Chamber Working for You: Big Wins Over 10 Years

OK, we realize it’s February and the end of December/beginning of January were the times for the "top 10" lists for the past year or decade. But in looking at Indiana Chamber advocacy efforts, we couldn’t resist putting together some of the top issues in which we’ve been fighting the good fight for the business community. We didn’t rank them; that would be a really tough job.

I, and quite a few others on the Chamber team, have been here throughout (not the 1922 official start of the organization) — dating back to the 2002 tax restructuring and including key victories in economic development, education, tax, local government and more. The one-pager can be found here; but first a few observations.

  • 2005 was simply a big year. Daylight Savings Time became a reality after only more than a few decades of trying, a series of important education policies were enacted and a variety of tax credits were expanded
  • The most underrated item on the list, in my view, has a 2005 connection as well. The creation of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation took place in 2003 with a scheduled implementation in July 2005. Gov. Mitch Daniels, however, made the transition priority one upon taking office that January and the IEDC was off and running on a record-setting period of private sector investment and job creation
  • A 2008 entry, removal of township assessors, MUST be complemented by additional local government reform measures. Whether it’s this year, in 2011 or through other measures, it’s time has more than come for taxpayers, local residents and all involved

Advocacy, of course, is just one way the Chamber works for its nearly 5,000 members and 800,000 employees of those Hoosier companies. But it’s a big one, making a difference each and every day.

Remembering Sen. Riegsecker

State Senator Marvin Riegsecker passed away today after a long battle with cancer at the age of 71. An Indiana Senator since 1988, Riegsecker represented District 12, covering a large portion of Elkhart County.

He will be missed greatly by his friends and colleagues. His leadership on business issues and government reform will also be missed by the Indiana Chamber. His friend and Chamber VP of environmental and energy affairs, Vince Griffin, remembers:

A few years ago, on his 65th birthday, Senator Riegsecker came to me and shared that it had been a lifelong dream of his to bicycle from his Goshen home to the State House in Indianapolis. He asked me to lay out a route and ride with him. We rode the 160-some miles over two days. Neither he nor his bike were well-prepared for the ride, but he did it and that is a testimony to Marv’s dogged determination. He exhibited that strong-willed nature in his 20 years in the Senate as he tackled issues related to the environment and health — and he was one of the champions of Daylight Savings Time. Marv was a good friend to many and will be missed by all.