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Chamber Chat: Chamber champions business interests at legislative session

By David Rowley - Special to the Daily Herald | Mar 18, 2023

Courtesy David Rowley

David Rowley, Chief Operating Office for the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The momentum at the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce continues at a rapid pace. On the heels of Utah’s recent legislative session, we are preparing for a number of upcoming events and hope that many of you will be able to join us.

Legislative session

I have a newfound respect for the men and women who give of their time, skills and resources to make Utah a better place for all of us. The legislative caucus of Utah County is a respected and listened-to group on Utah’s Capitol Hill.

I’d like to share a few experiences we had during this session. One of our favorite parts of the session is the opportunity we have to partner with all of the chambers in Utah County and throughout the state. Through our combined efforts, we were able to support many bills, effect change on others and oppose those that don’t meet our policy-based principles (for more information on these principles, visit: thechamber.org/legislative-priorities).

Here are some highlights: It is always fun to be on Capitol Hill and sit in the gallery listening to the bills being discussed and debated. However, it is more fun for us to be on the floor of the House or Senate as a guest of our Utah County legislators. And, while I’ll leave their jobs to them, I don’t mind observing up close.

Utah County Caucus

On Friday mornings, the Utah Valley Chamber supported our elected officials by attending their 7 a.m. caucus meeting where we listened to and offered a business perspective on legislative priorities.

Courtesy David Rowley

From left: Rep. Jon Hawkins, Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Curtis Blair, UV Chamber COO and Director of Government & Community Affairs David Rowley, Rep. Stephen Whyte and Rep. Norm Thurston pose for a photo on the floor of the Utah House of Representatives during the 2023 Legislative General Session.

In mid-February, the caucus hosted our Chamber Executive Roundtable to discuss bills that are of importance to the business and chamber community. Several bills that lacked clarity, were too vague or exhibited unfriendly business language were openly and respectfully discussed.

Other bills, which enabled more efficiencies and supported the business community, were applauded and encouraged. We appreciate the transparency offered and the collaborative spirit extended by our elected officials from Utah County.

One example of this is a bill sponsored by Rep. Brady Brammer. He ran a bill that will not only help Utah businesses but also bring more businesses to Utah. House Bill 216 establishes the Business and Chancery Court in Utah.

The most well-known of these courts is located in Delaware where most major corporations are established. The Business and Chancery Court is widely recognized as the nation’s preeminent forum for the determination of disputes involving the internal affairs of corporations and other business entities through which a vast amount of the world’s commercial affairs is conducted.

The chamber strongly supported this bill, and we are pleased that it passed the House and Senate and is now waiting for the governor’s signature.

We express our sincere thanks to the legislators, their interns and their staff who work so closely with chambers of commerce during the session. Together, we bring the voice of business to Capitol Hill.

Utah County goes to Washington

In April of this year, the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy at Utah Valley University, is hosting a trip to Washington, D.C. During our time there, we will meet with Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney and Representatives John Curtis, Blake Moore, Burgess Owens and Chris Stewart. Additionally, we will hear from Nicholas Cole, a senior research fellow at the University of  Oxford, and UVU President Astrid Tuminez, along with others.

Come and join us and let your voice be heard. Details can be found at http://thechamber.org/chamber-events/utah-county-goes-to-washington-dc/.


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