Yes on 7! Missouri businesses support transportation measure

On Aug. 5, Missouri voters will decide whether to support our state’s transportation system with a new sales tax, which has been endorsed by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Our state’s businesses, large and small, rely on having a fully-functioning transportation system.

Read below to see what Missouri business leaders are saying about the need to pass Amendment 7.

Dallas Nichols, Transportation Manager The Doe Run Company, St. Louis For the Doe Run Resources Corporation, shipping more than 500,000 metric tons of material per annum from our facilities, the Missouri transportation road system is the life blood of our business.  We are dependent upon the roads and bridges to move our products from our mines and mills to the marketplace.  The transportation infrastructure also allows us to operate throughout the state so that we can bring in raw materials, which we process, and ship out finished goods to customers throughout the US.  Without safe and efficient transportation infrastructure, Missouri’s businesses would be at a disadvantage.  The livelihood for our 1,400 employees and the additional 6,000 jobs we support indirectly is dependent upon Missouri’s transportation system.

Gene Schwartz Sr., President K&S Wire Products, Inc., Neosho Management supports 100 percent the passage of the sales tax to fund the highway department’s need for additional funding. We are a manufacturer shipping our products everyday via trucks. We must maintain our roads and improve many of them. 

Margot Crowell, owner Nostalgic Place Bed and Breakfast, Arcadia I do feel a well maintained road system is viable to my business. Roadways are very important for my delivery of goods. Visitors to my store and Inn feel smooth and safe roads are an asset for their vacations. Consumers who have large spending budgets drive nice vehicles. They vacation and spend a lot of money and frequent vacation locations with smooth safe roadways. Specialty markets of touring vehicles and cycles require and only visit locations with excellent road systems. All of these groups bring revenue to Missouri. Maintenance of roadways provides income to Missouri construction workers and supplies them with incomes and they in turn spend money at other businesses.

I am for the new tax. Just insure me that the folks at state will use the funding wisely and not squander the revenue generated by the tax.

 

Bob Gilbert, PE Bartlett & West, Jefferson City This ballot measure is very important to our business. We provide engineering and technology services for transportation agencies in Missouri (MoDOT and Cities/Counties). Without the measure, we are hearing that the budget for our kinds of services could be reduced to half of their current value as early as 2015. This kind of reduction in resources for our industry will be detrimental to many of the businesses in Missouri just like ours. We hope that Missourians understand the value of a good transportation system and will vote yes on August 5, 2014. We need to keep Missouri moving ahead and keep our workers busy in Missouri.

Kathy McGraw, Director Ozark Valleys Community Services, Ironton

Ozark Valleys Community Services provides services to people with developmental disabilities.  Part of those services is transportation.  We are in a small rural area and have to transport the people we serve at least within 200 miles or more once or twice a month. Therefore I would like to express to your how important I feel it is to support the tax for transportation funding to keep up the infrastructure of the roadways as well as improvements in the future.

I feel it is important for the business community as well as we are somewhat a tourist town with a lot of parks, etc. in the surrounding area and the roads need to be in good condition for people to travel to our area.  When they are here they often stay in our bed & breakfasts and shop at our businesses.

2014 Missouri Chamber Election Action Center is your campaign information HQ

Each election year we are given the responsibility of voting for individuals to represent us in our state and federal government. As a Missouri voter, you will help elect a new Missouri Legislature and statewide elected officials – individuals who will shape legislative attitudes on business issues.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry continues to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your voting choices, and all this information is provided to you at the newly re-launched www.mochamberelectioncenter.com

The Missouri Chamber’s Election Action Center is the state’s top resource regarding candidates and how their views align with the goal of advancing Missouri’s economy. Each candidate is given the opportunity to weigh in on their priorities to make sure you have all the important information at your fingertips.

Users of the free website can view information about candidates in all the state races as well as races for U.S. Congressional seats. The site will clarify voting records and candidate position on the issues such as tort reform, workers’ compensation reform, tax policy, and other business factors that impact you and your business.

At this site you can track the latest election news and watch video clips of candidates. The site will be updated right up to the November 4 election.

You can also check in on your incumbent legislators’ voting records to see how they stack up to their opponents on business friendly legislation.

Please use this information to your advantage and share it with others in your company and industry!

Leadership Missouri visits St. Louis, sees transportation in action

As the Gateway City, St. Louis was a fitting location for Missouri’s 2014 Leadership Missouri class to learn about—and experience—the variety of transportation resources available in our state.

leadershipmo2014

Whereas the early travelers arrived in St. Louis via boat or wagon, many visitors today arrive in the city by air. Leadership Missouri participants had a chance to visit this historic main terminal at St. Louis Lambert International Airport and learn about efforts to modernize and upgrade the facility. Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge also shared the airport’s ambitions to become a greater engine for economic development. The airport is currently pursuing a vision to develop its property and bring more international cargo business to the site.

