Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce & Visit Savannah 2021 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.
2021 Specific Legislative Priorities:
- Support state funding to begin the much-needed expansion of the Savannah Convention Center.
- 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 initiatives to limit the unanticipated large-percentage swings in annual commercial property tax increases and decreases.
- Support Georgia Southern University’s request for $36.7M in construction funding for a Convocation Center – a multi-purpose complex housing academic space for teaching and research and a mixed use event venue for large-scale gatherings for the University and surrounding communities.
- Support the Board of Regents request of $4.5M for campus- wide utility infrastructure improvements to increase efficiency and increase campus security at Savannah State University.
- Support the Board of Regents request of $4.5M for Campus-wide Utility Infrastructure Improvements to increase efficiency and Increase Campus Security for Savannah State University.
- Support expansion of the state-designated Savannah Logistics Technology Innovation Corridor to encompass the following five counties: Chatham, Bulloch, Effingham, Bryan, Liberty.
- Support the Technical College System of Georgia’s Capital Outlay request for $3.5M to fund renovation of Savannah Technical College’s 7 West Bay Street Culinary Arts and Hospitality Training Programs’ expansion.
- Support the renewal of Georgia’s historic preservation incentives to encourage investment in the continued rehabilitation of Georgia’s historic structures.
- Support legislation that enhances the film and post-production tax credits while advocating for the continued protection of these credits and their positive economic impact to our state and region.
- Support legislation to allow single counties, by referendum, to utilize the existing Transit Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax statute to adequately fund transit capital, operations and maintenance needs.
2021 Key Pro-Business Policies & Positions
- Advocate for State support of the I-95 Airport Interchange (Exit 104) Improvement initiative with the DOT and elected officials.
- Advocate for and support legislative initiatives and budgeting to increase funds for capital projects at Georgia’s commercial service airports and Georgia’s general aviation airports.
- 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 will also focus on assisting the medical community continue to successfully battle the current pandemic. Support policies that positively impact medical education, increased funding for mental health, access to affordable healthcare throughout the state and adequate funding of Medicaid and the State Health Benefit Plan.
- 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 proactive military legislation that seeks to protect and expand Georgia’s military installations and grow this important statewide economic driver.
- Support funding for the replacement of the Bull River/Lazaretto Creek bridges along Highway 80/State Route 26 corridor to Tybee Island.
- Support the Chatham Area Transit Authority’s request for State funding to expand and enhance water ferry services along Savannah’s growing waterfront.
- Advocate for pandemic funding relief by holding school systems harmless for temporary drops in enrollment on FTE reporting during the FY21 year for the purposes of determining the QBE funding allotments for FY22 and FY23.