By Aspire Johnson County
Aspire Johnson County, the local economic development organization and chamber of commerce for Johnson County, announces its priorities for the 2023 Indiana General Assembly session: funding for quality early childhood education, policies and incentives for attainable housing, and limited government interference in the free market.
“Workforce development is job number one,” noted Aspire President and CEO Christian Maslowski, “and Indiana is presented with a number of opportunities to help the state attract and keep more Hoosiers participating in the labor force.”
“Moreover, Aspire’s priorities for this coming session includes an emphasis on the very tenant upon which chambers of commerce have long been founded: advocating for the free market. Inflationary pressures, supply chain clogs, and labor availability make for a tough national business climate; Indiana can retain its sterling reputation for business by avoiding additional regulatory burdens and free market interference.”
These are the priority public policies and the rationale behind them:
Early Childhood Education / Childcare – Aspire supports public-funding for quality early childhood education – from daycare to PreK – for Hoosier children, especially those who are from income-limited families. Studies show children who are ready for kindergarten are more likely to be reading at the third-grade level by the end of third grade, and more likely to graduate high-school. A strong educational foundation is critical, and the state should focus on quality and affordability, collect data, and provide a multitude of types of providers. Importantly, access to affordable quality childcare is an important recruitment tool and assists with the labor participation rate. A child placed in a stable educational environment provides more certainty and stability for their parents in the workforce.
Attainable Housing – Aspire supports policies and local government incentives that promote attainable housing for all income earners in a growing workforce. We support a comprehensive planning and development strategy, connecting attainable housing to placemaking and quality of life. Robust economies like Johnson County and the Central Indiana area must continue to attract talented workers to sustain new business and GDP growth. Increasing the inventory of housing to support all income earners means more residents can join and stay in our community. Moreover, providing local governments a wide variety of tools in their economic development toolkit to foster support for attainable housing alongside quality of place efforts such as transit, parks, and mixed-use development, will support residents’ upward mobility.
Business Autonomy/Free Enterprise – Aspire supports loosening of red tape, limiting unnecessary or duplicative regulation, and reduction of government interference to ensure that businesses across the state can operate freely and efficiently. Over-reaching administrative rulemaking and legislative regulations unduly burden businesses of all sizes, thereby hampering innovation, expansion, and job growth. Streamlining government processes and making them easy to navigate will help our community save taxpayer dollars, and to be a good place to do business. Hoosier businesses value their ability to operate autonomously when it comes to making decisions that are right for their business.
For more information, visit AspireJohnsonCounty.com.