The City of Springfield has identified major priorities on matters to come before state and federal lawmakers. These priorities have been approved by members of Springfield, Missouri City Council.
The following priorities are established for the 2013 legislative session:
- Economic development and fighting poverty
- Protecting the natural environment
- Maintaining local control and avoiding unfunded mandates
- Improving public health
- Maintaining public safety and Improving the Criminal Justice System
Economic Development & Fighting Poverty
Children In Crisis Tax Credit Program
We encourage the state to reinstate the "Children In Crisis Tax Credit Program."
Strengthen Our Ability to Compete for Jobs
Strengthen current economic development tools available to local governments to improve the State's ability to compete in attracting and retaining quality jobs. Protect existing job creation/retention tax credit programs and consider providing additional State tax credits and other financial incentives for projects that create and retain quality jobs and for capital investments in new or expanding businesses.
Support Tourism Funding
Tourism is an important part of Springfield's economy, which the City promotes by marketing to leisure travelers as well as convention and sporting event sponsors. Protect existing funding, and support funding increases, for the Missouri Division of Tourism, so it can continue to offer its Cooperative Marketing Program.
Education and Workforce Development
Strong education and proven workforce development programs are critical components of economic development and efforts to combat poverty. The City supports sufficient, equitable State funding for K-12 and State-supported higher-education institutions. The City also supports dedicated funding to Workforce Development from the State's General Fund. We also support restoration of funding to the Parents as Teachers program and funding for other early childhood development initiatives given the documented link between early childhood development and economic development, public health, and public safety.
Safe and functional road systems are essential to attracting and retaining businesses and promoting tourism. State and Federal fuel taxes, as well as other current and new sources of revenue, are essential to keeping pace with citizens' demands. Funding for multi-modal transportation is an economic development driver and should be restored to adequate levels in the State budget.
Affordable housing is an important element in attracting and retaining an adequate workforce. Protect existing affordable housing programs and consider providing additional resources to support affordable housing.
A community's downtown is an indicator of the health of any local economy and a significant factor in attracting and retaining young workers. Protect existing programs that provide incentives for the revitalization of historic downtowns and consider additional support.
Economic Development Tax Credits
The City of Springfield strongly encourages lawmakers to support and protect proven tax credit programs that are critical economic development tools used to stimulate employment and leverage private investments. We oppose efforts to reduce the effectiveness of such programs, including proposals to subject them to the annual appropriations process. The City of Springfield also encourages legislators to implement the findings of the Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission.
Initiative Petition Process
Missouri is 1 of 17 states whose constitutions allow for initiative petitions. The City of Springfield encourages lawmakers to consider legislation that would ultimately enhance the existing process, ensuring a fair and transparent process for Missourians. Such changes could include the implementations of a bipartisan panel for review of the proposed ballot language and statewide public forums to allow citizens the opportunity to hear from opponents and proponents of the issue.