Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce & Visit Savannah 2022 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.
2022 Specific Legislative Priorities:
- Support state funding to complete the current expansion of the Savannah Convention Center.
- Support initiatives to attract and retain military veterans and retirees by removing the state income tax from military retirement pay and education incentives that encourage veterans to reside in Georgia and seek employment from Georgia companies.
- Support Savannah State University’s $6M request for infrastructure improvements.
- Support for the rebuilding and restructuring of Savannah State University’s College of Education, Marine Sciences Program and Homeland Security & Emergency Management Program.
- Support Georgia Southern University’s request for $2.8M for the Armstrong Campus Science Lab Center renovation and the $3.3M request to install the necessary equipment for the Jack and Ruth Ann Hill Convocation Center on the Statesboro campus.
- Support the Technical College System of Georgia’s $719,000 request for the furniture, fixtures, and equipment for Savannah Technical College’s 7 West Bay Culinary Institute.
- Support the passage of legislation to create a program for Georgians between the ages of 21 and 35 to obtain a high school diploma in schools established for this purpose.
- Support Tybee Island’s $5M funding request for beach and dune nourishment, stormwater management improvements, and nature-based improvements to the area bordering the tidal salt marsh.
- Support the Chatham Area Transit Authority’s request for State funding to expand and enhance water ferry services along Savannah’s growing waterfront.
- Support legislation to allow single counties, by referendum, to utilize the existing Transit Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax statute to fund transit capital, operations, and maintenance needs adequately.
2022 Key Pro-Business Policies & Positions
- Support the redesign and construction of the I-95 Airport Interchange (Exit 104).
- Support the recommendations of the Joint Study Committee on Airport Infrastructure and Improvements to increase funds for capital projects and create a sustainable State funding source for Georgia’s commercial service and general aviation airports.
- Support proactive military legislation that seeks to protect and expand Georgia’s military installations and grow this essential statewide economic driver.
- Support city and county-wide endeavors to renovate and construct affordable housing.
- 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 the film and post-production tax credits while advocating for the continued protection of these credits.
- Support the renewal of Georgia’s historic preservation incentives to encourage investment in the continued rehabilitation of Georgia’s historic commercial and residential structures.
- Support funding and state policies that will positively impact healthcare in Georgia, including workforce development, mental health, and health access.
- Support initiatives and programs such as 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 funding and initiatives that improve access, availability, and quality of Pre-K education throughout our community.
- Support initiatives to limit the unanticipated large-percentage swings in annual commercial property tax increases and decreases.