Join Login

Category: Public Policy News

Here you’ll find out who’s making the decisions shaping our community: Policy-makers are always busy creating new ways to advance the Madison region. Stay informed on the latest policies that may impact the way you do business.

Photo by Richard Hurd

Chamber Calls on Congress to Protect DREAMers, TPS Holders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (May 30, 2019)

Contact: Erik Greenfield, Communications Manager, 608-443-1952 (office), 608-669-7884 (cell)

MADISON – In partnership with New American Economy’s Global Talent Chamber Network, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is one of 60 chambers from 26 states calling on Congress to pass the Dream and Promise Act, bipartisan legislation that would create permanent protections for DREAMers and those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

“The Chamber supports federal immigration reforms that will encourage entrepreneurship, support our growing workforce needs and ensure homegrown talent remains in our community,” said Chamber President Zach Brandon. “The individuals who would benefit from this legislation are pursuing their education here, starting careers and businesses, and contributing to our tax base. Protecting them is the right thing to do for our young people and for our economy.”

There are 1.25 million DREAMers (undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children) eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and 318,000 immigrants hold TPS protections allowing them to work in the United States. There are approximately 10,500 DACA-eligible individuals in Wisconsin who earn $204.3 million in total income annually and contribute $31.7 million in total taxes annually, $15.3 million of which goes to state and local tax revenue.

See the full letter to congressional leadership here.

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with nearly 1,300 organizations – ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 10,000 employees – working to bring the Greater Madison area to its full potential. The Greater Madison region is a leader in innovation. From cutting-edge technologies to distinctive retail shops to inventive services and products, our members vary greatly but are united by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. More information can be found at madisonbiz.com.

###

Photo by Richard Hurd

Chamber Unveils NEXUS: The New OS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (May 30, 2019)

Contact: Erik Greenfield, Communications Manager, 608-443-1952 (office), 608-669-7884 (cell)

MADISON – Today the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce unveiled NEXUS: The New OS, its new two-year policy roadmap at the local, state and federal level. The agenda is designed to achieve inclusive growth for Greater Madison through investments in transportation and infrastructure, education, research, entrepreneurial and technology equity, and other important issues.

“Greater Madison is experiencing a surge of economic momentum, yet disparities still exist for many in our community,” said Chamber President Zach Brandon. “NEXUS is focused on taking coordinated action at all levels of government to build a new operating system (OS) where anyone, and everyone, profits from our momentum.”

View the full NEXUS agenda at madisonbiz.com/nexus

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with nearly 1,300 organizations – ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 10,000 employees – working to bring the Greater Madison area to its full potential. The Greater Madison region is a leader in innovation. From cutting-edge technologies to distinctive retail shops to inventive services and products, our members vary greatly but are united by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. More information can be found at madisonbiz.com.

###

Photo by Richard Hurd

Chamber, Building Trades Align on Endorsements for Madison Common Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (March 6, 2019)

Contact: Erik Greenfield, Communications Manager, 608-443-1952 (office), 608-669-7884 (cell)

MADISON – Today the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced its endorsements in the April 2 elections for Madison Common Council. The endorsement of the 44-member Chamber board signals a candidate’s strength on business and economic issues and is based on several factors, including alignment with the Chamber’s two-year Access Agenda.

Once again, the Chamber’s endorsement decisions mirror candidates endorsed by the Building Trades of South Central Wisconsin. Both organizations are focused on building a vibrant, prosperous economy in Greater Madison.

“These candidates are the clear choice of both business and labor because they are entrepreneurs, small business owners and community leaders who understand the value of a healthy business community and a strong, talented workforce,” said Chamber President Zach Brandon. “From growing our advanced industries to fighting for a more inclusive economy to supporting the basing of the next-generation F-35A jets at Truax Field, each of these individuals has demonstrated their commitment to building and accelerating Greater Madison’s economic momentum.”

The Chamber endorsed the following candidates for Madison Common Council:

District 1: Barbara Harrington-McKinney
District 3: Lindsay Lemmer
District 5: Shiva Bidar-Sielaff
District 7: Donna Moreland
District 8: Avra Reddy
District 9: Paul Skidmore
District 10: Kristin Johnson
District 11: Arvina Martin
District 12: Syed Abbas
District 13: David Hoffert
District 14: Sheri Carter
District 16: Michael Tierney
District 19: Keith Furman
District 20: Christian Albouras

The release from the Building and Construction Trades Council regarding their candidate endorsements is attached here. Candidate responses to the Chamber’s endorsement questionnaire can be found at madisonbiz.com/advocacy/elections.

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with nearly 1,300 organizations – ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 10,000 employees – working to bring the Greater Madison area to its full potential. The Greater Madison region is a leader in innovation. From cutting-edge technologies to distinctive retail shops to inventive services and products, our members vary greatly but are united by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. More information can be found at madisonbiz.com.

