Retaining our current businesses, along with growing our base, is our number one economic development priority, and you should be assured that the full resources of the Greater Omaha Chamber are focused on ensuring that our state is dedicated to fostering economic growth. We are passionate about driving exciting and visionary change in our region.
Economic development incentives have garnered recent media coverage in Nebraska. Whether your company is considering expansion opportunities, or might be new to our Greater Omaha market, I wanted to provide you with an update on our efforts.
The current mainline incentives program in Nebraska, known as the Nebraska Advantage Act (NAA), is scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2020. Nothing has changed with this program. Applications will continue to be taken through that date and all currently signed agreements are being honored in their entirety.
You may also have heard that a new program, the ImagiNE Nebraska Act, was proposed during the 2019 legislative session as the next generation of incentives policy. The concepts of ImagiNE were contained in LB720, introduced and prioritized by Senator Mark Kolterman of Seward.
LB720 is a strong policy proposal with support across the political spectrum and from the Governor. It was written with the input of the state’s brightest minds in frontline economic development – those who meet with companies, travel on trade missions and go on recruiting trips every single day. The bill has been crafted to ensure there is no gap in implementation from the end of NAA to the beginning of ImagiNE. The bill advanced to the second of three rounds of debate in the legislature before the session ended. This positions LB720 for early consideration and eventual passage during the 2020 legislative session – prior to the sunset date of NAA.
Our team, along with our partners in Lincoln and at the Nebraska Chamber, have already been meeting and making preparations to strengthen and pass LB720 in 2020. One of our strongest assets has been Senator Kolterman’s leadership as the bill sponsor. He has a well-earned reputation in the body for honesty, listening, compromise and trust. He has built excellent relationships across the political spectrum. We feel extremely confident with his leadership going forward.
One thing we know for certain from our participation in the legislative process is that no voice is more influential to our senators than that of each individual business. Your own stories describing the way you make essential business decisions matter to senators. We urge you to contact your own senator and explain why passage of LB720 in the 2020 session is crucial to continued economic growth. If we can assist with contact information or talking points, please contact Jennifer Creager, Senior Director of Public Policy, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all you do to make Greater Omaha thrive. We are very proud to advocate on your behalf.