- Primarily through deepening and widening the Port of Mobile and building the I-10 bridge, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce supports?increasing Alabama’s investment in transportation infrastructure?to sustain and promote economic growth, job creation, quality of life and public safety. The Chamber recognizes there is a gap between current state resources and what is required to address the highway, bridge, and other road maintenance and capital needs in Alabama today and in the future, specifically for critical needs such as completing the four-laning of U.S. Highway 98.
- Advocate for?adequately funding Alabama’s Education budget, including Alabama’s first-class pre-kindergarten, career tech, dual enrollment and other innovative programs, in order to ensure a competitive increase in student scoring, higher graduation rates and competitive college and career ready graduates; maintain high academic standards and expectations for all Alabama students such as those found in the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards or Common Core.
- Seek a fiscal year 2021 state budget appropriation for the University of South Alabama that reflects the institution’s positive impact on its students, community and our region, along with additional funding to support USA Health in recognition of its unique mission as the region’s only health care provider with a Level One Trauma Center, Burn Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care facility.
- Support?a fiscal year 2021 state budget appropriation for the Dauphin Island Sea Lab that reflects the institution’s increased state-wide student and faculty participation in its?nationally acclaimed?education and research programs and supports the needed modernization of infrastructure to meet future programmatic growth.
- In order to ensure the consistent and bi-partisan management of the planning, building and maintaining of the state’s multimodal transportation system and the long-term management of state transportation planning and revenues, the Mobile Area Chamber supports legislation to allow for a?board-governance structure?and a non-political,?board-appointed director of the Alabama Department of Transportation.
- Advocate for a “yes” vote on a November 2020 statewide amendment to recompile Alabama’s state Constitution, removing racist language and redundancy.? Alabama legislators unanimously approved the amendment during the 2019 legislative session. The recompiling will be done by Alabama Legislative Services and must be approved by the legislators and the voters in 2022.
- Preserve jobs and economic growth in all sectors through the?reduction of overly burdensome regulations?that increase the cost of doing business, create uncertainty and have the potential to stifle growth.
- Encourage the creation of a cabinet level position in the executive branch to focus on the creation and growth of?small businesses and entrepreneurial development in Alabama.
- Support the growth and development of Mobile’s entrepreneurial community and?Innovation PortAL’s mapping of entrepreneurial talent?to meet the growing technological needs of industry?with early state funding opportunities such as the State of Alabama Full Sail fund.? The Full Sail entrepreneurial fund will provide much-needed programming, skills training and funding for entrepreneurial clients, as well as enable the engagement of local industry to identify technological solutions to small business challenges.
- In order to avoid excessive and frivolous lawsuits and ensure fully-accessible public buildings and spaces,?close the loophole in Title III of the American with Disabilities Act, by providing clearer rules for identifying and correcting ADA access violations and allowing business and property owners the opportunity to address and correct minor ADA infractions in a defined period of time, prior to an allowable civil law suit.
- Protect an?employer’s right to provide a safe workplace?by opposing any legislation that would keep an employer or property owner from restricting firearm possession on company or private property.
- Support all efforts to?decrease workers’ compensation medical costs in Alabama by decreasing fraud in unemployment and workers’ compensation claims with stronger statutes:
- Maintain current Alabama laws that support an employer’s right to choose the treating physician and second physician in workers’ compensation claims.
- Enact statutes that allow businesses to perform the Workman’s Compensation claim checks prior to hire.
- Maintain?federal military contracts?with Mobile-area employers, particularly the construction of Austal USA’s Littoral Combat Ships, Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels, autonomous vehicle development and post-delivery support to the U.S. Navy.
- Support Austal USA’s bid to build the US Navy’s Frigate and increase employment in Mobile.
- Support fair trade and investment policy that?expand access to international markets, reduce trade barriers, and increase foreign direct investment creating a level playing field to put Mobile area families, businesses, and workers first and improving the overall international competitiveness of Alabama exporters.
- Continued support to?fund the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District Civil Works program in support of the?deepening and widening and the annual operations and maintenance dredging of the Mobile Ship Channel; maintain necessary funding for the operation and maintenance of Alabama’s commerce waterways, including the deepening of the Bayou la Batre and Coden ship channels.
- Support the funding and construction of the?proposed I-10 Mobile River Bridge?and partner with the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration to actively seek construction funding through?Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grants and other sources.
- Support measures to?address the growing opioid crisis?in Alabama that has detrimental effects on the availability of a qualified workforce, workplace safety and overall community health.
- Support a provider-driven approach to?reforming Alabama’s current Medicaid program?to ensure access to care, control costs and maximize the return of Alabama’s tax dollars to the state.
- Seek a permanent funding source for Mobile’s?Programs for All-inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE)?and the expansion of such programs across the state in order to draw down increased federal funds for the medical care of the state’s growing nursing home population at a cost savings to Medicaid.
- Support the continuation of federal payments to Alabama, specifically Mobile and Baldwin counties, from the 2006 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) in 2020 federal budgets. Under GOMESA, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas receive a share of revenue from oil and gas drilling in federal waters, which helps address coastal restoration, hurricane protection and watershed management programs in coastal Alabama.
- Continue to identify needs and support demand-driven?strategic workforce training initiatives?in south Alabama’s key economic growth sectors, including aerospace, maritime and advanced manufacturing.
- As prison reform is addressed, advocate for reentry and job skills training programs to meet the need for able-bodied workers in our region.