During the 2012 legislative session the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs team was able to successfully fight for your business; delivering the message that Rhode Island needs to create a climate where people are prepared to invest in our state and provide the jobs that are required to grow revenues and employ our residents.
The task was not an easy one, but the team spent countless hours advocating for pro-business legislation and working to eliminate costly and unnecessary regulations which created challenges for local companies and their employees. We were often joined by Chamber members, as well as colleagues from various industry specific organizations. Collectively we were able to put forth a compelling story, and for that we thank you.
Over the next few days we will post a summary of the work the Chamber did on behalf of the business community during this recently concluded legislative session. We welcome your input and your involvement in the months ahead to continue addressing important public policy issues.
Fire Code: Enacted
Understanding that compliance with a stringent fire code has been very challenging for business and among the most talked about issue for small business in terms of relief; the Chamber supported the passage of the first major update in the state fire code since it was overhauled in 2004. The new 2012 version of the fire code, crafted by the National Fire Protection Association, is designed to be more flexible for small businesses while still ensuring public safety.
Municipal Pension Reform: Enacted
The Chamber voiced support for key elements of the Municipal Pension Reform legislative package, including accelerating disbursements of school aid, an exemption for the maintenance of effort requirement, enhanced school district accounting compliance and disability pension reform. These pieces were passed by the General Assembly.
Education Funding Formula: Enacted
The Chamber strongly supported fully funding the changes made to the State’s education funding formula last year. The 2013 Budget not only fully funds the system, but also provided an additional $11 million for local education.
Meals Tax Expansion: Not Enacted
Opposed by the Chamber, the proposal would have increased the state’s Meals and Beverage Tax by two percentage points.
Stay tuned for more legislative updates tomorrow.