure that AIM will continue to serve as the “Voice of Missouri Business” through the 21st Century.
· Support joining other states by passing the “Internal Environmental Audit Privilege” act. This would allow for the voluntary auditing of manufacturing processes without the threat of penalty provisions from DNR for the findings that result.
· Support regulatory reforms that focus on reducing administrative requirements and the economic burden of regulatory compliance.
· Oppose increased regulations from the Department of Natural Resources that could increase the cost of manufacturing and doing business without appropriate scientific data backing up the need for the proposal. Require a clearly stated objective for the proposed action to include the appeals process to be utilized.
· Oppose imposition of any new fees or increase in existing fees to pay for environmental quality programs unless the state invests General Revenue and demonstrates a critical environmental need and meets a balancing test between the enhancement of economic development in Missouri and the protection of health and safety.
· Support the implementation of “permit shield” protection to prohibit fines against businesses operating within their DNR water permit.
· Support extension of the current DNR authority and process for establishing an impaired waterway listing.
· Support the development of a comprehensive statewide transportation plan, including sufficient funding streams to guarantee an efficient and adequate multi-modal transportation system in Missouri.
· Support tax credits for all vehicles that are equipped with Auxiliary Power Units (APU’s), to enhance fuel efficiency and in turn reduce air emissions. Additionally, support the state implementation policies in response to the 2005 Energy Power Act passed by Congress.
· Support changing the passive enforcement of the seat belt law to primary enforcement. This change will not only save lives, but will save several million dollars in lost work hours at the job per year and hundreds of millions of dollars in unnecessary medical expenditures over the next ten years.
Human Resources and Workplace Issues
· Support the elimination of the indexing provision of the minimum wage law in order to protect businesses and their employees from job loss to other states.
· Support a Right to Work provision in Missouri Statutes.
· Continue the defense of Senate Bill 1, Laws 2005, and the reforms enacted upon the Workers Compensation System.
· Support comprehensive reform or elimination of the Second Injury Fund.
· Closely scrutinize any changes to the unemployment law including the potential of unnecessary tax increases to inflate the Unemployment Trust Fund balance beyond that which is deemed appropriate. Additionally, support further review to modify the way the unemployment compensation system is funded and federal debt is repaid.
· Support sufficient funding for workforce and technical training programs to meet the needs and expectations of Missouri employers.
· Support the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations initiative to secure additional federal stimulus funding for unemployment benefits provided such benefit increases are revenue neutral for employers.
· Support increasing the number of weeks an employer may use the “Shared Work” program from the current 26 weeks to 52 weeks per employee, allowing employers to retain their current employees in layoff situations.
· Oppose unnecessary mandated coverage of specific procedures that drive up health care costs.
· Support the continuation of Certificate of Need.
· Support the reform of the current health system to include transparency, information technology and better communication and cooperation for all interested parties.
· Support assistance for employers to give incentive for providing private health insurance coverage to their employees without additional taxes, licenses or fees disproportionately or unfairly imposed on Missouri employers.
· Support increasing the federal reimbursement allowance contributions by hospitals for the purpose of expanding Medicaid coverage for persons between 20% and 50% of poverty level because of the benefit to employers through reduction of healthcare costs related to uncompensated care provided to the underinsured and uninsured.
· The availability of reliable telecommunications, data and video infrastructure and access to the newest generation of telecommunications and video services is a very important decision factor for business choosing to locate or expand in a region. High-speed telecommunications and data exchange is essential to business productivity and operations. Support policies that encourage investment in technology infrastructure and promote customer choice.
· Support updating the current intrastate access fee structure to encourage greater competition and remove a potential barrier to greater access to communications technology and investment.
Taxes, Licenses and Fees
· Support lower taxes, licenses and fees for Missouri employers and oppose disproportionate or unfair tax, license or fee expansion and increases against businesses.
· Oppose any attempt to decouple Missouri’s tax code in a way that prevents Missouri businesses from enjoying any state benefit from federal tax reductions or other federal stimulus programs.
· Support the elimination of the state corporation franchise tax.
· Support reduction of the corporation income tax.
· Support the establishment of a Missouri research and development tax credit or incentive program.
· Support an amnesty program to encourage companies to voluntarily register and pay taxes.
· Support cleanup of the 2008 property tax reform statutes, including correcting critical dates and simplifying property tax appeal procedures.
All immigration policy should be set at the Federal Level.
· Support full enforcement of current federal laws in relation to any employer who knowingly employs any worker lacking legal work authorization status.
· Oppose state or local legislation which we reasonably believe to be in conflict with federal law, or which imposes any requirement or responsibility on employers greater than what is currently imposed by federal law.
· Support state efforts to partner with the federal government in enforcing federal law relating to work status so long as the state’s actions are clearly authorized by federal law.
· Support legislation that encourages tourism in Missouri.
· Support Tourism Impact Statements on all legislation and regulations.
· Support responsible measures designed to encourage job creation and retention in Missouri.
· Support review of incentive programs and reworking existing programs that are found to be ineffective or inefficient.
· Support legislation to create capital investment incentives in Missouri.
· Support programs that assist small businesses with funding, process improvement, benefit opportunities and other issues faced by small businesses.
· Support the film making industry in Missouri through support and enhancement of film production tax incentives and support of the infrastructure necessary to foster the film making industry in Missouri.
Legal and Court Reform
· Support legislation to prohibit suits against supervisors or individual management employees under the Missouri Human Rights Act.
· Support legislation that restores the evidentiary standard of a “motivating” factor for an employment discrimination lawsuit, filed in Missouri under the Missouri Human Rights Act, to go to a jury trial.
· Support punitive damage caps (limit to an amount equal to nine times the amount awarded for actual damages).
· Support incentives to foster the growth of industries that will supply parts and materials to nuclear and renewable energy providers.