Policies & Issues

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The Davis Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) is governed by an elected Executive Board (Board) which acts as the primary voice for Chamber members. The Board defines and promotes key issues to improve the public and private business environment in Davis County. The Board established the Legislative Affairs Committee (LAC) to represent the Chamber at the Utah State Legislature and to handle legislative issues at all levels of government.

This Public Policy Agenda outlines the Chamber’s position on critical areas of interest. Members of the Chamber are encouraged to bring legislative issues or concerns to the LAC. The LAC is charged with researching and discussing salient issues, and developing an appropriate action plan. The LAC is vested by the Board with the authority to take actions on issues that are consistent with the positions stated in this Public Policy Agenda. Positions adopted by the LAC are submitted to the Executive Committee of the Board for approval if they fall outside the scope of this document.

The LAC meets twice a week during the Utah State Legislative Session, once as a committee and once with the Davis County Legislative Delegation. The LAC meets monthly throughout the year and on an as-needed basis.

The Davis Chamber Legislative Affairs Committee is comprised of business leaders throughout the community focused on important business issues at the federal, state and municipal levels of government. We recognize that sound public policy focused on strong business values is the key to a thriving commercial and community environment.

Throughout the year this committee has been actively engaged in reviewing, identifying and shaping critical policy issues. To focus our legislative efforts, we have developed a list of 2016 Legislative Priorities. These priorities are identified as key issues for improving the business environment in Davis County. Our 2016 Legislative Priorities include:

Air Quality
Capital Facilities
Economic Development
Education
Energy
Healthcare
Military Affairs
Small Business
Tourism
Transportation
Water Development

We are excited to continue our participation in the Northern Utah Chamber Coalition along with the Ogden/Weber, Box Elder, Brigham City Area, Bear River Valley, and Cache Valley Chambers of Commerce. Our goal continues to be jointly promoting legislative solutions to issues that extend beyond any one county’s border.

Combined with our Public Policy Agenda and bill-by-bill advocacy efforts, we look forward to working with our Davis County legislators in the Utah State Senate and House of Representatives to promote a positive business climate in our community. Thank you for your wise management, commitment, and dedication to solving critical Davis County issues. We look forward to contributing in the upcoming General Session.

Sincerely,

Angie Osguthorpe
President & CEO
Davis Chamber of Commerce
(801) 593- 2209
angie@davischamberofcommerce.com
Barbara S. Riddle, CMP
Chair, Legislative Affairs Committee
Davis Chamber of Commerce
(801) 540-6312
barbarariddle27@yahoo.com

Air Quality Sub Committee

Position Statement
The Davis Chamber of Commerce recognizes that Air Quality is an issue which affects quality of life, cost of business, and economic development. We also recognize that Utah must meet federal air quality standards which will be a substantial challenge requiring careful balancing of interests.

Air Quality Priorities

Cleaner Vehicles: The Chamber recognizes that a large portion of our air quality issues are related to emissions from mobile sources and supports efforts and incentives which encourage lower tail pipe emissions including:

  • The increased use of alternative fuel vehicles including high mileage, flex fuel, electric, and natural gas vehicles
  • Transition of fleet vehicles to compressed natural gas
  • Expansion of the natural gas fueling network
  • Idle free initiatives
  • Transportation funding to improve public transit and minimize idling on Utah’s highways
  • The introduction of Tier III ready vehicles
  • Tax credits or other incentives to encourage early, local production of Tier 3 low sulfur fuel

Regulation: The Chamber supports the collaborative efforts of the governor and the Utah Division of Air Quality in the development of plans to satisfy the new and increasingly stringent regulations being implemented by the EPA for PM2.5 and Ozone pollution. The Davis Chamber also recognizes that implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan could substantially impact the electrical utilities in Utah and we encourage plans that minimizes cost to businesses.

Innovation and Research: The Chamber supports investing in research and development at Utah’s research universities and through industry-based initiatives to find Utah solutions to air quality issues.

