Legislature should take care of business

The 2014 legislative session opens Wednesday. While there will be thousands of proposals brought forward this session, a focus must be placed on bolstering business.

A strong business sector with sound fundamentals is a boon to the state and its residents. That’s why we’re pleased to see the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii introduce a pro-business legislative package that focuses on lowering the cost of doing business, spurring economic development and investing in the future of Hawaii.

Topics range from reducing overlapping regulation and furthering the manufacturing industry in Hawaii to supporting early childhood learning. The package was developed in conjunction with the chamber’s six policy committees comprised of chamber members.

“Our role at the Legislature is one of our most important functions. For each legislative session, we review and prioritize each of the 2,500-plus bills that get introduced,” said Chamber President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “This year, in addition to tracking and supporting or fighting against bills, we are going to take a more proactive stance by introducing our own package of bills to protect employers from increasing business costs, support the progress of new industries and sectors, and create an environment that will attract new business, promote competition and stimulate expansion of the private sector to provide increased employment opportunities.”

Well said. When businesses are bogged down with excessive fees and taxes, it hamstrings their operations and slows the economic engine that we rely on to run strong and smooth.

 The Chamber’s Business Advocacy department coordinates advocacy efforts on behalf of its members and the business community in Hawaii. The department’s primary duties are to facilitate the implementation of the Chamber’s legislative agenda and to provide research, logistical and drafting assistance to the Chamber’s policy committees which include:

• Infrastructure, Transportation, Quality of Life

• Economic Development & Innovation

• Workplace Environment & Competitiveness

• Workforce Development & Education

• Small Business & Entrepreneurship Advocacy

• Military & Armed Services

 The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii is the state’s largest organization advocating for businesses in Hawaii, with about 1,000 members. We are glad to see it is stepping up and accepting its responsibilities with this legislative package. We believe its imperative the Legislature take care of business.

“With the collective effort of our team and our volunteer-driven committees and board of directors, we are on our way to strengthening our position as ‘The Voice of Business’ in Hawaii and helping to shape our state’s future by supporting job growth, fueling our economy and improving the quality of life for the people of Hawaii,” Menor-McNamara said.


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