Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce & Visit Savannah 2023 Legislative Overview
Over 150 members of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce make up our Governmental Affairs Council. The council, facilitated by a Chairman, meets at least three times a year, as necessary, to review local, state and federal issues. When creating policy, or legislative agendas, the council makes its recommendations to the Chamber’s Executive Committee and then these matters go to the Chamber’s Board of Directors for consideration. In instances where decisions are time sensitive and will affect the membership, the Executive Committee makes decisions on behalf of the Chamber Board. Along with the Chamber’s director of governmental affairs, engaged members help advocate for the Chamber’s priorities to become enacted.
2023 Specific Legislative Priorities:
- Support state funding to complete the current expansion of the Savannah Convention Center.
- Continue to support funding for the redesign and construction of the I-95 Airport Interchange (Exit 104).
- Support the Technical College System of Georgia’s Capital Outlay Request to add additional manufacturing lab space at Savannah Technical College’s Liberty Campus.
- Support legislation to enact a workforce development pilot project to create Goodwill Excel Center schools for persons over the age of 21 to obtain their high school diploma.
- Seeking sustainable state funding in support of Chatham Area Transit’s system meeting the travel demand for jobs, services, and destinations through the development, implementation, and operation of a multimodal system serving Chatham and the surrounding region.
- Support state funding for Tybee’s beach and dune nourishment, stormwater management improvements, and nature-based improvements to the area bordering the tidal salt marsh.
- Support the recommendations of the Governor’s Healthcare Workforce Shortage Commission. Due to the critical shortage of healthcare professionals in our state, it is important to support legislation, funding and policy changes that will assist in this endeavor.
- Support proactive military legislation that seeks to protect and expand Georgia’s military installations and grow this essential statewide economic driver.
2023 Key Pro-Business Policies & Positions
- Continue to support the recommendations of the Joint Study Committee on Airport Infrastructure and Improvements to create a sustainable state funding source for Georgia’s commercial service and general aviation airports and support increased capital funding that includes additional significant air cargo handling improvements for the Savannah Airport as identified in GA DOT’s Air Cargo Study.
- Preserve tax policies and tax incentives that continue to make Georgia the best state in the country to do business.
- Support funding and initiatives that improve access, availability, and quality of early childhood and Pre-K education throughout our community.
- Support an increase in budgeted funds for marketing Georgia as a tourism destination to increase Georgia’s market share by better competing with other states.
- Support city and county endeavors to construct, renovate or acquire affordable housing while also supporting initiatives
that will increase homeless services and enable local government and state authorities to provide care for citizens experiencing homelessness.
- Support initiatives and programs such as Certified & Registered Apprenticeships, Dual Enrollment, Georgia College & Career Academies, and other efforts that prepare students for future careers and train a skilled workforce for the region’s current and future employers.
- Support initiatives to limit the unanticipated large-percentage swings in annual commercial property tax increases and decreases.