Economic Retention and Expansion Council
Position Statement for Economic Retention and Expansion
Southeast Kansas, Inc. supports any resourcing available to the following:
- Quality Jobs Program
- Continued EDIF dedicated to economic development
- The Operational Concept of an Economic Stimulus/Shell Building Program managed by The Kansas Department of Commerce
- Incentives and/or Tax Credit Program to encourage The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, to encourage environmentally sustainable construction.
- Continued funding and support of S.B. 417 for rural Kansas communities after July 1, 2010. This bill primarily focuses on natural disasters. Southeast Kansas, Inc. would appreciate consideration of adding economic disasters as well.
Southeast Kansas, Inc. is a willing and able advocate and partner who can provide input and expertise to the area’s legislative delegation. We support and will assist with any reasonable economic initiative, workforce development program, business development or business expansion efforts. We encourage all legislators to keep the serious economic issues facing Southeast Kansas at the forefront of legislative actions.
Our organization is working to be a catalyst and a resource for the teaching of entrepreneurship in the area. Promoting entrepreneurial thinking will make for better employees as well as for more sustainable long-term economic development with the region.
- We support the extension of the rural tax credits that our foundations utilize for programming.
- We support a reduction in the increase of either the rate or the base of state unemployment rates, especially for employers with positive accounts.
- We support the development of a sound and fair tax policy which provides adequate funding for the needs of Kansas residents.
- Members of this council help plan and organize the annual Southeast Kansas Day on the Hill event in Topeka every January. They also contribute suggestions on what legislative issues we support and advocate for at the state and federal levels.
Southeast Kansas, Inc. supports the efforts of the Southeast Kansas Tourism Region organization as they promote visitors to the entire region.
Position Statement for Transportation
Southeast Kansas, Inc. supports:
- the U.S. Highway 69 Association and the U.S. Highway 400 Association positions for inclusion in the next CTP;
- Fully funding the Kansas Department of Transportation maintenance budget to keep our highways and bridges in good condition; and
- Raising highway fuels tax and other transportation-specific taxes and fees to provide the revenue needed to achieve the transportation goals that the people of Southeast Kansas and the rest of Kansas believe are essential.
Highway Project Priorities:
- US Highway 69 Four-lane from US Highway 400 junction to US Highway 54 junction north of Fort Scott
- US Highway 69/400 Four-lane to I-44
- US Highway 400 Four-lane from 69 Junction west to US Highway 77 Junction
- US Highway 169 Super-two from OK border to K-7
- K68 Four-lane from US Highway 169 to US Highway 69
- US Highway 75 enhance in District 4
Southeast Kansas, Inc. recommends that the existing short line rail program increase annual funding from $3 million to $5 million per year and allow access to the rail fund by rail customers and owners of industrial parks to:
- Increase annual funding by $2 million from $3 million to $5 million per year as supported by Parsons Brinkerhoff Study completed in 2005
- Make grants available to customers of railroads, that:
- i. Provide a 50% matching grant, that
- ii. Make improvements to their railroad siding
- or to lengthen sidings
- iii. Acquire additional rail yards, sidings or capacities that
- improve railroad velocity, or improve Customer Service.
- Make grants available to communities having railroads going through the community, where there are rail yards having significant switching or congestion issues impeding railroad velocity, or service to customers, that:
- i. Provide a 25% matching grant by the community,
- railroad or other entity
- ii. Make improvements to add railroad capacity to improve
- velocity or service to customers
- Make grants available to customers of railroads or to short line railroads, that:
- i. Provide a 25% matching grant
- ii. Relocate railroad customers from core urban areas
- congested to lack of railroad capacity, or has service to
- railroad customers impaired due to track issue.
- Add loan provision for industrial park owners to be used for rail improvements to facilitate short line railroad connections under the existing loan program.
- Air Priorities:
Southeast Kansas, Inc. supports:
- KDOT's continued effort to make emergency air transportation available to all Kansans
- KDOT to work to upgrade instrument approaches and runways to more Kansas airports.
Workforce Development Council
Position Statement for Workforce Development
Workforce development is defined as collaboration between industry, government and education to prepare and enhance workers’ skills to meet current and future market demands enabling Southeast Kansas businesses to be competitive in local, national and international commerce. This requires a focus on the integration and coordination of workforce programs, as well as streamlined access to such resources and programs by employers, employees, and job seekers.
Specifically and to this end, Southeast Kansas, Inc. supports the following:
- Continued review of the Workers Compensation guidelines for employers and physicians.
- Funding of educational, training and workforce development services in order to meet current and expected labor demands.