2 022 FEDE RAL PRIORI TIE S
DEAR BUSINESS COMMUNITY, We believe that policy advocacy that supports prosperity is one of the most important ways to serve the business community. As the voice of business in Utah, we represent various industries and companies, large and small, and we seek to find common ground on local, state, and federal issues with resilience and success. This goal of finding common ground and advancing our common cause dates back to the beginning of the Chamber 135 years ago! We stand on the shoulders of past generations and seek to continue working with our federal delegation to build upon our longstanding success for Utah’s business community. In many ways, we are facing a crossroads in history, coming out of a once-in-a-century pandemic with Utahns experiencing persistent inflation, supply chain disruption, and threats to our prosperity. Now, more than ever, we believe leadership on the national stage is needed. Utah can serve as an example for better stewardship and cooperation, and help lead the way in finding solutions to issues that challenge our nation. As we find solutions to the problems impacting our business and civic community, we hope to work with our federal delegation on ideas and provide the Chamber’s counsel. Areas needing federal support include immigration, affordable housing, energy development, supply chain solutions, and health care, among others. These priorities represent the concerns of our business community. Lastly, we thank our Federal Delegation for their service and work on behalf of all Utahns. The collective voice they provide for Utah’s business community helps to keep our state at the pinnacle of opportunity. We look forward to working with them and standing together so that we can ensure our best days are yet ahead! Sincerely,
Derek Miller President & CEO
Dr. Donna Milavetz 2022-2023 Board Chair
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Public Policy & Government Relations Team
Utah’s Congressional Delegation
Business/Regulatory Environment, Taxes & Economic Development
Cybersecurity & Resiliency
Education & Workforce
Energy & Climate
Global Competitiveness & National Security
International Trade & Supply Chain
ABOUT The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest and longest-serving business association. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all twentynine Utah counties, the Chamber represents the broad interests of the state’s 63,000-plus employers, which employ more than 1.4 million Utahns. This includes thousands of Chamber members. With roots dating to 1887, the Chamber stands as the voice of business, supports its members’ success and champions community prosperity.
5-STAR ACCREDITATION In June 2021, the United States Chamber of Commerce awarded the Salt Lake Chamber with the highest 5-Star Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures and positive impact on the community. This achievement and national recognition are a reflection of our staff and their professional commitment. Receiving the 5-Star Accreditation is a tremendous honor as the only chamber in Utah to achieve this status. We could not have done this without the support of our member businesses, from our efforts to lead out during the pandemic to maintaining the high standards of our traditional chamber work. The past year has brought out the best in our team and to see these efforts pay off with the renewed elite accreditation status is rewarding on so many levels. — Derek Miller, President & CEO, Salt Lake Chamber
UTAH’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION
SEN. MIKE LEE
SEN. MITT ROMNEY
• Senate Committee on the Judiciary • Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation • Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources • Joint Economic Committee • Special Committee on Aging
• Senate Committee on Foreign Relations • Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) • Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs • Senate Committee on the Budget
REP. CHRIS STEWART
REP. JOHN CURTIS
• House Committee on Appropriations • House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
• House Committee on Energy and Commerce
REP. BURGESS OWENS
REP. BLAKE MOORE
• House Committee on Education and Labor • House Committee on the Judiciary
• House Committee on Armed Services • House Committee on Natural Resources
PUBLIC POLICY & GOVERNMENT RELATIONS TEAM GINGER CHINN Vice President of Public Policy firstname.lastname@example.org 801.498.0121
NATALIE BOWEN Public Policy Coordinator email@example.com
BUSINESS/REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT, TAXES & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Our approach to business says a lot about our commitment to economic growth and prosperity. Utah continues to be a safe haven for companies seeking to build products and people with a national-leading strong business climate. The state was ranked number one earlier this year by the National Bureau of Economic Research coming out of the pandemic, but there is more work to be done. Utah’s economic outlook remains strong, but headwinds are present due to the enormous hidden “tax of 40-year high inflation.
WE CALL UPON CONGRESS TO: � Pass legislation that will combat inflation to lower the rising prices hurting families and small businesses, without raising taxes that stifle innovation and punish job-creating businesses. � End tax hikes that stall job creation, put small businesses at a competitive disadvantage, harm America’s competitiveness in a global economy, and make it a less attractive place to invest profits, locate corporate headquarters and create jobs. � Prudently streamline business regulations to optimize growth and innovation.
CYBERSECURITY & RESILIENCY
� Support workforce development programs that prioritize efficient and flexible retraining or upskilling, empowering our state and Nation’s workforce to adapt to new economic conditions.