While at the airport, Metro St. Louis Chief Operating Officer Ray Friem shared an overview of the city’s vast public transportation network. He described the many challenges facing the system, including limited public funding compared to other systems. He also shared the success of the system’s MetroLink trains. The class then experienced this form of transportation as they boarded Metrolink for a ride to the Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center, which connects the city’s transit system with rail lines and bus access.

From there, the class headed to the icon of St. Louis, the Gateway Arch, where they learned about the CityArchRiver project. CityArchRiver seeks to enhance the park and improve its ties to the city. While overlooking the monument, the class learned about work to build a pedestrian park-like bridge which will create a seamless transition from the city to the Arch. The project will also revamp the underground museum, including a new entrance, and raise an underutilized parking garage in favor of an outdoor amphitheater and new gardens. The plan also includes new paths that will make the park much more accessible for families and people with limited mobility.

As the class observed the Arch, several barges passed by along the Mississippi River. At the next stop, Leadership Missouri participants learned about a major public facility that makes commercial river traffic possible. The Mel Price Lock and Dam is a massive facility that helps keep the river navigable for barges. With a tour from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the class went behind the scenes and saw how the facility operates before getting a chance to view the museum on the site.

Later, the class heard presentations about the railroad industry and the Railroad Terminal Association. They also learned about the trucking industry and ongoing efforts to improve Missouri roadways using more recycled materials. Later presentations also included discussions about the effort to pass a new sales tax to fund road improvements and new trends in road construction.

The class also had the opportunity to enjoy a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game.

Thanks to the many presenters and sponsors—especially CHS Foundation, our premier sponsor—who made the visit to St. Louis both fun and informative. Next, the class visits Sedalia from Aug. 13-15.

NEWS RELEASE: The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry reports lawmakers’ preliminary grades from the 2014 Legislative Session

Veto session in September may alter some lawmakers’ marks

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry today released its 2014 Vote Record. This annual ranking provides the business community with a measure of how lawmakers voted on a comprehensive list of important economic issues in the 2014 legislative session.  This year’s report provides preliminary grades.  Lawmakers’ grades will be re-tabulated following the 2014 Veto Session in September.

“We are providing a preliminary grade card that Missouri voters can evaluate prior to the upcoming primary election,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber President and CEO. “During an election year it is vitally important to let Missourians know who is voting to protect our state’s jobs and who is voting to harm our economy.”

To compile this tool, the Missouri Chamber selected the most critical votes of the legislative session, weighed the votes based on their importance to Missouri employers, and established a rating for each Missouri legislator.  The bills were chosen based on the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s legislative priorities, which are set by policy councils made up of business owners and executives from around the state.  The priorities are then approved by the organization’s board of directors.  The votes cover a wide spectrum, including education, tax, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, economic development, tort, employment law, labor and environmental policy.

Seventy legislators showed strong support for Missouri’s employers, ending the year with a 90 percent vote rating and above.

“These lawmakers made good on campaign promises to protect Missouri jobs,” Mehan said.  “Eighteen lawmakers went the extra mile to earn a 100 percent vote rating, voting in support of Missouri employers in every case.”

Lawmakers who earned a 100 percent rating in 2014 include: Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, Rep. Charlie Davis, Sen. Tom Dempsey, Rep. Denny Hoskins, Rep. Jay Houghton, Sen. Mike Kehoe, Rep. Mike Lair, Rep. Bill Lant, Rep. Steve Lynch, Sen. Brian Munzlinger, Sen. David Pearce, Rep. Don Phillips, Sen. Ron Richard, Sen. Gary Romine, Rep. Noel Shull, Rep. Kathy Swan, Rep. Nate Walker, Sen. Wayne Wallingord.

While the 2014 Missouri Chamber Legislative Vote Record shows strong support by pro-jobs lawmakers, the report also shows disturbingly weak support on the other end of the scale.  Sixty-seven lawmakers are failing Missouri workers and employers with a grade of 70 percent and below.

“The Missouri Chamber Vote Record demonstrates that elections matter and who Missourians are voting into office makes a difference in the economic health of our state,” Mehan said.  “An important part of the Missouri Chamber’s advocacy strategy is to hold lawmakers accountable through political action.  The Missouri Chamber Legislative Vote Record plays an important role in campaign endorsement decisions for incumbent legislators.”

