Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce & Visit Savannah 2020 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.
Specific Legislative Priorities:
- Support state funding to begin the much-needed expansion of the Savannah Convention Center.
- Support legislation that provides meaningful tax and regulatory relief to existing small businesses.
- Support proactive military legislation that seeks to protect and expand Georgia’s military installations and grow this important statewide economic driver.
- Support state funding and tax credits for the continual development of the Savannah Logistics Technology Corridor, to include logistics technology job training, an innovation center, and incentives to develop the Savannah area into the global center of logistics innovation.
- Support the renewal of Georgia’s historic preservation incentives
to encourage investment in the continued rehabilitation of Georgia’s historic structures.
- Support legislation to improve existing film and post-production tax credits by allowing companies more flexibility when using the credits within their own corporate structure.
- Support Georgia Southern University’s two Board of Regents approved capital requests totaling $7.5M to convert existing under-utilized space into Student Success and Mentoring Centers at the Armstrong ($4.5M) and Statesboro ($3M) campuses.
- Support Savannah State University’s Board of Regents approved request to improve campus security and implement campus-wide utility infrastructure improvements ($4M).
- Support the Technical College System of Georgia’s approved request for Savannah Technical College’s renovation ($4.3M) of 7 West Bay St. in Savannah to enable the expansion of the college’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Training Programs.
Key Pro-Business Policies & Positions
- Advocate for and support legislative initiatives and budgeting to increasing funds for capital projects at Georgia’s commercial service airports and Georgia’s general aviation airports.
- Advocate for State support of the I-95 Airport Interchange (Exit 104) improvement initiative with the DOT and elected officials.
- Support increases in Pre-K program funding that will ensure greater access to early childhood education programs.
- Advocate for legislation, initiatives and funding to support registered and certified training programs such as Apprenticeships, Move On When Ready, Georgia College & Career Academies and other efforts that prepare students for future careers while providing a skilled workforce for the region’s current and future employers.
- Support initiatives to attract and retain military veterans and retirees through tax and education incentives that encourage veterans to reside in Georgia and seek employment from Georgia companies.
- Support an increase in budgeted funds for marketing Georgia as a tourism destination in order to increase Georgia’s market share by better competing with other states.
- Support funding and state policies that will have a positive impact on healthcare for the citizens of Georgia and that positively impact medical education, support for increased funding for mental health, access to healthcare throughout the state of Georgia and adequate funding of Medicaid and the State Health Benefit Plan.
- Support funding for much-needed safety improvements, including the replacement of the Bull River/Lazaretto Creek bridges, along Highway 80/State Route 26 corridor to Tybee Island.