Subcommittee Members
Chair, Nathan Rich, Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District
Susan Davis, Questar Gas Company
Larry Mortensen, Orbital ATK
Thomas Price, Callister, Nebeker and McCullough
Steve Rush, Rocky Mountain Power
Russel Walker, Holly Refining and Marketing
Mike Wright, Holly Refining and Marketing
Oliver Young, Young Automotive Group

Capital Facilities Subcommittee

Position Statement
Each year the Chamber supports state requests for important projects in the community that offer economic impact and improved service to Davis County and the State. In the past, the Chamber has supported funding for capital projects related to Antelope Island State Park, Davis Applied Technology College, Hill Air Force Base, Weber State University, and the WSU Davis Campus.

2016 Priorities

  • Davis Applied Technology College – Allied Health Building: This project will expand training at the DATC campus in Kaysville for programs in nursing, nurse assistant, dental assisting, surgical technology, pharmacy technology, emergency medical technology, phlebotomy, electronic health information technology, medical assisting, and medical secretary. Demand for health care professionals is growing rapidly in Davis County, and additional space is required to provide the workforce to keep pace with this demand.
  • Hill Air Force Base – Software Building
  • Weber State University – Social Science Building: In Fall Semester 2015, 39% of WSU students came from Davis County, more than any other county (Weber County had 33%). As such, the Social Science Building is the second most heavily used instructional building at WSU, but is seismically unsafe, has outdated fire suppression and detection systems, has deficiencies in most mechanical, structural, and electrical systems, and inadequate technology infrastructure for 21st Century instruction.

Quick Facts

Project State Funds Request Total Square Feet Renovated Square Feet UCAT Priority Bd of Regents Priority Building Board Priority
DATC Allied Health Building $25,463,974 85,000 0 3 N/A 13
HAFB Software Building $20,000,000 TBD 0 N/A N/A N/A
WSU Social Science Building $32,967,672 119,322 106,322 N/A 3 8

Subcommittee Members
Bryan Bowles, Davis School District
Russell Galt, Davis Applied Technology College
Brad Mortensen, Chair, Weber State University

Economic Development Sub Committee

Position Statement

  1. The Davis Chamber supports state and local programs that create and maintain family supporting wage jobs.
  2. The Davis Chamber supports business-sensitive and business-friendly regulations.
  3. The Davis Chamber supports education that prepares a workforce to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
  4. The Davis Chamber supports common sense liquor legislation that has a positive impact on economic development, tourism and overall quality of life in Utah while balancing public safety.

Economic Development is sustainable job development creating an improved quality of life. Utah is recognized for its strong business demographics, it’s educated and qualified workforce, its low cost of doing business due to favorable utility and tax rates, and its “right to work state” status. Economic conditions in other countries and states require that Utah be competitive with incentives to enhance and continue to strengthen our already robust economic development advantages.

Goals

The Davis Chamber plays a vital role in creating and supporting a healthy economy in which businesses succeed and quality of life is improved. The Davis Chamber supports the following initiatives:

  1. Facilitate and encourage family-supporting job opportunities allowing local citizens to live and work in their communities.
  2. Support higher education that is in line with the employment needs of the local job market.
  3. Grow the local economy by keeping jobs, salaries and taxes within the community.
  4. Support a balance of the State’s desire to grow family-supporting wage jobs and municipalities’ desire to grow a larger sales tax base.
  5. Encourage businesses to operate in Davis County by providing support for their success.

Subcommittee Members

Chair, Kent Andersen, Layton City
Daneen Adams, Family Connection Center
Darrin Baker, Wells Fargo Business Banking
Nic Bement, First National Bank of Layton
Doug Friedli, Logistic Specialties, Inc.
Eric Isom, CenturyLink Inc.
Kyle Laws, West Point City
Bret Millburn, Davis County Commissioner
Brad Mortensen, Weber State University
Betty Parker, Freeport Center Associates
Jordan Pearce, Zions Bank
Roger Shumway, Bank of Utah
Dave Thurgood, Staker Parson Companies
Brandon Wood, The Northwood Group
Phill Wright, Golden West Credit Union

Education Sub Committee

Position Statement
We strongly encourage the Legislature to provide funding for growth in student populations. We support Prosperity 2020 objectives and encourage the Legislature to consider funding programs such as STEM in order to remain globally competitive in the decades ahead.

