This year when the Alabama Legislature gathers, representatives will hear a single, unified voice from Baldwin County’s Chambers of Commerce.
The five area chambers collectively represent 3.600 businesses and 75,000 employees. Last fall they polled everyone in their rosters and created a legislative agenda that looked to improve life as a whole in Baldwin County.
“The Coalition aims to support business by educating employers and their employees regarding important legislative issues, connecting directly with our local elected officials about issues that matter to our business members in Baldwin County,” said a press release for the Baldwin County Chamber Coalition.
The survey touched on everything from road repair to healthcare.
"We always appreciate the counsel and advice from our chambers from across Baldwin County," Rep. Matt Simpson said. "Infrastructure, workforce and education, economic development, healthcare and quality of life - these are all issues that are important to every citizen of Baldwin County. By highlighting these issues, the chambers continue to help our delegation make sure we maintain and improve upon the Baldwin County we live in and love."
The following are the goals set forth by the coalition, based on the poll results:
· As members of the Alliance for Alabama’s Infrastructure, the Baldwin County Chamber Coalition supports continued advocacy for improvements, development, and adequate funding of Baldwin County’s Roads and Bridges.
· Supports efforts that will create progress on the I-10 / Mobile Bay Bridge Project and the development of the I-65 Beach Express Connector in Baldwin County.
· Supports efforts to ensure reliable broadband connectivity across Baldwin County for business, industry and residents.
Workforce and Education
· The Baldwin County Chamber Coalition supports legislation that will support and fund Youth and Adult Apprenticeship Programs and Skilled Workforce Training Centers for skilled workforce development through partnerships with regional workforce councils such as SAWDC Alabama Works.
· Supports Governor Kay Ivey's Strong Start, Strong Finish K-12 Education initiative.
· Supports the development of housing that will sustain all workforce needs in Baldwin County.
· The Baldwin County Chamber Coalition supports legislation that will ensure a healthy and thriving economy. We support and encourage efforts to recruit large-scale, advanced manufacturing companies to the South Alabama MegaSite.
· Supports the renewal for HB 317 and the removal of the sunset clause which clarifies Alabama’s Ethics Law intent for Professional Economic Developers and Site Consultants not to be considered and made to register as lobbyists and those they serve as principals.
· Supports the widening and deepening of the shipping channel at the State Port in Mobile, as well as improvements to the Alabama Port and any legislation and the allocation of funding at the state and federal levels to complete these projects.
Quality of Life
· The Baldwin County Chamber Coalition supports legislation that will establish and promote responsible and sustainable interactions with and the enjoyment of natural resources, including but not limited to the Causeway Master Plan, Baldwin County Beaches, Mobile Bay and the Tensaw River Delta.
· Supports legislation which will encourage environmentally-friendly business practices for growing, sustaining and developing business and industry in Baldwin County.
· Supports programs that will allow increased access to and quality of healthcare for employees and service providers through legislation and allocation of funding at the state and federal levels