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Events Calendar

Setting the Agenda for 2015

As we turn the calendar from 2014 to 2015 we are looking forward to a prosperous year for all of our members. There will be some changes in the political landscape with a new Governor being sworn in on Thursday and a new Senate President shortly after that. This presents opportunities and challenges for the business community and it’s important for us to build good working relationships with the new administration.

Taking a quick look back, the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee had a busy year in 2014. Based on their recommendations, the Chamber Board voted to take positions on several of the November ballot questions. We opposed the expansion of the bottle bill and the repeal of the casino legislation and were victorious in both cases. We also opposed the repeal of the indexing of the gas tax to inflation and in that case we were defeated. Our support for that particular item was due in part to our long-standing support of large transportation infrastructure projects, i.e. the Route 128 Add-a-lane and the Route 93/95 interchange in Canton. The defeat of the gas tax indexing means that the new Governor will need to work with the legislature to find creative ways to finance the large number of important transportation priorities outlined by the Patrick administration. Our Chamber will continue to work with other chambers and stakeholders to ensure that transportation remains a priority on Beacon Hill.

As we move into the new year, the Government Affairs Committee has scheduled two policy briefings to get a sense of what top issues the business community might expect. John Regan, head of Government Affairs for Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) will join us on Friday, January 16th to provide a statewide perspective of business issues. Then on Friday, February 13th, Geoff O’Hara from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will join us to provide a national perspective of the issues. Both meetings are at 8:00 am and open to all members. I encourage you to join us not only to learn what might be on the agenda for 2015, but also to share your thoughts and concerns as a business person in the region.

The Government Affairs Committee is also planning to hold our popular Legislative Reception in 2015, but will be moving it to the Fall time frame. Additionally our statewide association of Chambers is planning a Washington DC fly-in which brings interested members of the business community in face to face contact with members of the Massachusetts delegation in Washington along with other key political leaders. Details on that program will be forthcoming soon.

Please join us in these activities during the new year, your voice is important to us as we continue to work with our elected leaders to ensure that 2015 is indeed prosperous for us all.