Quality Education is a Priority
We recognize that education is the very foundation on which Utah will build its strength and vitality.

Jobs for Economic Prosperity
Any company wishing to begin, expand or relocate to the Beehive State requires a dedicated, well-trained workforce in order to be successful. Because of our educators, students in Davis County learn necessary reading and math, in addition to the high-level technical and critical thinking skills needed to be job-ready in an increasingly competitive environment, thereby promoting Utah’s economic prosperity.

Support Prosperity 2020 Goals and STEM Education
We encourage the development of an educational pathway in which every student, no matter the background or family situation, can receive a world-class education leading to a degree or certification, whether it be through traditional educational institutions such as Davis School District, Davis Applied Technology College and Weber State University or other alternatives such as public charter schools, private higher education institutions and Job Corps.

Support Funding Growth
The number of students in public and higher education has increased dramatically during recent years. When funding doesn’t increase at the same rate as the student population, less money is spent per student, resulting in a reduction in the quality of services offered.

To support improving the quality and quantity of educational outcomes, we request that the Legislature fund the amount required to cover the cost of our increase in student population. In addition, more funding for improved and expanded program offerings and certifications would have a beneficial impact.

Higher Education Performance Funding
We support a performance funding model for UCAT and USHE institutions that rewards certificate and degree completions, efficiency, and addressing high-demand workforce needs.

Subcommittee Members
Chair, Ann Mackin, Davis Applied Technology College
Dr. Bryan Bowles, Davis School District
Mike Bouwhuis, Davis Applied Technology College
Jodi Lunt, Davis School District
Justin Manning, Extreme Auto Service
Brad Mortensen, Weber State University
Lisa Spencer, Clearfield Job Corps
Dave Thurgood, Staker Parson Companies
Russell Walker, Holly Refining & Marketing
Chris Williams, Davis School District
Oliver Young, Young Automotive Group

Energy Sub Committee

Position Statement

  1. Develop Energy Resources: The Chamber supports expanding responsible development of Utah’s energy resources, including traditional fuels, alternative fuels, and renewable fuels. Expanding opportunities for Utah to both market and export fuels, electricity and technologies to regional and global markets is important for the economy of Davis County. The Chamber supports responsible hydraulic fracturing to enhance energy security through the development of domestic fuels. The Chamber supports a change to more sensible federal ethanol standards. The current standards are not feasible and can potentially harm engines.
  2. Natural Gas Corridor: The Chamber supports the increased use of all alternate fuel and electric vehicles along the Wasatch Front which reduces our reliance on imported energy and can have a substantial positive impact on our local air quality. We support tax credits for all alternate fuel and electric vehicles, expansion of the natural gas fueling network, and sensible regulation of vehicle conversion. The Chamber also encourages vehicle fleets to expand the use of alternate fuel and electric vehicles.
  3. Regulation: The Chamber supports sensible utility regulation which encourages capital investment, energy conservation, and development of renewable resources in a cost effective manner.
  4. Energy Innovation and Research: The Chamber supports investing in research and development at Utah’s research universities and through industry based initiatives.

Energy
Clean, cost effective, and available energy plays a critical role in fostering industry and directly impacts our cost of living and quality of life. We recognize the value of Governor Herbert’s 10-year strategic energy plan in identifying our energy challenges and proposing reasonable solutions.

The Chamber supports conservation and energy efficiency initiatives that focus on local solutions without interference from Federal bureaucracies.

The Chamber supports a regulatory environment that will support sustainable power generation, energy transmission solutions and energy conservation, including traditional, alternative and renewable resources.

Environment
We recognize the direct link between energy policy and the environment. We support cost-effective, sustainable efforts to improve air quality without damaging economic investment and job creation. The

Chamber believes that CO2 should not be regulated by the US EPA as a criteria pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

Security
We believe that over-reliance on imported energy poses a threat to national security and that smart use of locally available traditional and renewable energy resources strengthens our nation’s security and our local economy.

Local, State and Federal Advocacy: The Chamber will work with local, state and Federal agencies and policy makers to encourage smart environmental and energy policy.