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.mochamber.com) was founded in 1923 and is the largest business organization in Missouri, representing almost 3,000 employers, providing more than 425,000 jobs for Missourians.

New Missouri law ends incentives for bad workplace behavior

You shouldn’t be rewarded for bad behavior. That’s the principle behind a new law—a victory for the Missouri business community—that will ensure our state’s employers will no longer be required to pay unemployment benefits to workers who are fired after willfully breaking workplace rules.

The new law, Senate Bill 510, changes Missouri’s standards that dictate which employees are allowed to receive unemployment compensation upon termination. Previously, Missouri’s unemployment benefits laws were far too inclusive, effectively rewarding some employees who broke workplace rules. Senate Bill 510 was sponsored by Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit.

“As we’ve worked to attract business development, Missouri’s unemployment compensation situation has been a glaring black eye for our state. What business would choose to invest in a state where the law requires you to reward negligent employees?” asked Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “Passing this bill brings more fairness to our system. This was a priority for the Missouri Chamber and our members statewide. We greatly appreciate the work of the leaders in the Missouri General Assembly for making this possible.”

The new law will also help ease the strain on Missouri’s unemployment insurance system. The system’s current design allows it to become quickly overwhelmed during an economic downturn, requiring the state to borrow funds from the federal government to pay for employee benefits. After the last recession, Missouri employers spent years contributing extra fees toward repayment of the debt. This debt likely prolonged the recession in Missouri, as it consumed funds that businesses otherwise could have invested in growth.

“This new law is a great step forward. However, Missouri’s unemployment system remains ripe for a complete overhaul,” Mehan said. “We will continue to work with the business community and lawmakers to address this. There is so much more we can do to ensure our state is a place where business can grow and hard workers can succeed.”

Senate Bill 510 was one of two bills that Gov. Jay Nixon allowed to become law without his signature.

Media Advisory: Missouri’s business leaders meet in St. Louis to explore Missouri’s transportation future

MEDIA ADVISORY

Missouri’s business leaders meet in St. Louis to explore Missouri’s transportation future

WHAT:                 Leadership Missouri was founded in 1990 to identify current and emerging business and government leaders throughout Missouri, enhance leadership skills, and deepen participants’ knowledge of the economic challenges and opportunities facing the state. The class will meet seven times through this year in seven different communities to explore issues that affect Missouri businesses. The goal is to prepare participants to take an active role in advancing the state for the common good.

 

WHO:                   Missouri business and government leaders from throughout the state, who were nominated by their employers to participate in the 2014 Leadership Missouri Class.

 

WHEN:                 Thursday, July 10 through Friday, July 1.

 

WHERE:              St. Louis, Mo.

 

WHY:                   Participants will learn more about the state of Missouri’s transportation future through tours of airports, train stations and MoDot facilities.          

 

NOTE:                   All members of the media are invited to attend. A complete agenda follows.

                                                                           

 

 

AGENDA

“Transportation”

Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch, 2 South 4th Street, St. Louis, MO  63102; 314.231.3003

July 9 – 11, 2014

 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

 

 

 

 

8:00 am

Board Bus

 

 

8:30 am

Arrive Lambert Airport (Walk to Lindberg conference room, upper level of main terminal.)

 

 

8:45 am

 

Overview of Missouri’s Transportation System

-          Paula Gough, MODOT

-          Ray Friem, Metro St. Louis

 

 

9:30 am

 

Lambert Airport

-          Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Director, Lambert Airport

  • Cargo Hub
  • Services and how they impact the economy
  • Economic Development at Lambert Airport

 

 

10:20 am

Depart and walk to MetroLink station

 

 

10:27 am

MetroLink Departs Airport – MetroLink is the light rail transit system in the Greater St. Louis area of Missouri and the Metro East area of Illinois. The system consists of two lines (Red Line and Blue Line) connecting Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and Shrewsbury, MO with Scott Air Force Base near Shiloh, Illinois through downtown St. Louis. The system features 37 stations and carries an average of 51,716 people each weekday. A second line, the “Cross-County Extension”, known as the Blue Line, opened to the public August 26, 2006. This 8-mile, nine-station line connects Washington University, Clayton, the popular Saint Louis Galleria shopping center, and Shrewsbury to the system. Further extensions are under study, but no alignments have yet been chosen, engineered, or funded.

 

 

10:57 am

Arrive Civic Center MetroLink Station, i.e. the Multi-Modal Station – The Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center, also known as Gateway Transportation Station or Gateway Station, is a rail and bus terminal station in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Opened in 2008 and operating 24 hours a day, it serves Amtrak, St. Louis MetroLink, MetroBus regional buses, Greyhound cross-country buses, and taxis. Missouri’s largest rail transportation station, it is located one block east of St. Louis Union Station.

