Georgia Chamber Announces 2013 Legislative Priorities

January 16, 2013 9:43 am

by Bridget Cantrell · 6 comments

As one of the guys noted in the chatline – The Chamber’s agenda is “the” agenda.  A list of the Chamber’s 2013 Board of Governors is below the fold.

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce formally introduced its 2013 legislative priorities Wednesday during the annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast in Atlanta – identifying several key issues to be addressed during the 2013 General Assembly deemed vital to strengthening the state’s business community and growing Georgia’s economy.

“Georgia enjoyed one of the most business-friendly sessions in history last year, but in today’s global marketplace you need to constantly evolve and improve in order to stay competitive,” said Georgia Chamber President and CEO Chris Clark. “To ensure that Georgia stays on the right path to economic prosperity, we need to give companies already here in Georgia every resource possible to grow, and at the same time create an environment that will attract new business and investment. We look forward to working with Governor Deal and the General Assembly this session to get these important issues addressed.”

“The Port of Savannah expansion will be the biggest economic development opportunity of our generation. To take advantage of the job growth it will bring, we need to be sure that Georgia is ready to offer companies the most pro-business climate possible,” said the Chamber’s 2013 Board Chair Steve Green. “We feel strongly that by working with lawmakers to concentrate on these legislative priorities, we will put Georgia in an even better position to compete both domestically and globally, create jobs, attract investment, and strengthen our overall business climate.”

The Georgia Chamber 2013 Legislative Priorities include:

Economic Development

  • Lessen regulations and improve incentives that facilitate expansions, capital investment, new recruitment, small business creation and hospitality growth
  • Expand access to venture and seed capital by offering incentives to attract venture capital firms to Georgia

Education

  • Encourage school improvement through a more flexible, accountable and transparent system tied to a new school rating system
  • Pursue a new school student-based budgeting funding system that would tie the majority of the state’s educational spending directly to student need

Employment

  • Enact workers’ compensation system reforms that promote a balanced and equitable system that is fair to the employee and employer and designed to return the employee to work as soon as medically appropriate
  • Preserve Georgia’s employment-at-will doctrine and strengthening the state’s right-to-work status

Environment

  • Pursue funding sources for continuation of Regional Water Councils and their work to implement regional water plans

Health Care

  • Support a health care financing program through which providers can continue to care for patients without compromising the current delivery system

Legal Reform

  • Pursue civil justice reforms that provide confidence of equitable and predictable treatment of business in the courts:
    • E-discovery: Create a judicial process for scoping electronic discovery requests that provides for cost sharing
    • Duplicative recovery reform: Permit introduction of evidence to the jury of third party payments for consideration of damages
    • Seat belt evidence: Permit introduction of evidence of seat belt use for determining proportional liability
    • Bad faith: Extend the time for response to demand letters and clarify who the third party insurer must pay
    • Transportation: Protect the “Transportation Investment Act” to ensure the benefits of the law as passed are not diluted in any way

Joining Green on the 2013 Chamber Board of Governors are:

Executive Committee

  • Stephen S. Green (Morris Manning Martin & Green Consulting LLP) – 2013 Chair
  • Chris Clark (Georgia Chamber of Commerce) – President and CEO
  • Edward S. Heys Jr. (Deloitte.) – Immediate Past Chair
  • Ernest L. Greer (Greenberg Traurig LLP) – 2014 Chair-Elect
  • Paul Bowers (Georgia Power) – 2015 Chair-Elect
  • Susan Bell (Ernst & Young LLP) – Administrative Services Chair

Policy Committee Chairs

  • Bryan Batson (AGL Resources) – Energy & Natural Resources
  • Tom Bishop (Georgia Power) – Law & Judiciary
  • Michael T. Petrik (Alston & Bird) – Tax & Finance
  • Glen Kelley (Wells Fargo) – Education & Workforce Development
  • Kevin A. Grenier (Gas South) – Health & Wellness
  • Eric J. Tanenblatt (McKenna Long & Aldridge) – Innovation & Technology