Subcommittee Members
Chair, Russell Walker, Holly Refining & Marketing
Brett Bailey, Big West Oil
Susan Davis, Questar Gas Company
Larry Mortensen, ATK – Aerospace Group
Nathan Rich, Wasatch Integrated Waste
Steve Rush, Rocky Mountain Power
Mike Wright, Holly Refining & Marketing

Healthcare Sub Committee

Position Statement
The Davis Chamber of Commerce recognizes that individual and population health are integral to our community’s economic and educational success and quality of life.

Opportunities for a healthy lifestyle and access to health care services for all Davis County residents are key priorities. We believe that government, private, and nonprofit organizations should work cooperatively to assure this access to care and services is provided in an equitable, efficient, and affordable manner.

We support public policies and health care reform that:

  • Preserve, support, and strengthen programs for the uninsured,
  • Promote individual responsibility, healthy lifestyles, and accountability,
  • Maximize the acquisition and reallocation of resources that have been contributed through state and federal taxes,
  • Include flexibility, creativity, and sustainability for future federal funding, including a state escape hatch.

The Davis Chamber also supports initiatives that promote market driven principles which help Utah and Davis County businesses continue to provide high-quality, affordable health care for our community members.

Subcommittee Members
Chair, Shelly Nettesheim, Davis Hospital and Medical Center
C. J. Benson, South Davis Community Hospital
Brian Berg, Mountain West Surgical Center
Chris Dallin, North Region Intermountain Healthcare
Ryan Hansen, PARC – Pioneer Adult Rehab Center
Mike Jensen, Davis Hospital and Medical Center
Tim Kendall, Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital
Randy Lewis, Orchard Cove Orthopedic Rehabilitation
Steve Maughan, Orbit Irrigation Products, Inc.
Tim Pehrson, North Region Intermountain Healthcare
Greg Reid, Select Health
Diane Townsend, Davis Hospital and Medical Center

Military Affairs Sub Committee

Position Statement
The position of the Davis Chamber is to:

  • Support military operations in the Top of Utah
  • Support the missions of HAFB.
  • Support the continued development of Falcon Hill development at HAFB within the EUL project.
  • Work with partners in sustaining military operations in the state, including our Congressional Delegation, the State Legislature, Utah Defense Alliance, Inc. (UDA), and Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA).
  • Support annual funding for the bi-annual HAFB Air Show.
  • Support the Air National Guard in its efforts to relocate to Hill AFB.
  • Support a skilled workforce for military installations through a laddered education effort that includes an emphasis on STEM in schools, engineering programs at universities, and Applied-Technology Colleges in related fields
  • Support the Hill AFB Aerospace Museum

Issues
Since the 1940’s, military operations in Northern Utah have been an important aspect of the area economy. Defense spending on military operations was a dominant factor in moving Utah from an agriculture economy to one of diversity, encompassing manufacturing and high-tech industries. Today the area economy still enjoys the boost it receives from military and aerospace spending. As an example, Hill Air Force Base (HAFB) indicates its operation includes 23,000-24,000 employees and contributes over $3B to the state economy.
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development has included Defense/Homeland Security and Aerospace/Aviation as targeted clusters in their economic development planning. They indicate Defense and Homeland Security spending in the state is approximately $3.9B and includes 31,000 employees.
Fiscal year budget cuts on defense-related funding have defense-related agencies on notice of possible cut backs in spending and employee levels. Additionally, the effects of the Air Force’s reorganization could change workload, the level of employment and defense spending at HAFB and in the state. Future defense related cuts could also warrant a near-term Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) potentially affecting our Utah military installations.
Other states are making significant investments protecting their defense-related assets. Utah needs to continue a strong commitment.

Specific Action for the 2016 Legislature

  1. Support construction of a software engineering building at Hill AFB for $17 million
  2. Support on-going funding for Utah Defense Alliance, Inc. at current levels
  3. Support funding for Falcon Hill
  4. Support on-going funding for MIDA
  5. Support annual funding for the bi-annual HAFB Air Show

Subcommittee Members
Chair, Steve Rush, Rocky Mountain Power
Robb Alexander, Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah
Sheryl Cox, America First Credit Union
Susan Davis, Questar Gas Company
Kori Ann Edwards, LSI
Tage Flint, Weber Basin Water
Joe Mueller, BAE Systems
Joy Petro, Layton City Council
John Petroff, Davis County Commission
Ron Richins, MIDA
Cheryl Wyrick, BAE Systems

Small Business Sub Committee

Position Statement
We give small businesses a voice in legislation at the state level to spark “free enterprise thinking” as the cutting edge of innovation to our business and our quality of life.