� Advocate for responsible fiscal policy, including entitlement reform, deficit reduction and debt management.
WE CALL UPON CONGRESS TO:
� Advance innovative research and investments in target industry sectors that will allow the U.S. to continue to be a global leader.
� Enact a national consumer data privacy standard to ensure consistency for businesses and consumers. � Expand liability protections to cover large-scale or industry-crippling consistency and predictability cyber incidents. � Help businesses navigate federal policy initiatives and the interagency processes that allow for the preparation and effective responses to significant cyber events. � Fund infrastructure projects that enhance grid resiliency, including hardening against cyber threats and potential solar flares.
EDUCATION & WORKFORCE Our education system has is working to close the skills gap and meet the pace of change occurring in the workplace. We seek to promote a change in thinking and direction with education and workforce development. Many new training programs, apprenticeships and technical certifications provide low-cost pathways into high-paying occupations. Higher education is ripe for innovation and learning can now take place at scale online and in one’s own time to climb the ladder of opportunity. Greater promotion of these opportunities and congressional leadership can do much to encourage reskilling or alternate pathways toward a meaningful and successful career.
WE CALL UPON CONGRESS TO: � Ensure that training programs align with employers’ needs, are market driven, future focused and innovative. � Support community college training programs that lead to jobs for in-demand industries by increasing funding for the training programs administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. � Support apprenticeship programs and innovation in higher education to ensure job readiness upon completion. � Support the Family Security Act 2.0 and strengthen the workforce by providing a safety net to working families. � Help businesses affected by COVID-19 retain or rehire employees previously laid off from key industries.
ENERGY & CLIMATE A changing climate and energy requirements to meet the state’s growth place Utah and American energy needs at a crossroads. Utah has the capacity to lead the nation in a balanced transition to an energy future that is affordable, reliable and sustainable. This path will require using current resources readily available and bringing new sources online to offset legacy fuels. The Wasatch Front is dealing with a megadrought making water conservation and infrastructure development keys to sustainable growth. The path forward will require our best thinking and collaboration to solve the climate challenge and navigate our energy transition.
WE CALL UPON CONGRESS TO: � Help communities prepare for a changing climate by developing infrastructure and community-scale programs, such as resilience hubs and extreme weather risk communication strategies. � Increase local water supply and improve water quality, as well as support sustainable water infrastructure. � Enhance the electric grid infrastructure and expand energy storage and transfer projects. � Deploy electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure across the states with regional development pilots. � Provide funding and training support to ensure the just transition of fossil fuel workers to new job opportunities. � Consider more nuclear energy technology as new capabilities are making it safer than ever and is a mechanism to affordable consumer costs. � Prioritize the intersecting goals of job creation, protection of natural resources, improved public health, social equity, technology innovation and regional policy collaboration.
HEALTH CARE The lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic have stretched not only supply chains, but also our health care system. Mental health across the nation is reaching a crisis stage and many suffer in silence without adequate care. Health care delivery evolved due to the pandemic and telehealth remains a viable method to deliver care at scale. Revamping our approach to quality of care and insurance coverage in the era of digital work from anywhere should be a top priority. A continued approach to relying on private sector innovation for policy ideas can bring local Utah solutions to a national audience. Utah led the nation in a balanced approach to public and economic health. This approach was built on trust, fostered through collaboration and carried out with operational excellence. Utah remains one of the laboratories of innovation in health care delivery, cost and outcomes.
GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS & NATIONAL SECURITY Winning the future means competing in global markets and competing for global leadership. The unipolar world is no longer a reality with competition from China and Russia. Utah sits at the crossroads of the West, and our business presence and volunteer service make us globally relevant. Emerging Utah companies in the national security space are competing and winning around the world. Utah citizens remain among the most entrepreneurial in the country and continue to bring innovations to market. Defending the nation into the future will take collaboration from public-private partnerships and a will to win. We should prioritize cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, advanced manufacturing and other sciences at the federal and state level.
WE CALL UPON CONGRESS TO: � Advance policies that build on the U.S. being a global leader in innovation, technology and economic competitiveness. � Collectively create a long-term vision and plan to keep businesses in the U.S. rather than relocate overseas for short-term gain. Efforts to reshore American businesses should be a top priority.