 

11:14 am

Board Metro Bus – 99 Downtown Trolley (get off at Market and Broadway – walk 2 blocks toward the Arch, at the corner of Market and Memorial)

 

11:25 am

Arrive at Gateway Tower, One Memorial Drive, Suite 700, St. Louis, MO 63102

 

11:30 am

Presentation regarding City Arch River including “Park Over the Highway” – a park being built over Interstate 70 in St. Louis. The project’s purpose is to reconnect the downtown area with the iconic Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River

-          Ryan McClure, City Arch River

-          Deanna Venker, PE, Area Engineer, City of St. Louis, MODOT

  • Expanding the Arch
  • Pedestrian traffic
  • Agency Collaboration

 

 

 

12:00 pm             

 

 

Depart for lunch at East-West Gateway Council of Governments, One Memorial Dr., Suite 1600

 

12:15 pm

Arrive Lunch

 

1:00 pm

Board Bus for Melvin Price Lock and Dam, #2 Lock and Dam Way, E Alton, IL   62024

 

1:45 pm

 

 

 

Mel Price Lock and Dam Tour and Presentation

Melvin Price Locks and Dam replaced Lock and Dam 26, which was demolished in 1990.  The construction of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam constituted the first replacement of an original installation of the 9-Foot Channel Project. Throughout its design and construction, the Corps engaged in an extensive program of computer-assisted design, testing and evaluation to create a structure that represents the state of the art in river navigation control works.

-          Angela Smith, US Army Corp of Engineers

 

3:00 pm

Break

 

3:10 pm

Board Bus for Missouri Athletic Club,405 Washington Ave, St Louis, MO; (314) 231-7220

 

3:45 pm

 

Arrive Missouri Athletic Club

Railroad Terminal Association – A switching and terminal railroad owned by railroads in St. Louis, Missouri which handles traffic through its metropolitan area.

-          Welcome by Mike McCarthy, President

 

4:05 pm

 

Break

4:15 pm

Concrete, Asphalt, Recycled Materials – materials used in roads – how do they stack up?

-          Mark Luther, Sr. Technical Services Engineer, Holcim US, Inc.

-          Thomas Blair, MODOT

 

4:45 pm

There are multiple transportation modes, but at some point the trucking industry is involved in virtually every shipment of goods.

-          Jennifer Mason, Roberts Perryman PC (Moderator)

-          Scott Randall, Hogan Transports Inc.

  • Obstacles facing the trucking industry
  • Regulations that increase the cost of moving goods

 

5:15 pm

Board Bus for hotel

 

 

Friday, July 11, 2014

 

 

8:00 am

Depart hotel for MODOT Facility, 14301 South Outer Forty, Chesterfield, MO

 

8:30 am

 

 

Arrive MODOT Facility, 14301 South Outer Forty, Chesterfield, MO

Missouri’s Transportation System – Where do we go and how do we get there?

-          Paula Gough, Moderator

-          Ed Hassinger, MoDOT Chief Engineer

-          Ed Hillhouse, East/West Gateway Council

-          Ray Friem, Transit System

10:00 am

Break

 

10:15 am

Break into groups – Tour MODOT facility/Impaired Driving Simulation

 

11:30 am

Wrap-up with David Silvester, Paula Gough and Thomas Blair. Then adjourn.

NEWS RELEASE: HB 1631 becomes law: Missouri should control our state’s energy future

 Energy is the lifeblood of business. In Missouri, companies have long benefited from having a plentiful, affordable power supply. However, Missouri’s network of dependable coal power plants is under attack from the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. In response, a new law approved today will help our state retain control over our own energy future.

Earlier this summer, the EPA proposed new rules that would create greater regulations on existing coal power plants. The new proposals could lead to significant rate increases for Missourians. In response, House Bill 1631, signed on July 7 by Gov. Jay Nixon, gives Missouri greater authority to make regulatory energy decisions that are in the best interest of our state. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, charges the state’s Air Conservation Commission to develop emissions standards and compliance schedules rather than wait for the EPA to specify these for Missouri.

“It’s clear that the Obama administration hopes to wipe out coal as an energy source—regardless of the impact this action would have on our businesses, jobs and our economy,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber President and CEO. “As we look toward the future of our Missouri economy, we need to retain our status as a low-cost state for energy to help us attract tomorrow’s industries, such as data centers. This new law is a victory for Missouri businesses and all Missourians who rely on our state’s affordable energy supply.”