Definition:
Whereas small businesses are defined differently in different locations, for the purposes of this committee we define small businesses as those local and regional businesses and franchises in the Davis County area with fewer than 100 employees. However this definition is intended to be inclusive rather than exclusive knowing that there will be participants that vary from the general guideline.

Objectives:
Our objective is to assist existing and new businesses to create cultural, environmental and economic benefits that are consistent with the values and goals of the Chamber through giving them a voice in the legislative process.

Other objectives/benefits are:

  • Create more employment opportunities for growth and sustainability for the residents of the county
  • Expand the county tax base to improve services and quality of life
  • Support policies that promote and incubate start-up industrial and retail business opportunities in the county
  • Support Davis County School District in policies that educate our youth to be vital, qualified and skilled participants as employees and small business owner/developers, in the businesses that are consistent with our culture and objectives above.
  • Encourage the Legislature to provide funding for growth in student populations at the Davis Applied Technology Center and Weber State University.
  • Create a legislative and economic environment that will enable underfunded businesses to benefit from our legislative policies and programs that would otherwise be more utilized by larger businesses.

Issues:

  • Rising healthcare costs
  • Minimum wage
  • How many hours per week should be considered full-time?
  • Education funding
  • Taxes
  • Enforcement funding for any new regulation passed

 

Subcommittee Members:

Chair, Joy Petro, Layton City Council
Scott Farnes, FJ & Associates
Pam Fullmer, UMEUS Consulting
Court Huish, Boondocks Fun Center
Justin Manning, Extreme Auto Service
James McDougal, Paul Davis Restoration
Janelle Page, KickFire
Jordan Pearce, Zions Bank
Jim Smith, Davis County Commission
Brandon Wood, The Northwood Group

Tourism Sub Committee

Position Statement
The Davis Chamber of Commerce recognizes the positive economic impact that tourism has on the Davis County economy and actively supports further promotion and development of our regional tourism industry. Tourism-related businesses create a large number of jobs in Davis County and contribute significantly to tax revenue collections.

Tourism Tax Revenue Generation
We strongly support the collection of Transient Room Tax (4.25%), Restaurant Tax (1%) and Motor Vehicle Leasing Tax (3%). These funds are utilized under state statute to fund and promote tourism activities and/or infrastructure in Davis County.

Tourism Marketing Performance Fund (TMPF)
We strongly urge the Governor and the Legislature to continue supporting the TMPF, marketing the State of Utah for tourism growth and spending.

Tourism is an important economic engine in Utah, generating both jobs and revenue for local businesses as well as local, county, and state tax coffers.

In 2014, Utah’s tourism industry generated:
$1.07 Billion Tourism- Related Tax Revenue
137,000 people are employed by tourism industry
$3.9 Billion total wages in tourism related jobs

We continue to support the legislated use of the Tourism Marketing Performance Fund. With a growth in tourism related tax codes (it appears) the TMPF has qualified for $21 million in funding for FY2016. We strongly support continued funding for TMPF.

Funding for Utah State Parks
We encourage the legislature to support the Utah State Parks System FY2016 budget and provide flexibility with pricing of park amenities to accommodate additional revenues and opportunities for Utah State Parks. Utah State Parks are an important part of our quality of life in Utah and provide tourism amenities and draws for many communities within our state.

  • For 2014, visitation at State Parks was 4.5M (a 20% increase over 2013) to 43 Utah State Parks with 7.2 M (a 14% increase over 2013) visits to Utah’s National Parks.
  • We recognize the mission statement of state parks:  Enhancing the quality of life by preserving natural, cultural and recreational resources for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations.
  • We recognize the value and service of our state parks system and appreciate their ability to expand revenues and reduce expenses, thereby minimizing dependence on General Funds.  We also recognize that State Parks provide affordable outdoor recreational opportunities and preserve our history through the many cultural parks and museums. We encourage financial support of their requested budget.

