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Hot Springs Chamber Backs Business Legislative Issues

Hot Springs Chamber Backs Business Legislative Issues

(Hot Springs, AR) October 24, 2022 – The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce has prioritized its legislative agenda for the upcoming election and for 2023 with issues that affect economic development and quality of life ranking above all others.

The Chamber held its One Voice Summit on October 17th at the Garland County Library where the Chamber membership chose the local, state and federal issues the Chamber will aggressively support and pursue in the coming election and throughout the next year.

“This One Voice process is a great way for our membership to come together, discuss local, state, and federal issues that affect business, and democratically prioritize which issues are most important to our local Hot Springs and Garland County businesses,” said Chamber President/CEO Gary Troutman.

“We’ll use this legislative agenda to inform the Chamber’s strategic initiatives for this election and through 2023.”

Chamber members’ top local issues included workforce and workforce development, the housing shortage, economic development funding, crime and jail capacity, what to do with the former Majestic Hotel site, broadband, and water.

Workforce development and education also garnered the most votes among the state-level issues as well. It was followed by the housing shortage, tax relief and tax reform, teacher salaries, roads and highways and recreational marijuana.

On the federal level, ACTI was voted as the most important issue. It was followed by infrastructure, workforce and workforce training, healthcare, the housing shortage, and inflation/gas prices.

State Chamber President/CEO Randy Zook was the first speaker and covered the four statewide ballot issues on the November 8th slate and the State Chamber’s stance and their rationale on all of them. They are against Issue 1, which allows the legislature to call itself into session instead of the governor. The State Chamber is for Issue 2, which requires 60 percent approval before an issue can be put on the ballot. On Issue 3, which would provide that the government cannot burden a person’s freedom of religion, they hold a neutral position. They are opposed to Issue 4, which would legalize marijuana use for individuals 21 and older and authorize the commercial sale of marijuana with sales to be taxed at 10 percent.

Gene Higginbotham, district director with U.S. Congressman Bruce Westerman’s office, went next and led a discussion on federal issues as well as the ACTI building and property, with help on that topic from Dr. Jack Porter and Col. (Ret.) Mike White from the Chamber’s ACTI Executive Committee. Rep. Les Warren then led a discussion of local issues and reflected on the amount of brand new House and Senate legislators there will be in this next session beginning in January 2023.

The summit saw an attendance of more than 35 businessmen and businesswomen. After the three-hour meeting where all issues were identified and discussed, attendees ranked the issues that mattered the most to them in order of importance.

The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce is Hot Springs’ leading advocate and champion for business.

For further information, contact Mara Kuhn at 501.321.1700 or

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