###

Photo by Richard Hurd

Chamber Shares List of More Than 1,700 Together Truax Supporters with U.S. Air Force

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (March 8, 2018)

Contact: Erik Greenfield, Communications Manager, 608-443-1952 (office), 608-669-7884 (cell)

MADISON – Today the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce shared with the United States Air Force an initial list of more than 1,700 individuals who signed up to join Together Truax, an initiative co-led by the Chamber and Badger Air Community Council (BACC) dedicated to assisting the effort to base the F-35A aircraft at Madison’s Truax Field. The Air Force announced in December the selection of Truax, home of the 115th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, as one of two preferred sites to receive state-of-the-art, next-generation aircraft.

“With the active backing of more than 1,700 individuals through Together Truax, business leaders and a bipartisan coalition of federal, state and local elected officials, the F-35 basing at Truax Field already has strong support throughout Greater Madison and across Wisconsin,” said Chamber President Zach Brandon. “This community is proud to stand with the 1,200 men and women of the 115th Fighter Wing and the essential role they play in growing our economy, ensuring our national defense and providing vital services to our airport and college students.”

“The 115th Fighter Wing of the Wisconsin Air National Guard continues to receive unparalleled community support in carrying out its missions at Truax Field,” said Colonel (Ret.) Jeff “Ace” Wiegand, Executive Director of the BACC and former Wing Commander of the 115th Fighter Wing. “For the last 70 years there has been an uninterrupted Air Force mission at Truax Field, from when the F-51 Mustangs were first assigned to the squadron at its formation in 1948, to becoming the first Air National Guard unit to fly a modern jet fighter with the F-89A Scorpion mission in the 1950s, to the F-102s in the 1960s to 1970s, to the A-10 Thunderbolt in the 1980s, to the assignment of the F-16s in the early 1990s, to the announcement of the F-35 mission in December. This continuity of missions is not just a recognition of the legacy of excellence the Wing has established, but also a very strong recognition of the community that has supported the men and women of the Fighter Wing over the last seven decades.”

The 115th Fighter Wing is an important asset to the Greater Madison community and state of Wisconsin, generating $100 million in annual economic impact and giving $1 million in tuition assistance annually to hundreds of student Guard members. Equally important as the federal mission that the 115th Fighter Wing carries out are the domestic operations it provides for the State of Wisconsin. Those operations include supporting relief efforts during natural disasters, Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) response in all 72 counties in Wisconsin, a mobile ER, a Fatality Search and Recovery Team (FSRT) and RC-26 counter drug incident awareness assessment operations. The 115th also provides all emergency and fire services for Dane County Regional Airport, at a significant savings to the airport and county.

Truax is set to receive the jets in 2023, pending an environmental review and scoping process currently underway. As part of that process, there will be an Open House Information Session on March 8 from 5-8 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 4402 E. Washington Ave., where members of the public can learn more about the basing, the jet technology and the positive impact this will have on Greater Madison. While this event is not a public hearing, the public will have a chance to ask questions with Air Force officials. More information can be found at http://angf35eis.com/.

About Together Truax:
Launched in June 2016 by the Chamber, in partnership with the Badger Air Community Council, Together Truax is a program dedicated to assisting the effort to base the F-35A aircraft at Madison’s Truax Field. The initiative has included advocacy, marketing and lobbying, generating more than $100,000 in private investment and enlisting more than 2,100 supporters. More information can be found at togethertruax.com.

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with nearly 1,300 organizations – ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 10,000 employees – working to bring the Greater Madison area to its full potential. The Greater Madison region is a leader in innovation. From cutting-edge technologies to distinctive retail shops to inventive services and products, our members vary greatly but are united by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. More information can be found at greatermadisonchamber.com.

###

Photo by Richard Hurd

Non-Stop Flight from Madison to San Francisco Coming This Summer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Jan. 8, 2018)

Contact: Erik Greenfield, Communications Manager, 608-443-1952 (office), 608-669-7884 (cell)

MADISON – Today it was announced that United Airlines is adding a non-stop flight from Dane County Regional Airport to San Francisco International Airport starting this summer. Adding this flight was a key component of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce’s Access Agenda, a two-year policy roadmap at the local, state and federal level, and a survey of Chamber member businesses in early 2016 yielded strong support for this direct flight. As part of its popular Pressure Chamber startup pitch initiative, the Chamber also annually leads an exclusive Madison-area startup delegation for meetings and networking opportunities with top Silicon Valley venture capital firms.

In response to today’s announcement, Chamber President Zach Brandon released the following statement:

“This new non-stop flight is more than a transit connection; it is an economic connection between the global tech capital and the world-class innovation hub right here in Greater Madison.

“More and more, Greater Madison is being recognized as a national leader in technology and entrepreneurial growth, and this direct flight will only fuel that momentum. We know that connectivity to Silicon Valley investors increases both the likelihood of startups being funded and their long-term success. Having this convenient access to San Francisco and Silicon Valley is exciting news for our entrepreneurial ecosystem and efforts to attract new investment and recruit world-class talent.

“Thank you to County Executive Parisi for his advocacy on this issue and to everyone who worked to make this day possible.”

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with nearly 1,300 organizations – ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 10,000 employees – working to bring the Greater Madison area to its full potential. The Greater Madison region is a leader in innovation. From cutting-edge technologies to distinctive retail shops to inventive services and products, our members vary greatly but are united by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. More information can be found at greatermadisonchamber.com.

###