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Government Relations

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Enhancing the Business Climate

The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance is dedicated to strengthening our region’s long-term competitiveness and advocating for pro-business policies that create jobs and grow our economy. We focus on jobs, growth and opportunity for the entire region which includes: The Counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell, City of Lynchburg, Towns of Altavista, Amherst, and Appomattox.

The Alliance’s Government Relations Committee consists of approximately 15 volunteer leaders along with Alliance staff, who represent a broad spectrum of Alliance membership and regional interests including members from local government, large and small businesses, construction, education groups, energy, banking and health care. The Committee meets monthly and establishes the legislative agenda for the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance for the upcoming General Assembly Session.

The Government Relations Committee, along with the Director of Government Relations, John Putney identifies and monitors local and state policy issues of importance to Alliance members and the business  in our region.  We evaluate the issue from a broad prospective, develop a position, educate and communicate with our members, and advocate our position to public policy makers.

The Alliance’s constructive and pro-active efforts at the local, state and federal level are directed toward building a positive climate for job and investment growth in the Lynchburg region. The Alliance also has a partnership with the Virginia Chamber and VAWEST Business & Legislative Coalition.

Our Legislative Statement

The Alliance's Board of Directors have adopted this guiding statement, along with 9 issue-areas (10/11/2019), and provided a guiding statement for each:

On behalf of the 750+ members and more than 43,000 employees that comprise the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance,
the Government Relations Committee shall advocate for reasonable, well researched and debated legislation
that is favorable to businesses; complements economic development initiatives; encourages Free Enterprise;
and, continues to elevate the business competitiveness of the Lynchburg region.

 

    • Workforce & Education: The Alliance is committed to legislative proposals that increase the potency of the Lynchburg graduate, either from higher education, high-school, or any other certification program or pipeline that impacts the workforce.

 

    • Energy & Environment: The Alliance is committed to keeping Virginia competitive in the energy market through use of coal, natural gas, and nuclear resources that allow for timely development of needed energy infrastructure investments across the Commonwealth, and continuing the development of cost-effective, renewable energy sources.

 

    • Free Enterprise: The Alliance is committed to the spirit of Free Enterprise and business-centric, pro-economic development policies that improve the business climate for the Lynchburg region, and, foster a culture of economic prosperity.

 

    • Healthcare: The Alliance is committed to policy that promotes accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of the healthcare system, providing the workforce and business community with high-quality healthcare.

 

    • Infrastructure: The Alliance is committed to advocate for legislation that bolsters the physical foundation (sites, water and gas connections, broadband, utilities etc.) of doing business in the region and improves the potential for businesses to come to and expand in the region.

 

    • Labor: The Alliance is committed to legislation that maintains the Commonwealth’s competitive workforce and enhances job creation, while nurturing an environment that promotes growth and expansion.

 

    • Regulatory Reform: The Alliance is committed to policies that that are more conducive for conducting business in the Lynchburg region.

 

    • Taxation: The Alliance is committed to reducing unreasonable financial barriers to business development and growth, and support measures that strengthen Virginia’s business climate.

 

    • Transportation: The Alliance is committed to advocating for transportation policies that are fair and equitable to all of the regions in the Commonwealth; increase the ability for investment in transportation projects; and, provide organizations the transportation network needed to do business in the modern era.

 

General Assembly Issues We’re Watching on Your Behalf

1) Right To Work - Based on media pieces, intel obtained from legislators and lobbyist friends and colleagues and actual legislation introduced (see link below), it’s safe to state at this point the fate of Right to Work is very much in uncertain.  What was once inconceivable, modifications of some kind appears quite possible. The Alliance has joined the Virginians for Employee Free Choice Coalition to amplify our efforts to preserve this important law.

View additional support below:

Fralin: Virginia right-to-work law should not be repealed or amended

 

2) Minimum Wage - There are now approximately one-dozen House and Senate bills, that would mandate increases in the employee minimum wage.  Given the strong support for this initiative in both chambers by the majority party; given the public support of the Governor (see below article) conventional wisdom indicates a strong likelihood that a minimum wage bill of some kind will pass out of the Legislature and head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Virginia Public Access Project - Minimum Wage

Virginia Democrats seek higher minimum wage

 

3) Virginia TAG - Governor Northam’s introduced biennial budget includes an increase in the VTAG award amount (from $3,400 to $4,000 per VA resident); however, in order to pay for the increase in the award, the Governor’s budget includes a provision that would prohibit TAG to be used for online learning programs.

Democrats will weigh free community college, transparency measures, among other education initiatives.

Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant

 

LRTAG

The Lynchburg Region Transportation Advocacy Group (LRTAG) is a private-sector umbrella organization representing the area’s major employers and other industries (including construction, manufacturing, and retail) that rely on a viable, sustainably and equitably-funded multi-modal transportation network for the success of their business and the strength of the region’s overall economy.

BREC

The Blue Ridge Economic Coalition (BREC) is a coalition of business, chambers of commerce, economic development, government and transportation leaders from the Lynchburg and Salem VDOT Districts unified with the goal of creating a high level, larger voice advocating for goals and projects that increase economic activity across our jurisdictional boundaries.

Virginia West Coalition

The Alliance is a member of VA WEST, a business and legislative coalition comprised of 13 chambers in central, southside, and western Virginia, representing over 4,500 businesses and covering over 8,000 square miles.

VA WEST supports public policies that strengthen free enterprise and regional collaboration efforts that promote economic development.

Coalition Members

  • Bedford Area
  • Botetourt County
  • Greater Bluefield
  • Charlottesville Region
  • Danville/Pittsylvania County
  • Harrisonburg-Rockingham County
  • Lexington - Rockbridge County
  • Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance
  • Martinsville - Henry County
  • Montgomery County
  • Roanoke Region
  • Salem - Roanoke County
  • Smith Mountain Lake
  • Wytheville - Wythe - Bland
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