Subcommittee Members
Chair, Court Huish, Boondocks Fun Center
Nancy Cooper, Harrison R. Cooper Systems
Randy Lewis, South Davis Community Hospital
Bret Millburn, Davis County Commission
Neka Roundy, Davis County Council of Governments

Transportation Sub Committee

Davis Chamber of Commerce Transportation Project Priorities for 2016

  1. Northern Davis I-15 Upgrade (needs additional $300 million)
    • Express Lanes Layton to Riverdale/I-84 ($150 million approved by Transportation Commission)
    • SR-37/1800 North (Falcon Hill Interchange on I-15) (Record of Decision approved. Needs $185 million)
    • Shepard Lane and I-15 Interchange (needs $45 million, UDOT Phase 1 project)
    • Pedestrian Bridge on Park Lane in Farmington (needs $10 million)
  2. Highway 89 Improvements ($275 million in phases approved by Transportation Commission)
  3. West Davis Corridor ($600 million in today’s dollars)

Projects to request from the Transportation Commission

  • Davis-Salt Lake City Community Connecter (needs $1.2 million for engineering)
  • I-215 and Redwood Road Interchange Improvements (UDOT has $6 million, needs $13 million more)
  • SR 193 extension ($17 million)
  • 1100 North/2600 South/RR projects in North Salt Lake City

The Davis Chamber supports Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan 2015-2040

  • Ease of transportation with bike and pedestrian connectivity is critical for Utah and Davis County’s economic vitality and quality of life. The Davis Chamber supports added convenience and frequency of regular bus service in Davis County.
  • The Davis Chamber supports the Clearfield Circulator implementation to support transit improvements in Clearfield- Commuter Rail Station and Freeport Center, Layton, Falcon Hill, and WSU-Davis Campus.

Water Sub Committee

Position Statement
The Davis Chamber of Commerce supports:

  1. The planning and development of new water importation projects for the Wasatch Front.
  2. Implementation of wise watering practices and conservation measures in our communities.
  3. Protection of existing funding mechanisms available to local public water agencies.
  4. The creation of statewide water development funding plan for large importation projects.

Water Development
The Weber Basin Water Conservancy District was created to be the regional water supplier for five counties in northern Utah including all of Davis County.  Large scale drinking and secondary water projects for the benefit of all Davis County cities are developed and delivered as demand increases.  Water demand in Davis County will continue to increase as population and the business sector grows.  Ample water supplies will aid quality growth in Davis County. Therefore, the following items are endorsed by the Davis Chamber of Commerce:

Support for long-term water development projects
All water originating in Davis County is appropriated and being consumed.  The county will rely on new imported supplies to meet its growing demand.  Large water importation projects require decades to plan, design, permit, and construct.  An integral step in a water project’s success is community support.  Since water projects have to be completed before the demand occurs, the Chamber supports the planning and development of new water importation projects.

Promote efficient water use and conservation
It is prudent to wisely use this natural resource and implement water conservation throughout Davis County.  Approximately 67% of water use is applied to outside landscaping.  The Davis Chamber of Commerce endorses the use of wise watering practices and encourages implementation of conservation measures.

Protect water funding mechanisms and increase state water development funding
Weber Basin and other public water purveyors have three principal funding mechanisms with which to operate existing systems and build new water projects: water rates, impact fees, and property taxes.  These three revenue sources must be protected and allowed to be continued in order to provide sufficient water supplies for the future.

State water development programs
State water development programs need to be expanded in order to help build and rebuild new and aging water infrastructure.  Future water development projects such as the Bear River Project will require capital expenditures well beyond any one agency’s ability to finance without the State of Utah acting as a lender.  A long-term statewide water development funding plan needs to be created in order to promote the economic viability of our community and meet future growth demands.

Subcommittee Members
Chair, Tage Flint, Weber Basin Water
Steven Maughan, Orbit Irrigation Products, Inc.
James McDougal, Paul Davis Restoration
Scott Paxman, Weber Basin Water
Joy Petro, Layton City
John Petroff, Davis County Commission

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