WE CALL UPON CONGRESS TO: � Support value-based health care solutions that reduce costs and reward quality outcomes. � Support policies that allow for increased capability for federal agencies to improve health care access via innovative state plans. � Revise our entitlement and health care programs in order to provide equitable, effective services to those who need them most. � Address our nation’s prevalent opioid epidemic, as it impacts the personal lives of Utah’s workforce and increases health care costs. � Enable greater flexibility for businesses as they offer health care coverage to their employees. � Support the expansion of Association Health Plans. � Prioritize mental health resources, focusing on the mental health professional workforce shortage, suicide prevention, trauma-informed care, and workforce resilience. � Support telehealth initiatives through expanded coverage and reducing or streamlining regulations. � Enable greater flexibility for businesses as they offer health care coverage to their employees.
� Maintain U.S. national security as it is crucial for American companies to compete in a global market. � Create durable AI policy solutions that combat national security challenges and address supply chain issues.
HOUSING The housing shortage once facing Utahns has morphed into an affordability crisis. Interest rates are reaching decades-high numbers along with inflation cutting into family budgets. This collision is making housing one of the most challenging and persistent obstacles to economic expansion and attracting talented workers. Utah continues to lead the nation in internal demographic growth, but inmigration remains strong, placing a great need for housing solutions. Leadership that champions economic opportunity in rural areas with broadband internet development will be part of the solution. Zoom towns can deliver talent and revenue to smaller rural communities as they enrich these local ecosystems.
WE CALL UPON CONGRESS TO: � Prioritize fair and equitable housing plans and projects. Helping communities set targets, identify local housing issues and carry out fair housing planning. � Support initiatives and workforce development efforts that address the state’s ongoing construction and skilled-trade labor shortage.
IMMIGRATION We need a secure border and a functioning, legal immigration system that will help our economy grow. The stolid debate between a wall or nothing at all does not help us reach a solution. Comprehensive immigration reform will take political courage from both parties, and incremental steps to get that outcome should be welcome. Utah has led in this area on numerous occasions with The Utah Compact being a national achievement from our state. Visa reform and faster processing must occur with concurrent efforts to secure our border to keep out bad actors and let in people of goodwill. Utah’s business community supports legal immigration to meet our workforce shortage and strengthen our diversity.
WE CALL UPON CONGRESS TO: � Support immigration reform that creates a business-friendly work program for all skill levels and ensures a talented workforce. � Build an employment verification system that is equitable and provides ease of access for the employer. � Advance comprehensive visa reform consistent with the principles of The Utah Compact. � Advance visa reform legislation to support the needs of employers to access the most talented workforce possible. � Protect Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients and employmentauthorized H-4 dependent spouses from losing work authorization.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE & SUPPLY CHAIN Millions of U.S. jobs depend on America’s ability to trade with other countries. Half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs depend on exports, and one in three acres of American farmland is planted for international sales. Utah businesses need free markets and fair trading practices built on balanced agreements that sustain economic growth through stable and predictable relationships, as well as support a successful manufacturing base that provides jobs, opportunities, and financial security to individuals and families.
WE CALL UPON CONGRESS TO: � Advance free trade agreements, streamline compliance requirements and address barriers that help companies compete in the global marketplace.
INFRASTRUCTURE Infrastructure provides the platform upon which Americans do business, raise families and build a networked economy. Investment in infrastructure is one of the bipartisan priorities each body of government can support. Recent investments and commitments from the Biden Administration bring promise to a lingering need. Operationalizing these resources and proper stewardship of tax dollars already committed must be a top priority for the upcoming new Congress. Building out America’s capacity through roads and telecommunications, bridges and satellites, waterways and energy development can each strengthen our foundations.
WE CALL UPON CONGRESS TO: � Support policies that encourage the growth and modernization of energy and telecommunication infrastructure.
� Support and ensure strong and reliable supply chains to promote the stability of Utah’s industries. � Work together with the Federal Maritime Commission and other regulators to: • Address the current supply and demand challenges related to construction materials; • Provide additional resources and applicable regulatory action to work through issues associated with port congestion; • Increase capacity and throughput of critical materials; and, • Encourage enforcement of applicable antitrust laws and price gouging protections to specifically address the current conditions. � Support the Critical Infrastructure Manufacturing Feasibility Act with the goal of identifying how supply chain issues can be mitigated and how more goods, along with jobs, can be created in the U.S.
� Support cutting-edge telecommunication infrastructure that is essential to economic growth, job creation, education and telehealth. � Invest in infrastructure to preserve water systems and protect shrinking bodies of water like the Great Salt Lake. � Provide a long-term, stable funding mechanism for infrastructure that states can consistently rely upon to plan for the future. � Prioritize and support the development of broadband infrastructure in all parts of the state.