Government Affairs Council Chair

  • Roy B. Robinson III (The RB Robinson Company LLC) – Chair

Membership Council Chairs

  • Martin Long (Long & Associates LLC) – Small Business Advisory Council
  • Thomas M. Lowe III (Lowe Engineers LLC) – Sustainability Council
  • Craig S. Lesser (Pendelton Consulting) International Advisory Council
  • Kali Boatright (Douglas County Chamber of Commerce) – Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Chair

Regional Chairs

  • Nicolas Bouckaert (Beaulieu Group) Region 1; Dalton
  • James J. Adams (Adams Transfer & Storage) – Region 2; Gainesville
  • Donna Hyland (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta) – Region 3; Atlanta
  • Randy Jackson (Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Inc.) – Region 4; Thomaston/Carrollton
  • William Rabun Neal (Reynolds Plantation) – Region 5; Athens
  • Robbo Hatcher, Jr. (H2 Capital) – Region 6; Macon
  • Ben J. Tarbutton III (First Sandersville Corp.) – Region 7; Augusta/Sandersville
  • Joel F. Ames (Atoms Energy) – Region 8; Columbus
  • James L. Allgood, Jr. (Allgood Pest Control) – Region 9; Dublin/Vidalia
  • J. Bodine Sinyard (Adams Exterminators) – Region 10; Albany
  • John Wesley Langdale III (The Langdale Company) – Region 11; Valdosta
  • Eric Johnson (Husey Gay Bell & DeYoung) – Region 12; Savannah/Brunswick

General Governors

  • Dean Alford – Allied Energy
  • Jim Allen – Atlanta Braves
  • Stephen R. Avera – Flowers Foods
  • Kevin Scott Blair – SunTrust
  • Brendon Chambers – PNC Financial Services
  • Shan Cooper – Lockheed Martin
  • Kenneth C. Cornelius – Siemens
  • Jac Counts – Cancer Treatment Centers of America
  • Al Ertel – Alliant
  • Susanne Hall – The Coca-Cola Company
  • Tad Hutcheson – Delta
  • Morgan Kendrick – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
  • James Allen Kibler, Jr. – AMEC E&I, Inc.
  • Doug Kidd – INVESCO
  • Hank Linginfelter – AGL Resources
  • Bill Linginfelter – Regions Bank
  • Michael Mayoras – RedPrairie
  • Michael R. Mitchell – Publix
  • Tom Moffett – Zep, Inc.
  • Frank Morris – UPS
  • Trey Paris – GE
  • llen Richardson – Koch Industries/Georgia Pacific
  • Michelle Robinson – Verizon
  • Sylvia E. Russell – AT&T
  • Misty Skedgell – Turner Broadcasting
  • Kessel D. Stelling, Jr. – Synovus
  • Rob Stewart – State Farm
  • Rob VanGorden – The Richards Group
  • Paul Wood – Georgia EMC
  • Michael Zuna – AFLAC

 

IndyInjun January 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm

TSPLOST now and forever.

The Chamber doubles down on a swindle that only the dummies in 3 regions could swallow. You have to wonder if their idea of improved school budgeting is modeled after TIA of 2010, too.

Dave Bearse January 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm

The Chambers record over the past few sessions is such that the default postion is that Chamber-sought legislation should be opposed until well-proven otherwise.

The Last Democrat in Georgia January 16, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Example: T-SPLOST

Dave Bearse January 17, 2013 at 12:39 am

The Chamber in my opinion rightly advocated for increasing transportation spending. State leadership was responsible for the TIA / T-SPLOST train wreck, and as best I can tell, not a one of ‘em has been held accountable by voters.

The Last Democrat in Georgia January 17, 2013 at 2:11 am

I definitely agree that the Chamber was right to advocate for increasing embarrassingly meager transportation spending. But the T-SPLOST was obviously NOT the way to go about doing it.

You also have a very good point about the state being responsible for the train wreck that T-SPLOST became as the Legislature just lazily and hastily slapped something together as a way of getting everyone off of their backs for doing nothing about transportation.

You also have a very good point about few, if any, of them being held accountable. But then again, what more should we expect in a state where local voter turnout in some elections is as low as 6%?

Dave Bearse January 17, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Pogo said it long ago…. We have met the enemy, and he is us.

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