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Spartanburg chamber sets legislative agenda

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The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce is advocating for higher wages and corporate jobs in the county in its 2019 Legislative Agenda. The agenda breaks the Spartanburg chamber’s advocacy into efforts at the local, state and federal level in areas like education, workforce, infrastructure and immigration.

“Our legislative priorities are based on feedback from our members, and with survey participation up 220% this year, we’re confident the legislative agenda captures the most pressing needs for Spartanburg County businesses,” John Kimbrell, executive vice president of the Spartanburg chamber, said in a news release.

At the local level, the chamber plans to continue pushing for higher wages and corporate jobs coming to Spartanburg County, a key recommendation of the OneSpartanburg community assessment, the release said.

With the local unemployment rate at 3% and more than 10,000 jobs unfilled across the Upstate in any given month, the chamber will support legislation investing in education and expanding the workforce of the future, according to the release. That includes legislation increasing teacher pay to the region-wide average within three years, increasing pay for technical college instructors and allowing the young adults legally living in the Upstate under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to obtain state licenses to work, the release said.

In conjunction with the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Spartanburg chamber will advocate for legislation designed to make the state’s tax code more fair, equitable and competitive for business.

To protect wholesale, retail and industrial ratepayers, as well as provide economic development, the Spartanburg chamber said it supports the orderly sale of Santee Cooper, or the consideration of other solutions.

At the federal level, the chamber will advocate for infrastructure investments and legislation supporting international trade that powers the Upstate economy and allows Spartanburg County’s many manufacturing businesses to prosper, according to the release.

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