Legislative Agenda

The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce annually establishes an agenda of legislative priorities and promotes the agenda to legislators and other elected leaders. The 2015 Legislative Agenda includes such topics as:
  • Extension of and runway at Middle Georgia Regional Airport
  • Support for the Macon to LaGrange highway & freight corridor
  • Support for designation of Macon as an inland port
  • Support for key initiatives of the Transition Team to ensure a smooth transition to a consolidated city/county government
  • Support legislation and funding for Robins Air Logistics Complex and Air Force Base
  • Support post secondary education funding for infrastructure improvements to local colleges and universities

Transportation
Sardis Church Rd. extension
We request that the Georgia Department of Transportation evaluate the feasibility of extending Sardis Church Road from the new proposed terminus at State Highway 247 to Sgoda Road on I-16 then onto State Highway 57 in Jones County. The extension to Sgoda Road and State Highway 57 would benefit the region by providing Robins Air Force Base with an opportunity to add a Northern Gate; enhances the viability of the proposed Bibb-Twiggs Industrial District; enhances the viability of Jones County’s new industrial park and provides a transportation corridor for Southern Bibb County, Northern Houston County, Twiggs County, as well as benefiting Jones County and Wilkinson County.

I-16/I-75 Interchange Improvements
The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce supports GDOT Alternate #9 for improvements to the I-16/I-75 Interchange and the Pleasant Hill Remediation. The planned improvements to the interchange will dramatically improve safety within the affected area and address current capacity issues while also preparing for the increased traffic flow associated with the Savannah Port expansion.

Middle Georgia Regional Airport
We support the extension of the runway 5/23 at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport to allow for our growth as a regional air cargo hub.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
We support improvements to Seventh Street to provide an alternative truck route through downtown Macon.

Georgia’s Export/Import Highway
We support the proposed Macon to LaGrange Highway & freight corridor. The multi-lane highway connecting I-85 near LaGrange to I-75 in Macon is a project that needs to be fast-tracked as an economic benefit to the entire state.

Brosnan Yard & inland Port
The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce supports the funding of a trans-load facility at Brosnan Yard and the designation of Macon as an inland port.

Macon and Bibb County Consolidation
The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce supports key initiatives of the Transition Team to ensure a smooth transition to a consolidated government. One area of specific concern is having the chair of the Macon Economic Development Commission (MEDC) reinstated on the newly constituted Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, and any mayoral appointments to any authorities/commissions should be approved by the County Commissioners.

Robins Air Logistics Complex and Air Force Base
We are requesting that our local legislative delegation continue to work with other state leaders to ensure that the funding identified to address the encroachment issue flows through to the region.

Support Legislation and Funding For:
  • Initiatives focused on retaining and acquiring missions at Robins
  • Initiatives that impact the viability and strength of Robins including
    • BRAC preparation
    • Air quality improvement
  • Advocating for the repeal of the sequestration as mandated by the federal Budget Control Act of 2011

Economic Development
  • Allow sales and use tax exemptions extension on building materials for Development/Industrial Authority projects of regional significance. Keeps us on a level playing field with our competition.
  • Support all efforts to transition Ocmulgee National Monument to the Ocmulgee National Park.
  • We request that the City/County not add a replacement tax to recoup any revenue lost through the sunset of the tax on energy used in manufacturing. Doing so would put us at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting and retaining manufacturing business.
  • Encourage companies receiving public monies to utilize local vendors/contractors/subcontractors.
  • We support the continuation and expansion of film credits that are critical in bringing movie and TV production to Middle Georgia.
  • Restore the Georgia State co-op Marketing Grant Program individual destination marketing organizations to obtain funds to support local tourism promotions.
  • Expand the cap on historic tax credits.
At the crossroads of interstates 75 and 16, and just 75 minutes south of Atlanta, Macon has become an attractive location for businesses.

Education Funding
The quality and effectiveness of primary and secondary education are the most significant challenges facing the economic viability of our state. We oppose attempts to cut funding in K-12 education and in the Quick Start program for existing industry.

Support post secondary education funding for improved infrastructure improvements for our local colleges and universities.

We would recommend a change to the Governor’s proposed 2% pay increase to teachers as follows:
  • 1% increase to teachers’ pay
  • 1% to reinstate K-12 programs that were eliminated as part of the austerity programs.

Regionalism
We are requesting that our local delegation reach out to other delegations within the region to build and support a strong regional alliance that will strengthen our region’s presence and influence at the state level. This will also provide the political support for our regional chambers and authorities to work together more effectively in promoting economic development, protecting Robins Air Force Base and the Air Logistic Complex and supporting other initiatives that positively impact our region.

Health Care
Georgia’s health-planning process, the Certificate of Need (CON), preserves access to health care for all Georgians, including the uninsured. CON helps control costs by preventing overutilization and unnecessary duplication of services, while also discouraging unfair competition from facilities that serve few, if any, Medicaid or uninsured patients.

Allow expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to insure many Georgians not currently eligible for coverage.